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I have been watching many videos on how to install door slabs and in particular how to install hinges. I see most videos where the barrel of the hinge is flushed up against the edge of the door slab. However in most real world cases I see hinges that are actually offset from the edge of the door slab, and the barrel is not pressed up against the edge. I have seen a 3/8 to ½ gap from the barrel to the edge of the door.

When I have installed a couple of door, I’m not a carpenter, I have put the barrel of the hinge flushed with the door slab as well as on the jamb side, the barrel is flushed with the jamb’s edge. However when doing this the door slab is never flushed with the door jamb edge when it’s in the closed position. The door passes the door jamb edge about ½ to ¾ when it’s closed, although it is horizontally leveled etc.

In order to get the door leveled on the hinge and stopper side and door slab aligned with the edge of the striker jamb I always need to off set the hinge about 3/8, so the barrel sticks out from the door slab’s edge, the same is true on the jamb hinge side. This then allow me to have the door flushed with the jamb on the sticker/stopper side.

I guess my question is, should the door be flushed with the jamb? I have mostly seen it this way, or is it ok for the door to be set in more past the edge of the door jamb when closed. If the latter is the right method and it needs to be flushed with the jamb’s edge I cant see how having the hinge barrel butt up against the edge of the slab and jamb making this possible. Most of the videos on YouYube have the barrel flushed up against the jamb and the other videos what do not, never explain why they are leaving an off set or gap between the hinge barrel and the edge of the door slab and jamb.

I’m hoping a real carpenter can give me the correct answer on this.

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  • So when closed on the non-stop side of the door jamb, the door surface is proud of the jamb surface? I don't think carpenters install non pre-hung doors anymore. My pre-hung doors seem to close and have the non-stop side of the door 1/8" shy of the room side of the jamb, when you add the trim to the door jamb the door is shy of the trim. The door is generally tight to the stop side of door jamb with minimal reveal. Dec 9, 2022 at 1:56

2 Answers 2

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This is mostly an aesthetic matter, but at some point it becomes a functional issue. Prefab door sets tend to have the slab flush with the jamb edge. This is how the slab looks best to most people and fits properly against the stops or weatherstripping.

It's completely irrelevant where the hinge barrel falls. Hinge leaves are often wider than the slab, so they protrude a bit. And since modern aesthetic sensibilities have the hinge mortise stop before the back side of the slab, conventional hinge sizes would naturally protrude because they're shifted forward. Here's an example, where the protrusion roughly equals the mortise backset:

enter image description here source: Amazon

The critical factors:

  • The door closes without mashing into the stops on the hinge side
  • The latch side operates well
  • The offset or recess is consistent around the entire door
  • You're happy with the appearance

tl;dr It doesn't much matter as long as the door operates properly.

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  • With the hinges flushed against the door jamb the door goes passed the door jamb edge when closed and to me it just doesn't look right. I find it that I have to set the barrel about 3/8 from the the edges to produced a flushed door to the jamb edge once close. This is something that is never discussed online. The other issue is hinge placement, 10 inches from the bottom or all evenly spaced etc. Its nice to know that there isn't a set preference but these things can be a pain to figure out for the DIYer. Thanks for your reply.
    – Da P.A
    Dec 8, 2022 at 21:35
  • I'm not sure I understand the situation as you describe it. It doesn't matter if the barrel is tight to the slab or an inch out. That's not what sets slab position.
    – isherwood
    Dec 8, 2022 at 21:37
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Most of the videos on YouTube have the barrel flushed up against the jamb and the other videos what do not, never explain why they are leaving an off set or gap between the hinge barrel and the edge of the door slab and jamb.

As DIY I would say it is all in the installation ease.

Barrel flush mount gives instant correct alignment while offset does not.

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  • Fair point. The drawback is that the mortise would usually need to go the full depth of the slab unless the hinges were undersized. Of course, uniform mortises do the same job.
    – isherwood
    Dec 8, 2022 at 19:51

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