At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
Sometimes referred to as a Blum hinge, the European hinge is a contemporary hinge design that is considered ideal for use with different types of kitchen cabinets. This style of hinge utilizes two components, a mounting plate and a hinge mechanism. In many cases, European hinges are configured for installation so that they are completely concealed when the cabinet door is closed.
While there are several configurations for European hinges, two basic designs are the most popular. The straight-arm design is the most simplistic type, and allows for the greatest amount of angling for the cabinet door. However, the half-cranked design is also a popular option, and is sometimes considered a better choice when installing inset doors rather than overlay doors.
There are several advantages associated with European hinges. One major benefit is the low cost of the hinges. Because the hinges can be produced quickly and with a minimum of resources, it is possible to purchase them for much less cost than many other types of hinges. When the remodeling budget is tight, going with hinges of this type can help keep the kitchen project within your means.
European hinges can be used with just about any type of décor or cabinet design. Unlike other designs that are intended to be decorative as well as functional, simple European hinges are often concealed, which means they do not have to be created to be attractive. The relatively small configuration of the hinges means that even when the cabinet doors are open, they are barely noticeable.
Unlike some other hinge options, European hinges allow for easy adjustment of the doors once the hinges are in place. This can be especially helpful if one or more doors need to be raised or lowered slightly in order to line up with the other doors attached to the cabinetry. Since the drill holes needed for the installation are very small, the damage caused to the doors as part of the adjustment process is minimal.
While there are many advantages to this type of hinge, there is also one disadvantage that should be considered. Unless the homeowner has the proper tools and is familiar with the general design of European hinges, the process of installation may be somewhat difficult. Since the exact installation process, as well as the choice of hinge design, will be slightly different depending on the configuration of the cabinet doors, homeowners may find that they need professional help to deal with the first attempts to install the hinges. However, once the process is mastered, the installation can move forward at a brisk pace.