Architectural Home Designs & Decorating Ideas

Choose the Best Hidden Hinges for a Seamless Kitchen Cabinet Upgrade

Gabriela Connell
6 minute read

Are you looking to give your kitchen cabinets a facelift but want a smooth, seamless look? Upgrading to hidden hinges is an easy way to modernize your kitchen’s style while also improving cabinet functionality.

Hidden hinges, also called concealed or European hinges, provide a clean, integrated appearance because the hinge hardware is completely hidden when the cabinets are closed. They also allow for full access to cabinet interiors without having to remove doors. But with so many types of hidden hinges available, how do you choose?

Types of Hidden Hinges for Kitchen Cabinets

There are several varieties of hidden hinges designed for different cabinet door applications. Understanding the types of concealed hinges will help you pick the best options for your specific kitchen cabinets.

Concealed Hinges

hidden hinges for kitchen cabinets

Concealed hinges are the most popular type of hidden hinge. They have two parts that mount separately onto the inside of the cabinet frame and door. When closed, the hinge is completely concealed from view by the door and cabinet for a smooth, integrated look.

Concealed hinges are available as side-mounted or face-mounted depending on your cabinet construction. Models with adjustable alignment help you fine-tune the fit of your doors after installation.

Soft Close Hinges

Soft close hinges provide the same streamlined, hidden appearance as standard concealed hinges. But they have the added benefit of a gentle slowing mechanism that activates in the last few degrees of closing to prevent cabinet doors or drawers from slamming shut.

This soft closing action reduces noise and prevents potential damage to cabinets. It also gives your kitchen a more high-end, luxury feel. Soft close hinges are available in concealed and overlay styles.

Inset Hinges

For traditional inset cabinetry where doors sit flush within the face frame, inset hinges allow a seamless integrated appearance. The hinge mounts discreetly within the door and cabinet side for a clean built-in look.

Inset hinges provide a smooth finish while still allowing full cabinet access. If you have inset cabinets, inset hinges are the best match for style and functionality.

Euro Hinges

Euro hinges are a popular type of concealed cabinet hinge that offer easy 3D adjustability. They allow you to tweak the position of doors with precision after installation for perfect alignment.

Euro hinges allow adjustments in three directions – side to side, depth, and height. This helps compensate for door sag or inaccuracies in cabinet construction. Euro hinges make it simple to achieve a flawlessly aligned kitchen.

Overlay Hinges

For cabinets with face frames, overlay hinges allow cabinet doors to mount directly onto the frame front. This provides a full access overlay look while concealing the hinge hardware.

Overlay hinges work well for keeping a traditional cabinet appearance but with updated functionality. Models with self-closing or soft close features are also available.

Other Specialty Hinges

Some other concealed hinge varieties include:

How to Choose the Right Hidden Hinges

With all the concealed hinge options, it can be tricky determining which is best for your specific kitchen design. Here are some tips for choosing hidden hinges:

Consider Cabinet Door Style

Assess your existing cabinet doors. Do you have inset, overlay or frameless cabinets? This will dictate the type of hidden hinge hardware needed. Measure door dimensions to size hinges correctly.

Evaluate Functionality Needs

Think about how you use your kitchen cabinets. Are doors frequently opened? Do they get a lot of wear and tear? Features like soft close can prevent slamming in busy kitchens. Self closing works well for households with kids.

Ease of Installation

Look for concealed hinge models with adjustable alignments that make achieving a perfect door fit simpler. Euro hinges allow 3D adjustment after installation. Consider your DIY skill level.

Visually Assess Hinge Adjustments

Test hinge adjustments prior to installing. Can you easily make precise tweaks? Smoothly operating adjustment features ensure long-lasting performance.

How to Install Hidden Hinges

Installing concealed hinges takes a bit more care than traditional exposed hinges but creates a seamless integrated result. Follow these steps:

Gather Supplies

You’ll need the concealed hinges, a drill with bits, hinge mounting screws, a Phillips screwdriver, wood filler, and painter’s tape. Have touch up paint ready too.

Remove Doors and Hinges

Take cabinet doors off the frames and remove any existing hinges. Clean away old screw holes and wood fragments.

Mark Hinge Positions

Tape off new hinge locations on cabinet frames and doors. Use a ruler to evenly space. Drill pilot holes for screws.

Mount Hinges

Attach hinge parts to frames and doors using screws. Refer to manufacturer instructions for proper placement.

Install Doors

Hang doors back on cabinets using your newly mounted hidden hinges. Adjust until door alignment is perfect.

Conceal Old Holes

Fill any unused screw holes with wood filler and touch up with paint. Remove painter’s tape. Admire your smooth new look!

Where to Buy Quality Hidden Hinges Online

Be sure to choose high-quality hidden hinges to ensure smooth motion and longevity. Here are some recommended concealed hinge brands and online retailers:

Top Hidden Hinge Brands

What to Look for in Hinges

Seek out precision engineering, sturdy steel construction, and fine adjustments. Test motion to ensure smooth open and close. Durability ratings indicate cycle testing.

Online Retailers

Top e-commerce sites for hidden hinges include Wayfair, Amazon Hardware, and Rockler. Check manufacturer websites too.

Maintaining Your Hidden Hinges

Keep your concealed hinges functioning like new with regular maintenance:

Clean Hinges

Wipe down hinges periodically with a microfiber cloth to remove grease, dirt and grime which can impede motion.

Lubricate Hinges

Apply a small drop of silicone or lithium grease to hinge joints every 6 months. Avoid oil-based lubricants.

Watch for Signs of Wear

Looseness, sagging doors, squeaking and visible hinge wear indicate aging hinges. Replace promptly to avoid dysfunction.

Follow Hinge Replacement Steps

It’s easy to swap out worn concealed hinges. Simply unscrew old units then install new hinges in the same locations.

Hidden Hinges FAQs

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about concealed cabinet hinges:

What’s the difference between standard and soft close hinges?

Soft close concealed hinges use a built-in mechanism to gently slow the closing motion of doors and drawers. This prevents slamming and provides smoother operation.

Do concealed hinges work on all cabinet types?

Concealed hinges are available in styles made specifically for inset, overlay and frameless cabinet door designs. Choose options suited for your cabinet type.

Are hidden hinges easy to install?

Concealed hinges require careful measuring and drilling but are relatively straightforward for experienced DIYers. Adjustable alignment features simplify installation.

How do you adjust euro style concealed hinges?

Euro hinges allow 3D adjustments – side to side, depth and height – via easy-access screws. Simply turn screws in small increments to tweak door alignment.

What are the signs that hidden hinges need replacement?

Look for sagging doors, loose hinge joints, squeaking sounds, visible wear and difficulty opening or closing. These indicate aging hinges due for a replacement.

Upgrading to concealed cabinet hinges is a simple upgrade that makes a big visual impact. Your kitchen will have a streamlined, integrated look that feels luxurious and modern. Hidden hinges also provide optimal access to cabinet contents.

With so many types of hidden hinges available, take time to choose options that perfectly suit your cabinet style and functionality needs. High-quality concealed hinges will provide smooth, reliable operation for years of beauty and convenience.