All about European Hinges

in Articles,European Hinges,Hinges by Function & Type

Overview of European Style Hinges

The European style hinge or Blum hinge is a modern “high-tech” hinge for cabinets.  It is comprised of two parts, the hinge and the mounting plate. The hinge mounts in a hole (usually 35mm but could also be 25mm or 40mm) bored in the back of the cabinet door. The mounting plate is installed on the cabinet in one of several places depending on the type of  cabinet. For “face frame” cabinets the mounting plate is either installed on the edge of the face frame (most typical) or on the front surface of the face frame.  For “frameless cabinets the mounting plate is installed on the inside surface of the side panel.

You will find European Hinges and Blum Hinges  on our website.

Blum Compact 33 Hinge with mounting                Blum Compact 33 with mounting plate

plate on edge of face frame.                                        on the front surface of the face frame

European hinge with mounting plate attached to inside surface of the side panel (this is frameless cabinet meaning it does not have a face frame).


European hinges have these advantages

  • when the door is closed the hinges are completely concealed
  • the doors are adjustable after the hinges are installed
  • the hinges come in a wide variety of configurations
  • they are relatively inexpensive hinges
  • with the proper installation jigs they can be installed fairly quickly

The main disadvantage of the European hinge or the Blum Hinge is that the installation can be difficult for the average homeowner unless he has the proper tools and unless he completely understands the different installation configurations.  The proper tools would include a forstner bit sized for the cup that is drilled in the back of the door. Access to a drill press is a huge advantage. A cabinet shop with a boring machine for European hinges may be willing to drill your holes for a fee.

Installation of Blum Hinges

Before you can attempt installation of Blum hinges or European style hinges, you need to understand the following terms regarding your cabinets and the European style hinges.

  • Are your cabinets ”face frame” or “frameless” style cabinets? The mounting plate for a “frameless” cabinet mounts on the inside wall (side panel) of the cabinet. The mounting plate for a “face frame” cabinet mounts on the edge of the face frame for Blum Clip Top hinges.

Face Frame Cabinet                                       Frameless Cabinet

  • Are the doors “overlay doors”, “inset doors” or “back-to-back doors” (also known as “twin doors”)? The type of door you have determines which mounting plate and what type of hinge you will use (straight arm or half-cranked).

Door Types for Frameless Cabinets


Door Types for Face Frame Cabinets

  • How far do you want the doors to open (opening degrees)? Blum hinges and European hinges come in different opening angle degrees. Some examples of opening degrees are 110 degrees, 120 degrees and 170 degrees.
  • If the door is an “overlay door” what overlay dimension do you want? The overlay dimension is the distance that the door lays over the cabinet opening. It is measured on an existing cabinet by taking the distance from the edge of the opening to the edge of the door when the door is in the closed position. Once you know what overlay dimension you are going to use you would consult an “overlay table” to pick your mounting plate and your bore distance. The bore distance is the distance from the edge of the cabinet door to the edge of the 35mm hole that is drilled for the hinge. Each hinge will have an “overlay table” that will help you determine which mounting plate and what bore distance to use to give you the overlay that you want.

Sample Overlay Table for Blum Clip Top 120 Degree Hinges

  • If the door is an “inset door” or “back-to-back” door, what reveal dimension do you need to use? The reveal (reveal is the gap between the twin doors or the gap between the door and the face frame in the case of an inset door) is important because you need enough reveal to keep the door from binding when it is opened. The thicker the door the more reveal is needed. The reveal dimension is determined by the bore distance. Each hinge will have a “reveal table” which will show the mounting plate height, the bore distance and the resulting reveal dimension.

Sample Reveal Table for Blum Clip Top 120 Degree Hinges

Each of the Blum European hinges that is on the HardwareSource website has installation information such as overlay tables, reveal tables and mounting plate choices to help you with your purchase. Click here for a sample of the installation information that is included on the website.


How Many Hinges to Use on Your Door

Hinges per Door

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