8 October, 2020

Pivot hinges and pivot doors: your questions answered

Pivot hinges and doors are a trend that is not going anywhere soon. We answer your questions about pivot hinges...

What is a pivot hinge?

A pivot hinge is a hardware mechanism that allows a door to open and close using a pivot system instead of a traditional ‘butt’ hinge.

Some door pivots, such as those from Belgian manufacturer argenta, provide additional functionality. They are either spring-loaded or oil-filled (hydraulic). This allows them to be adjustable and swing in both directions, so that the door can be opened either inwards or outwards. They will also remain open at a 90 degree angle and close gently when pushed.

What is a pivot door?

Pivot doors look like conventional doors, but with one main difference: they don’t hang from the side of the door frame by hinges. Instead, they are supported on pivots that are mounted at the bottom and the top of the door. A pivot door does not need a frame and its weight is supported by the pivot.

What are pivot hinges used for?

Pivot hinges are usually specified with heavier, wider or high-traffic doors. They can carry weight more easily than traditional hinges because the weight of the door is supported by the bottom unit and the floor rather than the doorframe. This reduces the stress on the frame and prevents sagging.

Pivot hinges are often installed in high-traffic doorways. They are popular in restaurants and hotels and because staff can open doors that have pivot hinges by pushing on them, for example while carrying trays of food. In homes, pivot hinges also work well between kitchens and dining rooms or to support a heavier door when a grand entrance is planned.

How does a pivot hinge work?

A pivot hinge allows a door to pivot from a single point at the top and bottom of the door. Pivot hinges are attached to the top and bottom of a door, and to the head of the frame and the floor and allow a door to swing in either direction.

What is special about argenta pivot hinges?

All argenta pivot hinges are adjustable. This means that the closing speed can be adjusted. They can all hold the door open at 90 degrees in either direction. The Pivotica achieves this through a spring-loaded mechanism, whereas the Pivotica Pro 100 and 150 models are hydraulic. The pivot can be positioned anywhere from 58mm from the edge through to the centre of the door, allowing the door to open around a central point.

argenta hinges are a high-quality, durable European products, originating in Belgium. However, the cost of the Pivotica models is significantly lower than comparable European brands. They are also known as concealed pivots because the mechanism is not visible when the door is closed, especially at the top of the door. This is one of the features that differentiates argenta pivot hinges from others in the market.

Designers also favour the argenta pivots because they have the option of a black cover plate, for the floor and end plates, adding further aesthetic appeal.

Founded in 1909, argenta has been developing and producing and extensive range of innovative and high-quality pivots and hinges for over 100 years. The company has won numerous awards, including the prestigious Red Dot Design Award. The argenta range also includes concealed hinges, 3-dimensional  and adjustable hinges

What benefits do pivot hinges provide?

The main advantage of door pivots is the scope they give for scale. Pivot hinges allow designers and architects to specify doors that are made of heavy materials or that are larger in size, allowing for impressive, grand entranceways. One of the drivers of this trend is that pivots allow you to avoid concerns about the doorframe and hinges being strong enough to support the door.

This makes a pivot system the perfect choice for a large, heavy door made of heavy-duty glass or external grade timber. Pivots also provide great aesthetics, allowing a floor-to-ceiling door and requiring less clearance than a door hung at the side on hinges.

The architectural advantage for a residential home is that internal doors can open using these pivots to create ‘flow’ through the house. Door frames can be square set plaster and not limited by the need for a door frame. Pivot hinges can also be used to create effects such as secret doors or doors that meet custom joinery when open to become an integral part of the design.

Which pivot hinge should I choose?

The weight and size of your door will determine which pivot hinge you need.

For doors weighing under 45kg, the Pivotica is a lightweight high-quality option from Belgian premium manufacturers, argenta.

For doors weighing up to 100kg, the Pivotica Pro 100 is the best choice and we recommend the Pivotica Pro 150 for doors weighing up to 150kg. Both the Pivotica Pro 100 and 150 have ‘in-floor’ options with a floor plate that is only 5mm higher than the level of the floor for designs where you may want to minimise the gap below the door. They are also available with black cover plates.

You will also want to consider how important durability and reliability are to your project and how much traffic the door is likely to receive. Do you want your door to be able to hold open at 90 degrees and close in a controlled fashion? If so, a quality European brand such as argenta is recommended.

How do I keep a pivot door closed?

Magnetic door catches or closing systems such as argenta’s Magnotica Pro will hold interior doors shut without the need for a door handle or latch. Because there are no moving parts, doors can be opened and closed completely noiselessly.

Are pivot hinges expensive?

Despite their reputation, pivot hinges do not need to be expensive. We supply the argenta brand because they offer high-quality European products without prohibitive price tag. To see how much you could save specifying argenta hinges instead of other brands, please contact us to request a quotation.

Are door pivots hard to install?

An important benefit of a pivot such as the Pivotica Pro is that this product will save time with installation, which of course leads to further cost-savings. You can see the installation process in the video below.

 

 

Image credit: Modern pivot door with central axis and a 360° pivoting hinge by ANYWAY doors is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0