If you’re in the process of reinforcing your garage door or installing a new one, you may have noticed the tiny numbers etched into the face of the hinges. But what do these numbers mean, and why should they be significant to you?
Garage door hinges are numbered to indicate their positioning during installment. Typically, a hinge numbered as “1” should be in the center of the garage door. Notably, the position number etched into the face of the door hinge is different from its gauge size.
In this article, I’ll explain further the purpose of numbering garage door hinges and how to properly use this information. I’ll also share how to properly measure a door’s size to determine the hinge number when it’s not readily visible.
Garage Door Hinges Are Numbered for Installment Purposes
Garage door hinges connect the panels of your garage together and ultimately help the garage door to function correctly. When your garage door opens and closes, the hinges are put to the test. And each hinge is slightly different. This is why it’s important to ensure the garage door hinges are the right size, steel thickness, and are properly secured.
Garage door hinges have numbers printed on them to note where to place them on your garage door. Typically, a #1 indicates a center hinge, a #2 goes between the second and third panel, a #3 goes between the third and fourth panel, and it continues as such until the door is complete.
The larger in height your garage door, the more hinges needed. Hinges can vary in steel thickness to support the overall weight of your garage door, and regardless of steel thickness, there will be hinge options from numbers 1-12.
Measure Door Size To Determine Hinge Number
If the hinge number is not visible, it’s possible to figure out what it should be by measuring the distance between the flat bottom and the middle of the hole (source).
In order to do this accurately, you must lay the hinge flat and use a measuring tape to measure from the bottom of the hinge to the middle of the circle. The distance measured determines which number the garage door hinge is.
- A distance of 5/8ths an inch (1.58 cm) to 3/4ths inch (1.90 cm) indicates a number one
- A distance of 7/8ths an inch (2.22 cm) to 1 inch (2.54 cm) indicates a number two
- A distance of 1 1/8th inch (2.85 cm) to 1 1/4ths inch (3.175 cm) indicates a three
- A distance of 1 3/8ths inch (3.49 cm) to 1 ½ inch (2.54 cm) indicates a four
- A distance of 1 5/8ths inch (4.12 cm) to 1 3/4ths inch (4.44 cm) indicates a five
- A distance of 1 7/8ths an inch (4.76 cm) to 2 inches (5.08 cm) indicates a six
- A distance of 2 1/8th inches (5.39 cm) to 2 1/4ths inches (5.71 cm) indicates a seven
- A distance of 2 3/8ths inches (6.03 cm) to 2 ½ inches (5.08 cm) indicates an eight
- A distance of 2 5/8ths inches (6.66 cm) to 2 3/4ths inches (6.98 cm) indicates a nine
- A distance of 2 7/8ths inches (7.30 cm) to 3 inches (7.62 cm) indicates a ten
- A distance of 3 1/8th inches (7.93 cm) to 3 1/4ths inches (8.25 cm) indicates an eleven
- A distance of 3 3/8ths inches (8.57 cm) to 3 ½ inches (7.62 cm) indicates a twelve
Generally, residential garage doors have hinges numbered one through five on their doors; Larger commercial spaces with larger garage doors tend to have more door hinges (source).
Difference Between Gauge Size and Hinge Number
When shopping for garage door hinges, you may notice another number is being put into play: the gauge size.
Gauge sizes are indicators of the thickness of steel in that door hinge. The thicker the steel, the more weight they can handle—an important thing to consider in this case.
Though gauge size and hinge numbers are different, they work together to make the garage door work. For example, if you need a thick,11 gauge steel garage door hinge, you’ll still need various hinge numbers to line your garage. At the very least, you’ll need to purchase an 11 gauge door hinge in options one through five.
Remember: the number on a door hinge indicates where you should place it on a garage door, not the thickness of the hinge.
Hinges Are Not Interchangeable
Maybe you accidentally mixed up your box of hinges. Or perhaps you have a box of old hinges lying around from a previous residence. Regardless, you may be wondering if just any garage door hinge can work anywhere.
As it were, garage door hinges typically have a different thickness level of the steel and a different measurement between the flat base and the screw-hole. The steel’s thickness allows the hinge to carry the weight of the rest of the garage.
The distance between the base and where the hinge is screwed indicates where the hinge should be located on the garage door.
The gauge size and hinge number make a vital difference in where the garage door hinge should go.
The numbers on the face of garage door hinges serve a purpose. The purpose is to indicate where you should put the hinge in your garage. Typically, a hinge with the number #1 is placed at the center of your garage door, number 2 is placed between the second and third panels, and so on.
Keep in mind that hinge thickness should be checked and considered closely, as the steel thickness supports the garage door’s weight. For this reason, it’s essential to know where your garage door hinges are made to be located and how thick they are.
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As a homeowner, I am constantly experimenting with making the structure of my house more energy-efficient, eliminating pests, and taking on DIY home improvement projects. Over the past two decades, my family has rehabbed houses and contracted new home builds and I’ve learned a lot along the way. I share my hard-learned lessons so that you can save time and money by not repeating my mistakes.