2 Types of Continuous Hinges
Continuous hinges are made to match the full height of the door. They can carry heavier doors and last a lot longer than standard mortise or butt hinges. Because continuous hinges run the full height of the door, the weight of the door is distributed along the full height of the frame which reduces stress on the hinge. Continuous hinges provide smooth operation for high traffic and high abuse areas. They are often used on entrance doors for shops and stores and other high traffic applications or for oversize doors that are taller or wider than normal.
There are two main types of continuous hinges.
Aluminum Geared Continuous Hinges
Aluminum geared hinges are made with extruded aluminum with small geared “teeth”. A cover is also made that encloses the geared portion of the hinge and protects it, providing a clean finished look. The gears move together as the door opens allowing the door to open and close smoothly. Geared hinges are available in basic finishes such as clear aluminum or dark bronze. Because these hinges are made from anodized aluminum they can be used on interior or exterior doors and frames. Aluminum geared hinges can carry doors that weigh in the hundreds of pounds as well as standard door weights. These hinges are often available for fire rated openings.
Pin and Barrel Continuous Hinges
Pin and barrel hinges are usually made of steel or stainless steel. They have a long barrel and pin that run the full height of the hinge. This type of hinge is often referred to as a “piano hinge”. These hinges can include one hinge leaf that wraps the door edge (as shown below) and acts as an edge protector for the hinge side of the door. Similar to the geared hinges, the pin and barrel hinges are effective at carrying much heavier doors than standard hinges.
Continuous Hinge Installation Options
The term “full mortise” when referring to continuous hinges is a misnomer because the door is not actually mortised or prepped to receive the continuous hinge. The door size will need to be considered when selecting the hinge to be used. Continuous hinges can also replace old hinges that have worn out. A “full surface” hinge may work better than full mortise since the hinge leaves are installed on the face of the frame and the face of the door. There are also options for half mortise or half surface hinges.
When installing continuous hinges, they are installed on the door first and then installed on the frame. The hinge size is ordered as equal to the nominal height of the door minus 1 inch. So, if we have a door that is 84″ tall (7 feet) we will order the hinge as 83″. This dimension allows for the undercut of the door and the typical clearance at the top of the door in the frame.
If you have questions about continuous hinges or additional options not mentioned here, you can call Beacon CDL and speak with a sales rep to find solutions available.
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