For the seasoned, professional cabinet maker, hinges are an easy aspect to the job.


For those of us starting out or not long in the industry, hinges can be one of the more difficult aspects to figure out. There are so many options and unique configurations that it can be quite easy to get confused during your cabinet build.


Craftsmen is a distributor of Salice hinges, and it is my hope and goal to go over the basic configurations and options to make hinges easier and less of a headache for the future.


The main question when it comes to hinges is, “what do you want your door to do?”.


Are you needing the doors to have an overlay (sitting on top of the cabinet box or frame)? Or do you need the doors to be inset (sitting inside the box or frame)? Is one better than the other? Well, that depends on the end customer!


Both overlay and inset can have their own challenges, but ultimately it comes down to personal preference. We will review overlay further on. Another question to help choose the right hinges and plates would be, “are you building face frame cabinets or frameless (Euro style) cabinets?”.


The hinge will be the same whether your cabinet has a face frame or not. The plate you use to attach the hinge to the box will need to be a face frame plate for face frame cabinets or a Euro plate for frameless cabinets. For face frame cabinets you can also build out behind the frame to make the plate flush with the face frame.


Next, we need to determine what size (thickness) of plate you need and there is a formula we can use. H=15+K-D. H stands for the plate thickness, which is what the formula is going to find out. 15 is how many millimeters of overlay are already built into the hinge. K is the distance from the edge of the door to the closest edge of the drilled hole for the hinge cup, which is typically 5 mm. And D is the required overlay (gable thickness minus desired reveal).  For example, if we want a full overlay for the door and we are using ¾” (18 mm) plywood for the gables, the formula looks like: (15+5)- 18 = 2mm.  So we need to use a 2 mm plate.


Now we need to go back to the overlay your doors need. There are 4 main mounting options for hinges: full, half, ½”, and inset. On a frameless cabinet full overlay means the door will essentially cover the gable end, and you will need a 2mm plate for use with ¾” gables or a 4mm plate if using 5/8” gables.


On face frame cabinets, full overlay hinges will cover 5/8” to ¾” of the frame and needs a 1mm face frame plate.


The next overlay option is half overlay. A half overlay door is primarily used if 2 doors are needing to share the same gable. The door will sit halfway on a frameless gable using a 2mm plate for 3/4” gable or 4mm plate for 5/8” gable. On a face frame cabinet, half overlay hinges can achieve 3/8” overlay using a 1 mm face frame plate, ½” overlay with a 4mm face frame plate, OR inset is possible if using a 5 mm face frame plate.


Another overlay hinge is ½” overlay, NOT to be confused with half overlay. A ½” overlay will give you just that, a door that is ½” on the gable or frame. As with the full and half overlay, the ½” overlay on frameless cabinets needs a 2mm plate for 3/4” gable or 4mm plate for 5/8” gable. With a face frame, you will need the 1 mm face frame plate. You may also achieve a full overlay on a face frame by using a 4 mm plate.


The last main application for hinges is the inset hinge. If you are using either ¾” or 5/8” plywood for frameless cabinets, you will need to use a 4 mm plate. If your cabinets have a face frame, inset doors can be achieved, but you need to go back to the half overlay hinge and use a 5 mm plate.


There are also multiple options and configurations beyond the 4 different mounting options mentioned. The standard door opening is angled at either 105 or 110 degrees.


If you are needing to angle your door because of the space allowed in the kitchen, there are varying degrees of openings available like 15, 30, 45, and 155. The 155-degree hinges are also known as zero protrusion. If you have drawers behind the door, this hinge will move the door clear out of the way to give the drawers the clearance they need.


Another great feature of the Salice soft close hinges is the soft close adjustment on the Silentia+ line. This adjustment allows the soft close to activate at either 30 degrees or 10 degrees of the door closing. This comes in handy when dealing with various weights of doors. With lighter doors, you can set the hinge to the minus side (10 degree) as the lighter doors may take a while to close if set at the 30-degree setting.


However, if you have larger, heavier doors, setting the hinge at 30 degrees will prevent the door from blowing through the soft close mechanism. In some cases, it may be desirable or beneficial to set one hinge at 30 degrees and the other at 10 degrees, creating a mid-way option for closing.


Salice hinges do come in a few different options for attaching doors to the cabinet. A common method for mounting hinges and plates is with wood screws, preferably a Wood-Maxx #6 x 5/8” flat head wood screw. Hinges with dowels are great for the CNC shops where a hinge machine can drill the holes and then press the hinge in. Ribs on the dowels prevent the hinge from coming out.


Salice Logica is great toolless hinge that uses a flap that presses a rod into dowels and the dowels push against the holes creating a tight fit. One of the benefits to the Logica hinge is you can install the doors on-site without any tools. 


Some other options that not many shops may be aware of are 2 different finishes and covers for the hinge arm and plate. You are likely aware of the regular nickel finish that is in most cabinets. The other option is a titanium finish. This is a darker, almost black or onyx looking finish that goes well with darker tones. If you are staining cabinets dark, especially if you are using walnut, the titanium finish lets the hinge and plate blend in with the darker tones and gives a clean, classy appearance.  Salice’s Titanium finish is not applied finish. 


The nickel hinges are double dipped in an acid bath that chemically changes the colour of the metal, meaning that the colour never dulls or wears off.  The cover caps for the hinge arm and plate give a sleek final touch to the cabinet.

Salice also offers an in-line plate where the mounting screws are concealed for a more visually appealing look. 


There are more applications and specialty hinges and plates available, but I hope this blog gave you more understanding of Salice hinges and some of the great options and features included in the line. Don’t hesitate to reach out by phone or email with any questions or to place an order.

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