Choosing the Right Hinges for a Hidden Door

Today we are exploring some of our favorite hinges for a hidden door application.

Hidden doors can give a room a clean, minimalistic aesthetic by eliminating the visual intrusions of a doorway. They can also be used to functionally conceal adjoining rooms so that people won’t easily notice them—helpful in commercial spaces where you want to guide the flow of visitor traffic and focus people’s attention toward attractions and displays.

Figuring out the door part of a concealed door is easy: You can use virtually any type of door that you would use for a traditionally visible doorway. Rather, it is the door frame and hinge where the magic happens. For the frame, you can simply dispense with any molding and set the door flush with the wall or use textures or patterns to hide the door. But hinges for a secret door have to be specifically made as such.

Let’s look at different models and see what they offer.

HES3D Series 3-Way Adjustable Concealed Hinges

The HES3D-E190 Series of concealed hinges for concealed doors by Sugatsune

Our HES3D family of concealed hinges offers some of the most sophisticated engineering you will find in hinges for a hidden door, resulting in smooth, quiet, easy door motion. When combined with a powerful push-latch like the ML-ZN80 (available in white and black) which can easily open a 275 lbs door, you don’t need to install a door handle—achieving a fully concealed effect.

Alongside their superior performance, our HES3D hinges offer many other benefits to add value to your project:

  • 3-way adjustability: Hinges for a secret door need to be perfectly aligned, and with adjustment screws on our HES3D hinges, you can finely position doors in all three dimensions (vertical, horizontal, and depth) to achieve a perfectly flush, perfectly aligned fit.
  • Clean appearance: When the door is open, and the hinges are exposed, cover plates conceal the screws, giving the hinges a clean appearance even when they are visible.
  • 1-person easy installation: Hanging a hidden door can be done by a single person thanks to the HES3D’s unique design that allows the hinge leaves to separate into 2 pieces. This allows you to mortise one side into the door and the other into the frame. When you are ready to hang the door, simply connect the two hinge leaves and let the hinge’s temporary hold feature keep the door in place while you tighten the screws and make any necessary adjustments. The design allows a single worker to easily complete the installation process, making your project planning efficient and cost-effective.
  • Durable: All models of the HES3D successfully passed 300,000 open/close private cycle tests.

HES3D hinges are available in a variety of sizes, covering everything from ¾” cabinet doors to large full size doors. The largest hinges for a hidden door are going to be the HES3D-E190 and HES3D-W190 for cladded doors, both of which will support up to 275 lbs. doors with only 3 hinges. (The 190 refers to the height of the hinge leaves, 190 mm or 7–31/64”.)

HES3D-E190 Series

Our HES3D-E190 Series hinges for a secret door are well-suited for most concealed door applications. These hinges:

  • Are UL certified for fire up to 3 hours.
  • Support doors up to 7’10” high x 36" wide.
  • Support doors up to 220 pounds with two hinges or 275 pounds with three hinges.
  • Require a minimum door thickness of 1–1/2".

Several finishes are available so that you can get hinges for a hidden door of any color or appearance. The finish options consist of:

HES3D-W190 Series for Cladded Doors

Our HES3D-W190 Series hinges for a secret door are identical to the HES3D-W190 Series except that:

  • They have a wider throw, allowing for 3/8" of clearance to install cladding (or to install molding on the door frame).
  • They support doors as high as 8 feet (specifically 96–1/16”).
  • They require a minimum door thickness of 1–5/8”.

These hinges for a hidden door are ideal when you want to install cladding, such as mirrors or wood paneling, to further conceal a door and promote the overall hidden appearance while maintaining the room decor.

The same six finish options are available for the HES3D-W190 Series:

Only three finishes currently have their 3-hour UL fire certification: Dull Chrome, Dull Nickel, and Black.

HES2S Series Surface Mounted Concealed Hinge

  • Surface mount on the door frame enables easy installation
  • (no frame side mortising).
  • Recommended Min. door thickness is 1-1/2” (38 mm).
  • The opening angle is limited to 125°. Door stopper or angle limiter is required to prevent breakage of the hinges and failure of the door.
  • The hinge cannot be divided between the door and the frame.
  • Durability: successfully passed 3, open/close private cycles.

See Catalog Listing

HGS3D-S160SH 304 Stainless Steel Concealed Hinge

Design sleek and corrosion resistant entryways with the revolutionary 3-way Adjustable Stainless Steel Concealed Hinge. This hinge is made from premium grade 304 stainless steel and withstands moisture, humidity, and harsh outdoor conditions. Its three-way adjustability ensures a flawless fit, while the LIFT-OFF FEATURE makes installation simpler and saves you time and effort. With optional square-shaped covers, the HGS3D-S160SH can fit any aesthetic.

  • Made from all 304 stainless steel (excellent corrosion resistance).
  • 3-WAY adjustability function allows vertical, horizontal, and depth adjustment after hinge is installed.
  • Easy installation with LIFT-OFF FEATURE: hinge can be split into two parts (one for the frame and one for the flap), can temporarily hang the door and hold position without being affixed with screws.
  • Includes covers for a clean finish. Optional square shaped covers are available (HGS3D-S16SH-SQPLATE).
  • Durability: successfully passed 3, open/close cycle test (private).
  • 3 hinges can support doors up to 35-7/16" x 94-1/2" weighing up to 220 lbs.

See Catalog Listing

Other Recommended Hinges for a Secret Door

For some lighter-duty options, consider some of these other hinge designs by Sugatsune America:

HES-3030 & HES-3038

These basic decorative concealed hinges for a hidden door are invisible when a door is shut but when exposed, they look luxurious and sleek. They don’t offer 3-way adjustability, but they do offer the same smooth, easy door motion as our flagship HES3D family. When used in a 3-hinge configuration, they can support doors of up to 99 lbs. (HES-3038) and 110 pounds (HES-3030).

The HES-300 Series offers a curvier, oblong look, while the HES-3038 Series is more angular.
HES-3030 HES-3038
HES-3030 polished brass and satin chrome hinges for a secret door by Sugatsune. HES-3038 polished brass and satin chrome hinges for a concealed door by Sugatsune.
Polished Brass: HES-3030/PB Satin Chrome: HES-3030/SC Polished Brass: HES-3038/PB Satin Chrome: HES-3038/SC

Make Doorways Disappear with Sugatsune

These are some of our favorite hinges for a hidden door, and of course, you can also use them on regular doors to conceal the appearance of the hinges.

Meanwhile, you can find more hinges for a secret door in our Invisible Door Concealed Hinges Collection.

Check out more resources in the Sugatsune America Hardware Blog, see where to buy our products, or contact us if you have any questions about finding hinges for your concealed doors or anything else.

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