Are You Using the Correct Commercial Contractor Grade Door Hinges?

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The amount of traffic coming through the door has a proportional effect on its operational life. High traffic increases amount of wear on the commercial contractor grade door, hinges, jamb, locks, closers, etc. that are used in construction.

Door traffic is typically divided into three categories – high, average and low. According to Rixson – a provider of concealed closers, pivots and door holders:

  •  High frequency usually begins at 400-500 openings a day;
  • Average traffic has a frequency of 80 openings per day or 15,000 per year;
  • Low frequency is 25 openings per day or 9,000 openings per year.

For high traffic areas, the opening and doors should be equipped with Grade 1 or heavy-duty commercial contractor grade door hardware to help extend the operational life of the door and jamb.

Commercial Contractor Grade Door Hinges and Pivots

Another consideration is the pivots and hinges. Code requirements determine the size and materials for hinges. For example, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 80 Handbook sets minimum quantity, size and weight (thickness) for swinging fire doors. It also stipulates non-spring hinges must be the ball bearing type.

Hardware industry standards call for two butt hinges for doors up to 60” in height. An additional butt hinge is required for each additional 30” or fraction of in height. For example, a 92” door will have four hinges. The fourth hinge is required for the 2” over the 90” height.

 

Size 4-1/2” heavy-duty commercial grade butt hinges are used on standard commercial doors. Doors more than 3’ 6” wide should be equipped with 5” hinges. There is a significant difference between a 4-1/2” and a 5” hinge. Not only is the surface area larger, but also the leaves are larger, thicker and heavier. The pin is larger, as are the bearing surfaces.

 

For retrofit applications, when butt hinges screws no longer provide the ability to swing the door open and closed, there are two options, if the door is hollow metal or aluminum. The less expensive option is to try using threaded inserts, which can provide a stopgap measure.

 

A better choice would be a continuous hinge that runs almost the entire length of the door and jamb, redistributing the pressure on the mounting screws and the leaves. For very heavy or wide doors, threaded inserts may be required.

 

There are two types of continuous hinges – pin and barrel continuous hinges and aluminum geared continuous hinges. Pin and barrel continuous hinges are available in steel and stainless steel and are designed for high frequency applications of heavy or wide doors.

 

  • Standard duty is designed for door up to 200 pounds;
  • Heavy duty is designed for door up to 600 pounds;
  • Extra heavy duty is designed for door up to 1,000 pounds.

 

Finding the correct commercial contractor grade door hinges requires taking the time take all of these factors into account. Good business practices will make choosing the correct commercial door hardware products by what is right, not what is least expensive.

Need help choosing the correct hinges for your commercial application? Give us a call or visit us online today to explore your options!

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