Do Door Handles And Hinges Have To Match?

Door hardware may be minor in terms of scale but delivers a significant impact when installed. The perennial question of whether or not your door handles should match the hinges needs addressing. Thus, we've done our research to find out experts' recommendations.

The consensus is that whatever you install, there should be visual continuity within the home. Most design rules are fluid; however, when it comes to door handles or knobs, they should match the hinges when exposed. Door knobs and hinges that are mismatched may look unsightly and haphazard.

Continue reading for details on matching your door hardware. We'll also tackle whether all door handles should match and more about door handles and hinges.

A man is using a screwdriver to adjust a Door hinge

Door Hinges 101

Before we expound on the above, let's familiarize ourselves with the different types of hinges available that you may want to match to your door handles.

Butt Hinge

Installation of furniture hinges in the chipboard, tools and accessories needed to perform the work. Small carpentry work at home, the concept of a home master, self-repair of the house

These are traditional hinges composed of two pivoting plates that interlock together to form a barrel. The two plates attach correspondingly to the door and the cabinet.

It can be mortised or no-mortised. The no-mortise butt hinge has less gap between the edge of the door and cabinet. Surface-mounted doors are usually achieved with a no-mortise butt hinge.

European Hinge

installation of furniture hinges in the new kitchen cabinet door or replace the hinges closeup. top view

A concealed hinge that can be used for both face-frame and faceless cabinet doors. It has a mounting plate that secures the cabinet door and a cup drilled at the back of the door.

This mechanism allows adjustment in two or three directions such that you can easily align the door when being installed. Thus gaps and height misalignment can be remedied even after being assembled. 

Semi-Concealed Hinge

As the term indicates, part of the hinge may be visible when the cabinet door is closed. These hinges are designed for face-frames (cabinets with a frame attached to the front of the case where the door attaches). 

How do I know what door hinges to buy?

To determine which hinge to buy, you need to determine first where you will attach the hinge. Hinges attached to doors that separate a room may slightly differ from the doors connected to your cabinets. There may be some overlap, but functionality may vary.

The following are considerations that can help you decide which hinge type may be best suited:

  1. Planned construction - Does the cabinet door has a frame, or is it frameless?
  2. Door type - Is it an overlay, full inset, or partial inset door?
  3. Door swing - Do you have an unobstructed path for your door such that it can swing 170 degrees, or you're limited to only 90 degrees?
  4. Closing action options - Do you require it to gently close, snap-close, or accessible swing?

To understand this better, watch this video for an illustrated description of the factors we have just described:

Do all door handles have to match?

Matching door handles will depend on the effect you want to create within your home, which will boil down to personal preference. But, whatever you decide to install should provide you with an overall harmonious visual coherence that when you span through the space, nothing sticks out like a sore thumb.

brass doorknob with an ornament close up

The presence of hardware families will make your decision easier. The most current selection has several designs of door handles or knobs present in one family, providing you with the flexibility you need in decorating your space. And this has expanded even to classical designs by some vendors.

There are no hard and fast rules, but the following pointers  below can help you decide which ones to install:

1. Stick with the same finish

Sometimes you can get away with applying different shapes of door hardware attached if all finishes match since nothing will stand out brazenly.

A reason for this is because you may want to differentiate between your doors, and an excellent way to do this will be to assign a particular shape to each of your door categories like a cabinet door, bathroom door, etc.

2. Install hardware with similar lines

They may not look the same in terms of their overall shapes, but they follow the same pattern like round edges or geometric shapes that may be embossed, flat, or accentuated. Either way, grouping them despite not being exact in overall appearance will maintain the overall cohesive effect you are trying to achieve.

3. Mind the sizes

Always be conscious of the size of the hardware you install versus the door or structure attached to it. The purpose of connecting your handles is to facilitate opening and closing. And if you decide to mix and match, make sure that the hardware sizes will categorically fall into similar dimensions.

Never under scale or overscale, as this also impacts the harmonious adherence that you are trying to achieve in your space.

What should door handles match?

Again there are no hard and fast rules—the primary determinant is your personal preference. The hardware that you choose must blend to make a harmonious space. 

Generally, select hardware that has similar characteristics to the color of your fixtures based on the pointers mentioned earlier if you want to have a cohesive aesthetic. Thus brushed nickel may be preferred with stainless steel appliances, while bronze or gold may look good with black appliances.

Or, if you plan to be more adventurous and stick to unique designs and colors, it may also be an option. But one that you would need to think through to deliver a unified visual display and not create visual clutter. 

What is the most popular color for door knobs?

An open white door with silver door knob

This may be relative, considering that not all doors are the same. Overall, it may still be the silver and chrome finish as it is the most versatile of all colors and is present in most modern-day homes. But ultimately, you still have to consider where you would need to attach the hardware to answer the question entirely.

If you're asking it to determine which one will best fit your white door, we'd say that you can select any color depending on the overall effect that you would like to create. 

  • Black - if you're aiming for that sleek and contemporary effect. It will stand out very starkly when set against your white door. 
  • Gold - best suited if you want to create that timeless, classic look. Similar to black, it will also provide contrast to your white door but not as stern as black and not as subtle as the silver finish due to its more bright, yellow tone.
  • Silver or Brushed Nickel - provides you with a more subdued effect as the color can easily camouflage in the white background. It remains sleek, providing your contemporary home with a visual edge.
  • Brass - if you want it midway to classical but transcending between modern and classy, then brass is the way to go. It is not as bright as your gold hardware but catches more attention than your subdued silver knobs. 
  • Modern or eclectic - nowadays, you may find yourself looking at knobs that in themselves are an expression of art—those inspired by places, people, or actual objects repurposed to become door handles to knobs.  

Overall, when choosing which knob is best suited for your door, consider the color of your door. It should not be lost together with the door but overall ties up with the room's color. Thus, a black knob may become visually blended into a dark doorway. You can also experiment with the finish to create contrast. 

Are door hinges interchangeable?

Not all doors are created equal, and so does the hinges that go with them. You install a particular type of hinge for another purpose aside from keeping the door in form and function. 

Before you deem hinges interchangeable, you first need to determine what type of hinge is installed and, most likely, the manufacturer. Knowing the manufacturer can simplify your process as you can readily reach out to them for advice. If you're fortunate enough, they may have specific recommendations for alternate or similar hinges. 

In Closing

You are the best gauge to determine whether your door hinges should match the doorknobs. There are no hard and fast rules, so nothing will penalize you if you go either way. But what guides you is how pleasing it will be to the eyes when you sweep through the area with a visual inspection. 

Consider the lines, colors, and finishes – everything should blend well together, giving you that harmonious feel. You can use it to highlight or numb a specific door, but in the end, it's your personal decision to make. It would be good to keep the end in mind when making deciding which one to install. 

Other articles that you may find interesting to help you in your design journey:

Should Door Handles Match Throughout The House?

Door Handle Vs Knob – Which To Choose?

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