How To Install Door Hinges

Our easy to follow guide will help you learn how to install door hinges just like the professionals.

A How-to Guide

Installing Door Hinges

Getting Started With Door Hinges

For the beginner DIY enthusiast, getting involved with any task – big or small – can feel rather daunting. We all began somewhere, and with this in mind we’ve come up with a series of easy to follow guides to get you on the right track for beginning your new interest. First up is one of those small jobs that looks much more complicated than you may first thing: attaching a new door’s hinges to install it within a wider frame.

Learning this skill is great not only for use around your home, but for assisting others with the same jobs. It can be really satisfying completing this task on your own and the finished product is more than worth the effort. So let’s not waste time – it’s time to install your door hinges.


Gather Your Tools and Materials

First and foremost, check what you have on hand to complete your job. This list will vary depending on a number of factors, including but not limited to the door’s main material, structure, weight, style, and all-around size.

The process for fitting hinges is fairly uniform across our range, but there are precautions to bear in mind when working with larger or more complicated doors and materials.

A simplified checklist to consider would be:

  • Hinges
    Check what kind you will need – there are different types for different doors. For example, louvre doors require flush hinges or else they will not fit correctly. 
  • Screws
    As with hinges, you’ll need to double-check what kinds of screws are the correct ones to use with your new door hinges. Pay attention to the sizes available. (Nobody likes running out again to the shops!)
  • Screwdriver and/or drill
    Do you have the correctly sized pieces for attaching your screws?
  • Pencil
    A simple one, but easy to forget with other tools to remember!
  • Hammer and Chisel
    These are for cutting the hinge mortise (cut in the door where the hinges will be placed).

Once you have your gathered tools, it’s time to really get started on fitting your door’s new hinges.


Mark Your Guidelines

Taking your pencil, mark on your door and the wall where you want to place your hinges. Most doors usually have two hinges to secure the door to the frame, though in rarer cases you may need three. Check the weight and height of your door to judge if the additional security of a third hinge would benefit you. If your door is much heavier than a standard door, it may be worth investing in a third hinge to place between the other two (usually directly in the middle).

Taking a tape measure, for the top hinge place a mark 5 – 7 inches from the top of the frame, and the lower hinge should be measured between 7 – 10 inches from the floor. With this mark, take your hinge and press it against the door. Draw another mark on the other side of the hinge so you have a clear indication of how wide your hinge is. Repeat for both hinge placements.

We stock a number of other hinges including our Ball Bearing Butt Hinges at 100mm which are supplies with screws too; browse our range of door furniture to find what you need. Finding that your hinges are a little stiff? No problem – apply a little lubricant and they should move much more freely!


Cut The Mortises

Some doors may come with these factory cut, though it’s more common for the small grooves needed for the hinges to be done yourself. Again the process is rather easy once you know how.

In order to secure your hinges to the door so that they are flush, you will have to take your hammer and chisel to chip away some of the woodwork to the depth needed (this will be how thick the flat of the hinge is). Start by simply taking your chisel and holding perpendicular it to the woodwork, score a line around the perimeter of where the mortise will be. Repeat this along the inside of the mortise around 5mm apart until you have covered the entire space.

With the wood scored both around the edges and inside, you should be more easily able to hold the chisel flat and push the thin layer aside. This will be the base for your hinge.

Top Tip!

Don’t worry if you cut a little too deep, it is easy for you to fill some of the space either by using a thin piece of wood or using a little wood filler. There’s a fix for everything!


Fitting The Hinges

Last but not least, hold your hinges in place against your door once more. You’ll see that the pilot holes will line up with where the holes in the hinge are.

Simply take the screws and insert them through until your hinge is completely secure against the wood. Repeat for the other hinge(s) on your door, and voila! Newly fitted hinges!

You may need to also create a mortise in the wood of the doorframe, so to do this just follow the same rules and you should be good to go with attaching the door to the frame. Easy!

Installing Replacement Hinges


The process for installing any replacement hinges on an already existing door follows much of the same process, though you should this time already have your markings quite clear for where to place the new hinges you have purchased. It’s important to make sure that the hinges you buy are of a similar size and have screw placements to those that exist already. If they are not, you will either have to invest in another set of hinges or slightly adjust the mortises with your chisel.

If possible, have somebody to help you hold the door open as you unscrew the old hinges and use wooden blocks at the foot of the door to save the bottom edge from damages or creating too much wiggle room that could damage your frame. 

Sand down the newly exposed area, mark any new screwhole areas as in the above process, and simply attach your new hinges in place of the old ones. Simple, effective, and keeps your doors looking and feeling much more secure. You shouldn’t have to do this too often and can fix many issues with your hinges with a simple lubricant application, but it pays to keep the details of installation in mind should the time come for a cosmetic update.

Buy Your Furnishings At Shawfield Doors

Wanting to get started with a brand new set of hinges or looking for the right new internal door in Glasgow for your home? Look no further than right here at Shawfield Doors.

Why not browse our range of fantastic doors for both external and internal use alongside all of the accessories you may need to make your project a success.

Visit our Glasgow showroom to get hands-on with our products and get our expert advice for all your doors’ requirements.