When it comes to hinges, there are specific types used for different applications. When shopping for door hardware, one question you may find yourself asking is, "What is the difference between residential and commercial hinges?" The answer is multi-pronged, as there are quite a few notable differences between the two types. To ensure you choose the right hinges for the project at hand, here is what you need to know about residential and commercial hinges.

Level of Protection

For residential use, you really only need an ANSI Grade 3 hinge. These grade ratings are important in regard to security, as they indicate that a hinge has been put through testing. Grade 3 is durable, and mostly used for light duty locations like the doors of your home. Commercial building will need Grade 2 or 1 hinges, as these are the highest and most heavy-duty options.

Metal Thickness

One of the largest differences between residential and commercial hinges is the thickness of the metal. Because commercial buildings often have larger and heavier doors that are used more often than the doors in your home, a heavier duty hinge is called for. Commercial hinges are larger than residential ones, designed with a greater thickness and knuckle diameter.

Residential hinges are more lightweight than commercial, so they're perfect for everyday applications in your home. These also have different corners, with residential featuring radius corners and commercial hinges with square corners. However, you can find commercial grade hinges with radius corners if needed.

Screw Hole Pattern

When you compare the screw hole patterns of residential and commercial hinges, you'll notice the difference right away. Commercial hinges feature a sort of curved, half-moon pattern, which is known as a template hinge. The pattern is important, as it complies with BHMA A156.7. This ensures a certain continuity between manufacturers of commercial hinges, frames, and doors.

For residential hinges, the common pattern is a bit like the letter "W." This is called a staggered pattern. Although you can find residential hinges in both the staggered as well as the arched pattern.

Specific Use

For good reason, residential hinges are prohibited from door openings that are fire-rated. These openings, found in hospitals, schools, hotels, and other locations, are reserved for commercial hinges only. Many buildings require that hinges meet certain specifications before installation, like ADA-Compliant or UL-Listing.

Now that you know the primary differences between these two types of hinges, you can easily find the right hinges to suit your hardware needs.