Concealed Cabinet Hinges

Beth Asaff
Cabinet with concealed hinges open and shut

Sometimes the most subtle design aspects have the biggest impact on the overall design of a space. Concealing the cabinet hinges on your bathroom or kitchen cabinets can take your design from the ordinary into the realm of luxury.

What Is a Concealed Cabinet Hinge?

Cabinet hinges are the hardware that allows a cabinet door to open and close. Traditionally, the hinges were left exposed and even incorporated into the design of the door. Eventually, they became discreet and finally concealed entirely on the inside of the door.

The resulting effect is an unbroken row of cabinets, where style and detail is allowed to stand alone. There are no visible hinges seen when looking at the cabinets, and therefore, nothing to detract from the design.

When to Use Concealed Cabinet Hinges

Nearly all kitchen and bathroom cabinets come with the option of concealed hinges. Visible hinges are still in use in two areas:

  • Lower price cabinetry
  • Old fashioned cabinet design

Whenever possible, opt for concealed cabinet hinges, even when choosing lower cost cabinets. Concealed hinges can dramatically improve the look for contemporary or traditional cabinets, even those that are discount quality. In fact, concealed hinges can actually improve the function of lower cost cabinets; some types of concealed hinges are adjustable, meaning that if the door is out of plumb, the hinge can be adjusted to compensate.

The only time visible hinges can improve on a design is when they become part of it. This includes wrought iron hinges used on Arts and Crafts style cabinets or brightly colored, decorative hinges used on some modern cabinets.

Types of Concealed Hinges Available

There are several options available for concealed hinges. Some brands and types of hinges may offer a variety of options in one hinge.

Two-Way Adjustable

concealed hinge

A two-way adjustable hinge is a standard style concealed hinge. It can allow the door to be adjusted up and down and side to side. Most two-way hinges open to a full 105 degrees, which means your cabinet can open fully. Two-way adjustable hinges are an option for cabinets which have frames.

Where to Buy

Three-Way Adjustable

A three-way adjustable hinge allows the door to be adjusted side to side, up and down and in and out. This means the depth of the door can be subtly changed. Three-way hinges open to 120 degrees, which is slightly smaller than two-way, but they allow greater control over the door placement on irregular cabinets. Three-way adjustable hinges can be used on framed or frameless cabinets.

Where to Buy

Clip-On

Many concealed cabinets hinges also have clip-on technology. This means that the door can be removed from the cabinet without needing to also remove the hinge. The hinge itself will separate in the center, allowing the door portion to come free from the cabinet. To reinstall, simply realign the hinges and connect.

Where to Buy

Slow-Close/Anti-Slam

If you have a problem with family members banging cabinet doors shut, consider getting slow-close or anti-slam hinges. These hinges use hydraulics and air pressure to slow down the speed of the door closing. No matter how hard you push, you cannot slam the door closed.

Where to Buy

Blum Hinges

Blum or European style hinges are the newest in hinge technology. They are always concealed, fully adjustable and may have other options such as clip-on or anti-slam technology.

Where to Buy

Pivot

Pivot hinges are designed for inset and overlay door styles. They pivot on one point, rather than using a long hinge. They can be installed completely concealed, or installed visibly.

Where to Buy

Surface Mount

Surface mount hinges were originally designed to sit on the outside surface of the cabinet doors. They are decorative and come in numerous patterns and colors. Newer versions are also available that can be mounted on the inside of the door, allowing for a completely concealed installation.

Where to Buy

Additional Sources of Concealed Hinges

Make sure you purchase or choose your hinges before or at the same time you select your cabinet doors. Some styles may not be compatible otherwise.

  • Hardware Source: Hardware Source carries Blum, Pivot and Surface Mount hinges in hundreds of different styles and finishes.
  • Wood Workers Hardware: WWHardware carries several types of concealed hinges, including clip-on.
  • USA Cabinet Hardware: USA Cabinet Hardware carries European style and American made concealed hinges.
  • McFeely's: McFeely's offers several different styles of concealed hinges, including some adjustable.

Streamline Your Kitchen Design

By mounting your hardware inside the cabinet, rather than on the surface, you help take your kitchen design to new levels. Without the distraction of the metal hardware, your cabinet choice truly shines through. Consider investing in concealed cabinet hinges for your next cabinet door update and experience the difference this small change can make.

Concealed Cabinet Hinges