Cabinet door hinges are all the same, right? That’s actually a common misconception, and one with a surprisingly big impact on the practical appeal of your cabinets. Even though most cabinet doors function the same way, not all of them perform to the same quality. The worst ones cause doors to bang shut, leading your doors to sit askew or start to wear out after just a few years of consistent use. But the best ones do just the opposite – upgrading the performance of your cabinets from the minute you install the doors and for years afterward.
As important as hinges are, they’re still one of the least seen parts of the cabinet. They’re also more of an obligatory part of the design process rather than something interesting or creative to apply your energy to. The simple fact is that hinges are kind of boring, and most people want to quickly find the right kind and move on to something else.
If that describes how you feel, there are really only two options worth your consideration: soft-close cabinet hinges and self-closing cabinet hinges. Read on to quickly compare and contrast the features of both.
What Are Soft-Close Cabinet Hinges?
With poor-quality hinges, the slightest amount of pressure applied to the doors causes them to come crashing against the cabinet frame. No one likes the abrasive sound it makes, especially when it happens almost every time you open a cabinet door. Worse, the repeated impact can damage the door by causing it to warp or pick up damage around the edges. Clattering cabinet doors don’t sound like a big issue, but they’re more annoying than most people realize, and the solution is remarkably simple: install soft-close cabinet hinges. These hinges “catch” the door about 2” away from closing and then slows itself to softly close, and brings it to rest softly against the frame of the cabinet. Even if you tried to bang the door shut, the soft-close hinge would absorb the excess energy and leave only enough to bring the door into contact with the frame. Small sound dampers between the door and frame make the contact even more gentle and silent, helping preserve peace and quiet in the kitchen while extending the look and lifespan of the doors.
What Are Self-Closing Cabinet Hinges?
You’re probably familiar with this phenomenon: you push a cabinet door closed while turning to do something else, then when you look back you discover the door is still hanging half-open. Doors that are hard to close are a sign of worn-out hinges, but even with new hinges you (or your kids) might be absent-minded and leave doors open without realizing it. Again, a relatively minor problem can be quickly and completely resolved with the right hinges. Self-closing cabinet hinges contain a small spring that pulls the door back into contact with the cabinet frame after you push the door gently. Self-close means when you close the door and it gets within 2″ of closing, it will pull itself close because of the spring in the hinge itself. That way, if your hands are full you don’t have to use much force to get the cabinets closed.
Soft-Close vs. Self-Close Cabinet Hinges
Now that you know about the advantages of each hinge type, consider the disadvantages. With certain kinds of soft-closing cabinet hinges, some people complain that you have to use a lot of pressure to get the doors closed. By keeping the doors from banging shut, these hinges make it harder to shut normally too, at least in some cases. With self-close cabinet hinges, the doors may close easily but make a racket in the process because they lack the noise dampening features of soft-close hinges.
What are Blum Soft-Close Hinges?
Essentially, they combine the best features of soft-close vs. self-close cabinet hinges and eliminate the drawbacks of both. As the name implies, Blum soft-close hinges minimize the noise of shutting doors by using a hydraulic mechanism to gently guide the door through the arc of the swing and into contact with the cabinet frame. They make little to no sound, and thanks to precision engineering, it takes little to no pressure to get the door shut. Unlike lesser soft-close hinges, it’s easy to the point of effortless to get these doors closed, especially since they work like self-closing cabinet hinges as well. After you apply a minimal amount of pressure, the doors close themselves using a smooth, gliding motion. Interior designers and kitchen contractors both consider Blum soft-close hinges to be the finest option on the market, and it’s easy to see why. They offer are long-lasting and subtly stylish while making your cabinet doors perform how you would prefer. That’s why these are the only kind of hinges we sell and the only kind that many other experts use in their own projects. We also offer to bore the hinge holes into each door for you (at a modest additional cost per door).
The Door Stop – Making Hinges Easy and Doors Exciting
With your hinges picked out, you can focus entirely on finding the right custom-built replacement cabinet doors for your kitchen (or bathroom, office, rec room, or anywhere with cabinets). The Door Stop has spent decades building cabinet doors to the exact dimensions customers specify in styles ranging from classic to contemporary. Plan on finding the look you want, and since we custom-build each door to your specification, it’s sure to fit your existing cabinets perfectly. Explore our extensive and exciting cabinet doors selection at your own convenience.