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Standard Door Hinge Size & How To Size Hinges

When you’re replacing the hinges on your front door or the door to one of the rooms in your home, it’s not a simple matter of going out and buying a random replacement. You need a set that will fit into the existing cutout of the doorway, so you’ll want to take accurate measurements. You’ll also want to get the correct hinge type, which could be mortise, non-mortise, heavy-duty, etc. 

Most hinges are mortise hinges, which are inserted into a carved or cutout part of the door frame to mount flush with the jamb. Surface-mounted non-mortise hinges are thin, surface-mounted hinges commonly used on hollow core, lightweight interior doors. As they do not require the jambs of the two surfaces to be cut out, they are easier to install than their mortise counterparts.

At Access Residential Hardware, we provide interior door hinges and exterior door hinges from leading manufacturers. In this blog, we go over standard door hinge sizes for residential entrances and provide detailed guidelines on how to size hinges, so that you make the right choices for your new install or upgrade.

Door Hinges vs. Cabinet Hinges

We want to start by saying that while door and cabinet hinges generally work the same way, the latter performs on a much smaller scale, as they are only strong enough to support the movement and weight of a cabinet door. If you try installing them on a door, they’ll wear out and break- fast! Door hinges, on the other hand, have a much more durable design that can open the heaviest doors with a sturdy and easy swing, and keep doing so for years and even decades.

What are Standard Door Hinge Sizes?

In most cases, standard residential door hinges have square edges and are sized in increments of ½”. In other words, their size range is in measurements like 3”, 3 ½”, 4”, etc. Most residential doors need a 3 ½” x 3 ½” hinge, although larger ones, especially front doors, require a 4” x 4” hinge. If you aren’t sure, a quick measurement can confirm the dimensions you need for new or replacement hinges.

Many homeowners who are either installing new custom doors or upgrading the hardware on their existing ones opt for ‘architectural’ hinges, which are usually thicker than standard residential hardware. These hinges range in size from 3” x 3” up to 6” x 6” and even larger and come in a wider variety of finishes. Since they are thicker than residential hinges, you must increase the mortise depth on the door and jamb when upgrading.

Architectural hinges are also available in the following formats:

  • Non-Removable Pin (NRP): Architectural hinges with NRPs have a set screw in the barrel that can only be accessed when the door is opened. Outward swinging doors are protected by this feature, which prevents anyone from removing the hinge pin and door. 

  • Ball Bearing: Heavy and/or wider doors put more strain on hinges, causing the knuckles to wear down. To reduce friction, ball bearings are placed between the knuckles. Hinges with ball bearings last longer, don't creak, and make doors easier to open.

How to Size Hinges

When you’re installing a new door, its thickness and width will give you an idea of what size hinge you’re going to need. The chart below provides some general guidelines.

Door Thickness

Door Width

Recommended Hinge Size

1 ⅜”

Up to 32”

3 ½”

1 ⅜”

32” to 36”


1 ¾” 

Up to 36”

4 ½” 

1 ¾” 

36” to 48”


1 ¾” 

Over 48”


Determining the Radius of a Door Hinge

You may have noticed that some hinges have square corners while others are rounded. The latter are known as radius corner hinges. There is no functional difference between the two types, so you can install either one on a new door, but when you’re replacing an existing set of hinges, you need to buy new ones that match the cutout of the door. In other words, if the previous hinges had rounded corners, the new ones should have them as well to ensure a correct fit.

There are two ways to measure hinge radius: 

  • Use a Ruler or Tape Measure: You can determine the radius of your hinge by measuring from the top of the hinge down to where the rounded area ends. A hinge with a ⅝” radius will measure ⅝” from top to bottom, while a hinge with a ¼” radius will measure ¼” from top to bottom.

  • Use Coins: With this method, you line your hinge's corners with a dime and a quarter. In the case of a hinge with a radius of ⅝”, the quarter will fit inside. If the hinge has a radius of ¼”, the dime will fit inside. 

After determining the radius of your hinge, buying new hardware becomes easy. Depending on your application or preference, you can choose from specialty hinges, ball-bearing hinges or standard hinges.

Where to Position Door Hinges

While the majority of residential doors only have three hinges, taller ones can have up to four. Generally speaking, you want to install one hinge for around every 30” of door height. Doors up to 60” tall will need two hinges while those between 60” and 90” will require three hinges. Four hinges are recommended for doors between 90” and 120”.

During installation, the top hinge is normally positioned 5” from the top jamb of the door while the bottom hinge is installed 10” from the door’s bottom edge. The third is placed at an equal distance between these two.

Pro Tip: Extra hinges are recommended for doors with a width between 37” and 120” to support additional weight and tension.

What Hinge Material Should You Go With?

Hinge material can make an impact on its strength and longevity. If you’re looking for exterior door hinges, consider a stainless steel set, as they are corrosion-resistant and won’t rust easily in wetter conditions. For larger and heavier doors, your best option is a set of heavy-duty steel hinges that won’t crack or degrade after years of use.

If you’re concerned about indoor aesthetics, brass hinges add luster to most interior spaces, but they’re not as appropriate for exterior doors because they’re not as strong as steel. If you prefer brass, make sure that you buy hinges intended for heavy-duty applications.

Don’t Forget the Door Hinge Finish!

Once you've determined what type of hinge you'll need, decide on what look you want to achieve. While some hinges are nearly invisible, others have a style that can add to the overall style of your home. To create a more cohesive look, choose the right finish and material for your hinge.

For example, if you have plain white or lightly varnished interior doors, a shiny chrome or bright brass hinge can make them stand out and add to the overall look of the door itself. You can even look for more decorative hinges that add a touch of personality and charm. On the other hand, a vibrant red front door might look better with hinges that have a subtle, subdued finish, as the overall effect will be less overwhelming.

At Access Residential Hardware, Our Door Hinges Are Designed to Last!

When you’re shopping for new or replacement door hinges, you want a product that’s going to stand the test of time: the average residential door is going to be opened and closed thousands of times during its lifetime. At Access Residential Hardware, we sell both front door hinges and indoor door hinges made from stainless steel and solid brass for maximum durability. Please visit our product pages to see what we have to offer, and if you require assistance, call 866.752.9002, or fill out this contact form.