Installing A Swinging Butler Door

By Robert Robillard on How To, Remodeling

Installing A Swinging Butler Door

Swinging Hinge Door

On this project I was tasked with installing a swinging butler door.   We had to change out a 6-panel solid wood swinging “Butlers Door” with a 15-lite [15 panes of glass] door.

A “Butler Hinge” is also called a “Swinging Door Hinge,” and a “Double Acting Floor Hinge.”

It is a floor mounted hinge with spring tension that allows a door to swing in or out of a room and return to the closed position when let go.

Installing A Swinging Butler Door

The door, shown above and below, separates the kitchen from the formal dining room.

Installing A Swinging Butler Door

Sandra Stout from Creative Design solutions [978-505-7447] worked with the homeowner on this project.

Installing A Swinging Butler Door

The desired goal was to install a clear glass door to allow more light to pass between rooms and create a “larger room effect.”

Installing A Swinging Butler Door

The doors existing hardware has a mortised, double acting spring pivot “Butlers” hinge and was in great condition and of good quality. We decided to reuse it – shown below with a brass decorative cover plate.

Installing A Swinging Butler Door

The Butler hinges that my lumber yard carry look a similar but had a different pivot point than this door had.

Below is a picture of newer hardware. In my opinion the older hinge feels way more beefy and looks of better quality than the newer sold models. The only exception to what I feel may be less quality was comparing the top pivot plate. The newer version top pivot plate seems beefier. [see below pictures]

Installing A Swinging Butler Door

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor / Video Talent

Robert Robillard is a general contractor, carpenter and operates a remodeling company located in Concord, MA. He is the editor of ConcordCarpenter.com and ToolBoxBuzz. Rob is a recognized leader in tool and how-to information for building professionals, he hosts the Concord Carpenter Cable TV Show, offering advice on home repairs and maintenance. On his website, Rob uses his knowledge and experience to help and educate on best practices in the remodeling industry. His motto: “Well done is better than well said!”.

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Comments

  1. Concord Carpenter says:

    You can still install over the tile but need to be extremely careful and "oversize" pre-dill all holes.

    If the door frame has stops applied to it you need to take them off. some doors the stops are applied, others they are part of the jamb.

    If they are part of the jamb you may have to cut them out or remove and retrim the jamb with flat jamb casing. This is where you may run into trouble or at least challenge with the tile.

    Still doable though.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I have a regular door between my kitchen and dining room that I would like to convert to a butler door. Your directions are by far the best and easiest out there to understand. My problem is that both rooms are tiled. Is there any easy way to get around this? Thanks,
    K

  3. Anonymous says:

    I have a regular door between my kitchen and dining room that I would like to convert to a butler door. Your directions are the best I've seen and so easy to follow. My main problem, however, is that the two rooms are tiled. Is there any way the bottom hinge can be mounted on the door frame instead of the door? I don't want to have to chip out tile!
    Thanks! K

  4. Concord Carpenter says:

    Anonymous,

    nice site thanks for the info!

  5. Anonymous says:

    If you are still looking for hinges and push plate try http://www.historichouseparts.com/SearchResult.aspx?CategoryID=148

    And this site is great help… Thanks.

    Peacemaker

  6. Concord Carpenter says:

    Hi Anonymous,

    On this post I did not purchase the hinge, I reused the old one.

    I bought a similar hinge less than a year ago at my lumber yard ~ Concord Lumber Corp.

    I'm not sure who they order it from but if you send me an email I will ask and get you the information.

    My guess is that any reputable lumber yard can order one through their suppliers.

    See my previous post with the newer hinge:

    http://aconcordcarpentercomments.blogspot.com/2009/03/swinging-door-office-project.html

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hello, we are trying to install the same kind of door, however, with little success. We have been unable to find the kind of hinge you used, where did you purchase it? We tried to use cafe style hinges, have you used them before? The top of the door pops out when we use this kind of hinge. Any suggestions would be very appreciated as we are doorless! Thanks, John

  8. Barry says:

    I think the new door does open the room considerably.

    Nice Job to you and Ms. Stout!

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