In today’s times, there is so much door furniture available, so many different ways that you can open, close, hang, swing and fix your doors. Of course, hinged doors still far outweigh any other type of door in residential settings, but there are still many different types of hinges to choose from to install them. Parliament hinges are a specific type of hinge used mostly on external French (double) doors.
What is a parliament hinge?
Most hinges have two basic parts. The spine and the leaf. Each hinge has two leaves. This is the part of the hinge that has the screw holes in it that attach to the door and door jam. The two leaves meet in the middle at the spine. Inside the spine is a pin which both holds the leaves together, and allows the leaves to move around it, independently of each other, allowing the door to swing open and closed.
There are many different types of hinges available, all of which have a slightly different purpose.
Loose pin hinges for example are hinges used on internal doors with a removable central pin which allows you to remove the doors after installation without unscrewing the hinges from the door or jam. This can be great in a rental if painting may need to be done more frequently or even as a good punishment for that messy teenager!
Fixed pin hinges on the other hand, do not have the removable pin and are recommended for use on external doors as an added security measure.
Parliament hinges are a part of the fix pin hinge family, although have two main differences
1. They usually come in larger sizes to standard fixed pin hinges. 2. Normal hinges have a hinge pin that is the same height as the hinge itself, parliament hinges on the other hand have a shorter central pin in comparison the overall height where it attaches to the door and the jam.
As an alternative to a parliament hinge, you could also use a broad butt hinge. This too is like a parliament hinge when it comes to the available sizes, however in the case of the broad butt hinge, the central pin is the same height as the hinge overall, achieving a slightly different look.
And if you have a particular finish in mind, our TradCo brand hinges are available in a large range of finishes including satin brass, matte black, nickel and more.
What do parliament hinges do?
In simple terms, parliament hinges are installed mostly when a set of double doors open outwards to an outdoor area of the home. In these cases, in order to open both doors and not create any unused space behind each of the doors, instead you have them swing out and around any moulding, cladding or brickwork to sit at 180 degrees and flush against an external wall.
This works by moving the spine of the hinge further away from the face of the door. This moves the axis on which the door swings further outside. The idea is to get the spine of the hinge to sit half of the way between the face of the door & the face of the wall the door is to sit flush against once it is opened. This means that when you open the door fully, with one leaf of the hinge attached to the door jam and the other leaf attached to the door itself and the spine in the centre, the door will be able to swing around the full 180 degrees. Of course getting the spine exactly in the centre of the distance between the outside face of the door and the wall is not an exact science due to fixed hinge sizes and countless different types of architecture to contend with, so aiming to get the spine as much in the middle as is possible is the aim.
How do you measure parliament hinges?
Once you understand the concept of how these hinges work, then the rest is very simple.
You will need to account for the part of the hinge that attaches to the door jam and the door. Generally, the hinge setback is approximately 30mm. This means that approximately 60mm of the width will be screwed onto the door and onto the door jam so cannot be used as a part of the calculation when you are working out the size that you need.
You will then want to measure the distance from the face of the door, to the far edge of the wall you are swinging around for the door to sit flush against.
For example if this measurement was 120mm, you would then add the 60mm that we accounted for for the hinge set back. This is 180mm. It would mean that you would want the spine of the hinge to be approximately 60mm or farther away from the face of the door. In this case, you would need a hinge that is at least 180mm wide.
If you need further assistance in measuring what size hinge you will need, you can view our parliament hinge size calculator to help you out.
Other Types of French Door Hardware
Double French doors were extremely popular in heritage homes in Australia and are becoming increasingly popular as indoor/outdoor living and grand entertaining spaces become more a part of our daily culture.
Parliament hinges are just one type of hardware that have been designed for use almost exclusively for French doors.
For internal French doors, there are the French door latches which allow your internal double doors to be opened and closed easily and without a difficult installation.
Flush bolts are another product that were designed specifically for use on French doors. These bolts are installed on the skinny edge of the non-functional side of French doors to keep it secure and protect from rattling in the wind.
Another bolt often used on French doors are panic bolts, used to both secure the doors closed for extra security, but also to help hold them open when your new parliament hinges are in full use.
Our parliament hinges are all available for purchase online and for quick and easily delivery direct to your door.
If you are in a rush for your hinges, don’t fret! Just give us a call and we can discuss our express options with you directly from our warehouse in Adelaide, with 2 day transit times available for delivery to Sydney and Melbourne.