How To Install Door Hinge Without Mortise

How To Install Door Hinge Without Mortise

Door hinges are a significant part of every door. It works as an anchor, holding the door at the door frame and ensuring easy swinging movement to open or close. It is alright to consider door hinges as the joints of a door. Traditionally, installing a door hinge requires a mortise, but there are some non-mortise door hinges. When you encounter this or need it, knowing how to install a door hinge without mortise becomes essential. 

You can install a door hinge without mortise by using a surface-mounted hinge. You weld, screw, or bolt the surface mount hinge to the door and door frame outside. Non-mortise door hinges sometimes come with mounting holes or screws.

Installing a door hinge without mortise is a tricky one. It needs a precise and careful process that leaves no room for error. If you install it wrongly, you risk having a weird-looking door or one that does not move properly. We are here to guide you on installing a door hinge without mortise. 

What Is A Door Hinge Without Mortise

Door hinges without mortises do not require cutting a mortise in your door before installation. A name for a door hinge without mortise is a ‘surface mount hinge’. Usually, door hinges use mortises to fit the hinges properly. 

The hinges fit correctly inside the mortise cut and smooth off the door’s movement. Cutting mortise into a door is hectic, hence the invention of non-mortise door hinges. 

Non-mortise door hinges come with mounting holes for screws and bolts. The only disadvantage of non-mortise door hinges is that you have to be careful of the direction of installation. The door hinges have to face the direction of the swinging movement. 

They are usually sturdy and made from heavy-duty materials, impervious to corrosion and environmental factors. The best part of non-mortise door hinges is their lack of maintenance needs and years of dependability. However, installation of this hinge type is a little tricky. 

How To Install Door Hinge Without Mortise 

There are different types of hinges that do not require mortises. But, they usually have different hinge leaf sizes, with one shorter leaf nesting inside and a broader leaf outside. The nesting leaves provide a thin profile, which is the gap where the door meets the door frame. 

The nesting leaves offer a one-side offset to the door, and this offset is the primary key to ensuring that your door installation works perfectly. You can follow these steps to perfectly install a door hinge without mortise; 

  1. Choose The Hinge

Select the type of hinge that suits your door and frame. Surface-mounted hinges come in various sizes, finishes, and shapes. Ensure you choose the correct hinge that matches the style and weight of your door. The wrong size will not be able to bear the door load. 

  1. Mark Hinge Placement

Hold the hinge against the door or frame, ensuring it is level and plumb. Mark the position of the hinge on the surface with a pencil or marker. Your mark ensures you get the right measurement and avoid a poorly installed door. 

  1. Pre-drill The Holes

Using a drill bit that matches the screws’ diameter, pre-drill the holes where the screws will go. Be sure to drill straight and perpendicular to the surface. Pre-drilling makes for smooth and easy screwing in of the nails or bolt. 

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  1. Attach The Hinge

Hold the hinge against the door or frame, line up the screw holes, and insert the screws into the pre-drilled holes. Tighten the screws securely. Ensure that your screws are very tight. You want them to refrain from dancing after a short while. 

  1. Repeat The Process 

Repeat the same process for the remaining hinges. Ensure that each hinge is aligned and attached securely. It is the same procedure for all three or four hinges. 

  1. Test The Hinge 

Check if the door swings freely and if the hinges are level. If the door binds or scrapes, adjust the hinges as necessary. You may have gotten the door alignment measurements wrong. Check where you went wrong, unscrew the hinges, and reinstall. 

Following these steps, you can install a door hinge without a mortise using surface-mounted hinges. Surface-mounted hinges look good, are easy to install, and make for an easy but tricky installation. They can either be concealed or exposed on the door frame. 



Suppose you want to avoid the rigorous task of cutting mortises into your door. You can opt for the non-mortized way with the help of surface mount hinges. These hinges lay on the door using a bolt or screw. Installation needs precision and great alignment. 

This article has explained how to install door hinges without mortise. You should be able to install your surface mount correctly. But if you need help with your abilities, you can call a handyperson to hang your door. 

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