What are Concealed Hinges?
Concealed hinges — also commonly referred to as hidden hinges, invisible hinges, or European hinges — are generally found in furniture, cabinets, and on interior and entry doors. True concealed hinges are not visible at all from the outside of a closed cabinet or door. A concealed hinge also provides a security advantage, since its fasteners cannot be removed without first gaining access to the inside of the door.
Concealed Hinge Types
European-style Concealed Hinges
On boats and yachts, a European-style concealed hinge is most commonly used on cabinet doors, interior doors, and entry doors. European-style hinges consist of two pieces — the hinge and the mounting plate — which we sell separately.
The hinge attaches to the door and the mounting plate to the cabinet box or wall. Attaching the hinge to the cabinet or door typically requires drilling a round recess 35 mm (about 1.4”) in diameter.
European-style hinges are nearly all self-closing, which, as the name suggests, means they pull the cabinet or door closed by themselves. Once you start closing a door with a self-closing hinge, the hinge takes over and finishes closing the door.
Friction Concealed Hinges
Friction hinges, often known as torque hinges, are specialized hinges that exert resistance against the pivoting motion. They are used to control or even hold the door or object in an open or closed position. The hinge in your laptop computer is a good everyday example of a friction hinge.
On boats, friction hinges are ideal for hatch lids, livewell lids, and radio box doors, essentially taking the place of gas shocks or other hatch support devices. Our Covered Friction Hinge isn’t truly a concealed hinge, since it mounts on the outside of a hatch, access door, or cabinet, but it does feature an innovative full overlay hinge design that conceals its mounting screws for a clean, refined look.
Covered Butt Hinges
Also visible from the outside, butt hinges — also known as surface mount hinges — resemble friction hinges but open and close freely without built-in resistance. We offer two hinges — one stainless steel and one nylon covered — for a variety of applications including livewells, hatches, access doors, transom doors, and cabin doors. Both feature covers over the fasteners for a clean look.
Advantages of Concealed Hinges
One of the things you need to consider when choosing the right type of hinges for the work you are doing in your boat is to think of the pros and cons of concealed hinges.
The main downside to a concealed hinge compared to other options is its price. Therefore, if you are on a tight budget, you may want to reconsider using them. However, for the higher price you do get the following benefits:
- They offer a clean, refined appearance when used on your boat’s furniture and cabinetry.
- They offer enhanced security advantages because they cannot be tampered with from the outside.
- European-style hinges make it easier to adjust the way the door hangs once it has been installed.
- Many European-style hinges come with soft-close features.
Common Uses of Concealed Hinges
A concealed hinge is the ideal choice for a variety of different applications. If you want cabinets, doors, and other pieces of furniture to have a cleaner appearance without clunky bits of metal hardware showing, you should choose a concealed hinge.
Some of the most common uses of concealed hinges include:
- Both face-frame cabinets and frameless cabinet
- Interior and entry doors, for their enhanced security and attractive aesthetics.
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