What's the Difference: Concealed Hinges & Overlay Hinges?

You've probably heard the term concealed hinges, and overlay hinges. A concealed hinge is just like it sounds, when your cabinet door is closed, the hinge is not visible from the outside. A concealed hinge can be used on doors with an overlay, as well as doors that are inset. An Overlay hinge is also just how it sounds, it allows the cabinet door to lay over the frame slightly, or even all the way. An overlay hinge can be completely concealed, or it can be Semi concealed, where the hinge is visible when the cabinet door is closed.

Why do Kitchen Cabinet Hinge Types Matter?

For two reasons. First, hinges can play a big part in the overall aesthetic of a space. If they’re concealed cabinet hinges, they’re out of the way so that the cabinet doors are the star of the show. If they are visible hinges on the outside of the cabinets, they become a part of the design themselves for better or for worse. Second, hinges serve an important functional purpose. Make sure you know what overlay you want, and make sure you get the right hinge for that overlay, this helps the doors open properly according to where your bore placement may be.

What’s the Difference Between Hinge Types?

Overlay cabinet hinges can be completely concealed, or semi concealed. As their name would imply, hidden hinges can’t be seen unless the cabinet door is open. They’re entirely concealed otherwise. Overlay cabinet hinges mean that they allow the cabinet door to “lay over” the frame of the cabinet. If your current doors are larger than the frames — eg. they don’t settle into the frame when closed — then you likely have overlay hinges already (hidden or semi concealed). These specialized hinges dictate how much the door lays over the frame — commonly ½ inch, 1 ¼ inch, or all the way.

Which Hinges Should You Choose?

Remember that a lot of cabinet hinge types are essentially the same. If you currently have overlay cabinet doors, you probably want to stick with that style. There are plenty of other difficult choices to make, but whether you need hidden cabinet hinges or overlay cabinet hinges shouldn’t be one of them.

What Else Matters in Hinges?

Since these hinges are hidden, looks aren’t much of an issue. Focus instead on one of the most unpleasant aspects of cabinets — slamming doors. It’s annoying and inevitable, but it’s also completely preventable with the right cabinet hinge types. Soft-close Blum hinges (the only hinges sold by contain a unique mechanism that makes it impossible to slam the door. No matter how much force you apply, the hinge “catches” the door during closing and brings it softly into contact with the cabinet frame.

Where to Order Your New Hinges?

Plenty of places sell various kitchen cabinet hinge types, but it makes more sense to order through If you’re also ordering replacement cabinet doors, why not order hinges as well and cross one more thing off your project list? We can also drill hinge holes into your doors, saving you a lot of time and uncertainty, and also making it especially easy to hang the doors. As cabinet doors experts, we know that Blum premium soft-close hinges work perfectly with the custom-built doors we produce and sell directly to consumers like you.

Place your order at The Door Stop Today!

Find the perfect match to your concealed or overlay hinges with our high-quality cabinet doors. We offer a variety of custom-cut cabinet doors that will refresh any living space. Order your custom cabinet doors today! Contact us online or at 800-342-1010.

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