Measuring Space For Precise Hinge Size

Are you installing a new door, but not entirely sure which size of hinge is needed? They’re crucial to a functioning door, keeping it supported in the door jamb and fluid when opening and closing. With so many different sizes of hinges, it might be tough to figure out the precise measurement you need for your specific door. There are several factors that play a part in determining which size is correct: the height, weight, width, and thickness of the door. While every situation is unique, here is how to measure for the right hinge size for your door.

  • Know Your Way Around A Hinge: Hinges are measured from top to bottom and side to side. This bit is pretty straightforward. You’ll then need to be able to discern radius corners from square corners. A square corner has that sharp angle like a square. For radius corners, they’re more curved. Use a dime and nickel to gauge the size of your radius corner. A dime matches the ¼” radius and a nickel the 5/8”. Learning this will allow you to more easily navigate hinges.
  • Measuring Your Door: How you measure your door will vary on its type. How exterior, interior, and screen doors are measured varies in the slightest. For a standard door, you’ll take the width by using a tape measure and measure at the center. For the height, hook the tape measure to the top of the door and stretch it to the very bottom. A standard hinged door measures 30 inches wide by 80 inches tall. To get the thickness, simply open the door and measure the inner edge where the lock is.

    If you need to measure the rough opening—meaning the wall around the door isn’t fully finished—you’ll take the width by measuring from the 2×4 on the left to the one on the right. For the door height, you’ll measure from the top 2×4 to the underside of the door. You may also want to take the measurements of the door jamb, too.

  • Choosing the Right Hinge Size: This is where your door measurements come in. While every door is different, this is a general baseline you can follow. For doors 1 3/8” thick and 32” in width, the hinge height should be 3 ½”. If it’s a little wider than this, up to 36”, then bump that hinge height up to 4”. For thicker doors around 1 ¾” and 36” wide, the hinge will need to be 4 ½”. If wider, up to 48”, then scale up to a hinge height of 5”. This incremental increase continues as the door’s measurements are thicker and wider. This is because the hinges need to be large enough to stabilize the size of the door.
  • Where to Install Hinges: Generally, the bottom hinge will be 10 inches from the bottom edge of the door to the floor. The top hinge should be five inches from the jamb to the upper edge of the door. If your door requires a third hinge—these are primarily used in public facilities, offices, and other spaces that require heavy doors—it needs to be perfectly centered between the top and bottom hinges.
  • At Hardware Source, we offer hundreds of high-quality door hinges that will look great with your interior or exterior door. The most common type of hinge used in homes is called a butt hinge, of which we carry a wide-ranging selection of metal types and finishes to best suit your needs. Alongside these, we carry hinges for specialty doors, screen doors, and so much more. We also stock spring hinges which are designed to self-close your door. For your shed or garage, strap hinges are used, as they have leaf plates that are fully exposed when the door is closed. Pivot hinges are made for specially designed or heavy doors.

    Feel like you could use a hand? Send us a message with your door height, weight, width, thickness, and trim details and we’ll be able to point you in the right direction.