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Open the Door to Better Things With Ball-Bearing Hinges

Open the Door to Better Things With Ball-Bearing Hinges

If you’re like most people, you’ve never looked at the hinges in your home. As long as the door opens, everything is good, right?

On a basic level, this is true. However, if you’re looking for a quick upgrade, consider switching to ball-bearing hinges. (This is also a great opportunity to change the finish of your hinges, especially if you’ve updated the rest of your hardware.)

The knuckles of standard hinges rub against each other every time the door opens or closes. Over time, this friction can cause the hinges to squeak or stick. Ball-bearing hinges take the stress off the knuckles of the hinge, so the door opens more smoothly and quietly. This is especially true with heavier doors.

Ball-bearing hinges are available in various sizes, but 3 ½” and 4” hinges are what you’ll find most often in homes. Hinges come with either square or radius corners. If you’re upgrading standard hinges to ball-bearing hinges, make sure the new hinges have the same shape (and hole pattern) as your existing hinges. That will make the project much, much easier!

If you’re working alone, use a shim to support the door while you remove the old hinges. (If you don’t have shims handy, you can also slide a folded bath towel under the door – this will help cushion the door when you remove it from the hinges as well.) Unscrew the hinges from the door and then lift the door off of the frame. (For a typical 3-hinge setup, we recommend removing the middle hinge first, then the bottom hinge, and then finally the top hinge.) Remove the old hinges from the door frame.

To install the new hinges on the door, remove the pin from the hinges and screw each leaf into the door and the frame. Then, line up each of the leaves of the hinges, and, starting with the top hinge, gently tap the pin into hinge. (If you want to use hinge pin stops with your doors, put the stop on the hinge pin before pounding it into place.) Repeat the process with the bottom hinge and finish with the middle hinge.

Installing ball bearing hinges

Take some time this weekend to upgrade your hinges. You’ll be glad you did!

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