MDF Doors — How many hinges?

Hi all,

Hope you’ve all had a wonderful festive period!

I’ll soon be making up some shaker doors for our bedroom cupboard build. They will be around 2250mm by 530mm, made up of 18mm rails and stiles, and 6mm panels.

The middle rail won’t be central. It will be offset down, so as to be in alignment with the door handle.

Not sure whether to use 3 or 4 hinges.

3 hinges allows for more flexibility of internal hardware. More tolerance in shelf and drawer positioning. What would be nice to, aesthetically, is if the middle hinge was in the centre of the middle rail (as shown in the sketch).

4 hinges, well, nothing is aligned. But might give more strength and less prone to warping?

Peter Millard (great guy on YouTube) says each hinge is good for around 4kg of weight. Based on his Excel spreadsheet, this door will weigh around 10.15kg. So theoretically, 3 hinges should suffice, based on these calculations. But, only by around 2kg. See screenshot.

What do you all think?

P.S. On my sketches, the actual drawings of the doors probably aren’t quite accurate (e.g. rails and stiles appear too wide). But, the measurements are right!


  • MikeJXE
    MikeJXE Posts: 3,030
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Rare to see a door with more than 3 hinges 
  • The top hinge on any door takes most of the weight of the door. If you're concerned about the strength of the hinges to carry a heavy door then the middle hinge would usually be positioned relatively close to the top one. You'll often see this on fire doors as they tend to be heavy. 

    On the other hand, if you're more worried about the door warping, then the best place for a third hinge is bang in the middle of the other two.

    I'd be tempted to use four here: one bottom, one top, one aligned with the middle rail and the last fairly close to the top one. Maybe arrange them so that the bottom three are evenly spaced, if that looks reasonable?
  • paperclap
    paperclap Posts: 671
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    This is a ~2.4m tall door from an IKEA wardrobe at a relative’s house. Probably chipboard? 4 hinges. Quite odd placement? Or is that placement normal? Bearing in mind these doors come pre-drilled.

  • ThisIsWeird
    ThisIsWeird Posts: 4,458
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    edited 2 January at 3:38PM
    The hinge placement could be to suit having two doors there instead? Mind you, with all these shelf holes, it looks as tho' hinges could be fitted anywhere! No idea why it's like that - it can't really be anti-warp, I don't think.
    I presume that Ikea door is 18mm max thickness, so these central panels are likely to only be 12mm or so thick, so a lot lighter than your beauts.
    So, I'd go at least 4 hinges... :smile:
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