Frequently Asked Hinge Questions

We’ve collected together some of the most commonly asked questions we’ve had at Cooke Brothers in recent years. From how to specify the right hinges, to installation and maintenance. If your question isn’t answered here, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of experts who can advise you how to choose the right hinge for your application and ensure it is installed correctly.



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How to specify the right hinge


What is a piano hinge?

A piano hinge, or more commonly referred to as a continuous hinge is a single hinge which runs the full length of the door or hinged panel. Often used in cabinetry as they present a pleasing aesthetic with no visible gaps between the panel and the frame. They offer an advantage in architectural installations by supporting a greater capacity and spreading the weight more evenly along the full length of the door. Find out more about architectural continuous hinges. In wider usage, a continuous hinge assists in maintaining accurate alignment of the two panels, being the fixed frame or panel and the hinged panel, and providing extra rigidity to the whole structure.

How many hinges does a fire door need?

When installing doors in an arduous, high traffic environment it is important to make sure you correctly specify your hinges to the environment and the weight of the door (including ironmongery). Fully concealed Pivota hinges require a minimum of 2 hinges per door, single axis butt hinges require a minimum of 3 hinges per door, whilst others will use a single continuous hinge. To ensure you are specifying the correct hinges for your fire door, contact our expert sales team.

What type of hinge for internal door?

The most common type of architectural hinge for internal applications is a butt hinge, most commonly 3 per door to give good support. Depending on the weight of the door and the environment you are installing the door in there is a broad range of options available. From plain knuckle hinges which are ideal for low-traffic, domestic use, to Loadmaster and concealed bearing hinges; both of which offer a higher capacity for the door weight and greater number of annual cycles making them a better choice for commercial applications. Cooke Brothers also offers a line of Slimline hinges which are ideal for narrower doors. Continuous Hinges are also becoming increasingly popular for use on internal doors.

What is an anti-ligature hinge?

More recently known as reduced ligature hinges, anti-ligature hinges are used in secure environments where self-harm is a possibility. These hinges are designed to minimise protruding edges where an individual could attach wires, chords or ropes in order to inflict harm to themselves or others. If you are specifying hinges for a secure institution, hospital, secure ward or incarceration unit, please contact our expert sales team to ensure suitable hardware is specified.

What is a concealed hinge?

A concealed hinge is a hinge which is recessed into the frame and door or mounted internally within a cabinet to make the hinge invisible when the door is closed. This is commonly used for cabinets and kitchen cupboards but is also a great option for architectural applications including domestic and commercial environments. Concealed hinges have the benefit that they have adjustability after installation to ensure accurate alignment between frame and door. See our full range of PIVOTA concealed hinges.



Installing, Measuring and Cutting Hinges FAQs


How to cut a continuous hinge to size

At Cooke Brothers we can produce bespoke lengths of continuous hinge, cutting them to the exact length you require. It is possible to cut a continuous hinge yourself, although the result is often a poorly finished edge with sharp protrusions. See our full range of continuous hinges to check which lengths are available.

How to hinge a cupboard door

There are several common ways to hinge a cupboard door including concealed hinges, continuous hinges and decorative butt hinges. Depending on the desired design of your cabinet, whether it be a traditional piece of furniture or a modern kitchen cabinet you can either make your hinges a feature or conceal them behind the panel.

How to cut door hinge slots

The traditional method is to cut out the hinge rebate in the door and frame using a hammer and chisel. Remember to measure carefully on both the door and frame to make sure the door aligns perfectly in the jamb. Take care when performing this job, as a wood chisel will need to be extremely sharp to provide the desired results. The depth of the slot is also a fundamental measurement, as this will dictate the gap along the edge of the door allowing the door to both close and swing freely without catching on the frame. Most architectural doors have a 3mm gap between the door and frame, and in most cases architectural hinges have been part centred to leave this 3mm gap when the hinge is rebated flush in the door and frame. Increasingly hinge rebates are cut using a power router and a cut out template. The radiused corners left from the router can either be matched to radiused corner hinges, or cut out square usin a hammer and chisel. If you’re unsure then it’s always best to ask a professional to do the job properly, repairing badly cut hinge slots often results in a poor finish for your door.

How to install piano hinges

Piano hinges can be installed without the need to recess the hinge or cut a slot. This makes them an ideal choice for many applications as they provide perfect alignment the full length of the door providing a smooth action. Installations will vary depending on the type of hinge and the materials being used.

How to install glass door hinges

Glass door hinges that are incorrectly installed can often lead to cracked glass or poorly fitting doors. For this reason, we encourage you to use professional assistance when fitting this type of hinge. For further advice, please contact our sales team.

How to measure a door and fit the right size hinge

Our hinges are rated for specific weights and overall door dimensions. Attention also needs to be paid to any additional weight on the door, such as the door furniture, and any additional forces, such as door closers. On the concealed hinge category page, you will find a table detailing the minimum door thickness and the maximum door weight for each model (you will find similar tables on other pages including concealed bearing, Loadmaster, glass door hinges, plain knuckle and Slimline hinges. Follow the 7 steps to specifying an architectural door hinge covered in the Product Selection brochure Keep in mind the environment you will be installing the hinges in to ensure the type of hinge is also correct.

How to measure door hinge placement

When measuring the placement for hinges it is important to remember that there are a number of options for spacing the hinges on the door. This is covered within the Product selection brochure The spacing will change depending on the size of the hinges being fitted, as well as the size of the door. Take a look at our range of architectural butt hinges.

How to correctly fit hinges

Fitting hinges is a precise task that when performed poorly can result in doors that do not close, catch on the door frame or have a reduced angle of opening. For these reasons it is important that hinges are installed correctly. You must measure the position of your hinges very carefully, ensuring that door will align perfectly with the jamb and allow a full range of movement. Our advice is that if you’re not confident with attempting this often-difficult task, then employ the help of a professional to complete the job for you. Remember, measure twice, cut once.



Hinge Maintenance FAQs


How to lubricate a hinge

Depending on which type of hinge you have specified you may need from time to time to lubricate the hinges to maintain a smooth action and prolong the life of your hinges. We recommend simply applying a few drops of WD40, or comparable brand, to the top knuckle or bearing of the hinge whilst holding a piece of kitchen towel, or an old rag under the hinge. Then work the door gently back and forwards to encourage the oil to make its way down the full length of the hinge. Repeat this step for each hinge.

Many of our products, including Loadmaster, concealed bearing, dual bearing and shrouded bearing hinges require little or no maintenance for the duration of their lifespan making them an ideal choice for environments which require minimal upkeep.

How to stiffen a hinge

The problem is more likely that the hinge has become worn out and developed excess play between the door and frame. Generally speaking, hinges should not need to be stiffened, but instead replaced. However, it is possible that the hinges have not been installed correctly or the wrong type of hinge has been specified for your particular application. For expert advice on hinges that feel too loose, contact our sales team.

How to adjust hinges on a door

Our PIVOTA concealed hinges are adjustable in three dimensions, making them the most versatile and adjustable hinges we offer. With simpler butt hinges the adjustability comes down to the original fitting, making sure the recesses are cut in the correct place on both the frame and the door.

How to adjust a door closer

Most door closers have adjustability. This is not a difficult job but you must ensure it has been done in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions, and if the door in question is a fire door the relevant latching forces have been maintained. Remember that if essential fire doors are poorly adjusted they may no longer close automatically, or worse may become too stiff to allow the door to open at all. For these reasons it is essential that these tasks are approached with caution. We recommend contacting a professional for this type of job to ensure the door functions correctly.

How to repair stripped screw holes for a door hinge

It is possible to repair screw holes in either the door or the door frame by inserting small pieces of wooden dowel with a high-quality wood glue into the old holes. This will then allow you to re-attach the hinges in the same place. With some of our hinge ranges we offer different hole patterns, which means that the replacement hinges can be fitted to previously undrilled areas of the original door and frame. However, in applications with heavy doors, high traffic or arduous conditions it is advisable to consider replacing wood that is no longer fit for purpose or relocating the hinges to avoid the damaged holes. We recommend using a professional for this type of job to ensure the hinges are fitted correctly. Please contact our customer services team for more advice.



Cooke Brothers FAQs


Can I order custom cut hinges?

Yes, absolutely, although this may be subject to a cutting charge or a minimum order quantity or order value. To order customer lengths or bespoke hardware for your project contact our sales team

How long does it take to deliver my order?

For orders within the UK we offer a standard 48-hour delivery service depending on the availability of stock in our warehouse. If you’re unsure about stock levels, or looking to place a large order, then contact our sales team.

Do my hinges come with a guarantee?

All of our Phoenix architectural hinges come with a performance guarantee based on EN 1935 test results so long as they have been correctly specified, fitted and maintained. On many of the category pages you can find tables detailing the guarantee period and the maximum cycles per year. Contact our customer service team for more information on our guarantees.

Can I place large orders over the phone?

At Cooke Brothers we are used to fulfilling large orders for hotels, hospitals, schools and large building developments. If you have a project that requires the specification of thousands of hinges for various applications and environments, then contact our sales team and we’ll be happy to help.


Contact Cooke Brothers

For more information relating to specifying, installing or maintaining any of our products, please contact our Customer Services department and they’ll be happy to help. For all sales enquiries contact our sales team.