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How To Measure Door Hinges? What You Need To Know!

Door hinges on glass door_kawin Ounprasertsuk_shutterstock

The thing about a hinge is, the design doesn’t matter very much. And it doesn’t matter because hinges are barely visible once installed. You’ll never hear anybody talk about how they found certain hinges aesthetically pleasing! That would just be weird. But what you’ll probably hear them talk about is the size.

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Door Hinge Size

Size matters when it comes to hinges. You have to know what the appropriate size is because, without that measurement, you’ll never be able to install a door that functions properly.

If you don’t believe us, do the math and you’ll see how it all adds up.  The frame is meant to support the weight of the door. But to hold all that weight in position, it will need something strong enough to connect it to the door. So in essence, the hinge is just as important as the frame.

By the way, the door’s weight is not the only factor worth taking into account. There’s also the issue of how the hinge fits into the mortise. The mortise is sometimes called the recess, and it’s the cut usually found on the frame’s jamb, and the door. Its sole purpose is to receive the hinge to ensure those two parts (the jamb and the door) are locked together.

Assuming you decide to go with a larger hinge, fitting it into the mortise will be impossible. Unless you decide to also enlarge the mortise, which sounds like too much work, and if it’s too small, it will sink it.

Anyways, now that all that’s out of the way, let’s get to business.

Tools & materials
  • Phillips & flat-head screwdrivers
  • Utility knife
  • Paint
  • Measuring tape
  • Screws
  • Pencil
  • Protective eyewear, gloves, & closed-toe shoes

Before we start detaching and measuring hinges, we first need to ensure that we’re well-protected. You can clearly see that the tools and materials that we’ll be using today aren’t lethal in any way, However, safety is never a guarantee in construction. Things can still go south in a hot minute, and leave you wondering whether there are forces out there busy working against you.

So, you know the drill. Wear your shoes/boots, cover your eyes, and don’t forget about the gloves. If you can find an old pair of jeans and long sleeves to protect your arms and legs, great! Do that as well.

deck screws
Image Credit: On SET, Shutterstock

divider 1 Measuring the Door Hinge (4 Steps)

1. Unfasten the screws

We cannot really measure a hinge while it’s still attached to a door. And you cannot just decide to measure one that resembles the one attached, because looks can be deceiving. To your eyes, those measurements could look similar.

That leaves us with only one option, and it’s to unfasten the screws connecting the middle hinge to the door. Have you noticed we’ve specifically asked you to detach the middle hinge? That’s because it’s the one that will cause the least impact on the door’s stability. You’ll need your screwdriver for that.

If the hinge is still stuck even after removing the screws, use your utility knife to score along its outer edges. We’re not sure, but we think the paint buildup could be a reason why your hinge is still stuck in the mortise. After scoring, use your flat-head screwdriver to gently pry it out.

2. Measuring the hinge

We have to be accurate with the measurements and to do that, we cannot be moving around or constantly shifting. The hinge has to be laid on a flat surface, completely spread out. Then take your tape measure and measure its length together with the ordering width. The ordering width is the measurement you get when you spread out the hinge, and measure both widths as one.

old and rusty door hinges
Image Credit: Winkul, Pixabay

3. Measure the height

The height is the same as the length. And no, there’s no such thing as “ordering height.” You’ll just have to measure one, or both if you wish to be thorough. Based on experience, we think the length will be 3–4 inches. However, if the door is larger or heavier than normal, you could be working with hinges that are 4, 5, or even 6 inches long.

4. Measure the corner radius size

The corner of your hinge will be either a square or a radius. But since the radius is the most common feature, we’ll work with that today. What we want you to do is to rest the hinge’s straightedge along its top edge. The final step is to measure the distance between the radius’ bottom to that of the straightedge.

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That is how you measure a hinge. The only thing that you now have to do is put it back the way you found it or replace it with a new one. We’ll end it here, but if you have any questions regarding this topic, feel free to reach out. Your responses are the reason why we do what we do!

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Featured Image Credit: Kawin Ounprasertsuk, Shutterstock


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