Types of Pivot Door Hinges

A pivot hinge is a hardware device used to hang and swing a door. The pivot serves as an alternative to a traditional hinge for doors that are oversized, heavy or subject to high abuse. Pivot hinges, installed at the top and bottom of the door, transfer the weight to the floor. This makes it easier to operate a larger door with less effort while also extending the life of the installation.

Offset Pivot

Types of Pivot Door Hinges

An offset pivot operates similarly to a traditional hinge. It consists of at least two separate pieces. A top pivot fastens to the top of the door and the head of the frame, and a bottom pivot connects to the bottom of the door. The bottom pivot may be built into a concrete floor or attached to the floor after it is complete. Offset pivots come in 3/4 inch and 1-1/2 inch varieties, which represent the measurement between the centerline of the door and how far away the pivot is installed. A 3/4-inch offset is standard, while a 1-1/2 inch offset accommodates doors and frames covered with trim or cladding.

Center-Hung Pivot

A center-hung pivot installs directly at the centerline of the door. It consists of a top and bottom component, used to connect the door to the floor and frame. A center-hung pivot is almost completely concealed when it is installed with the exception of the floor plate. Center hung pivots cannot be used on fire-rated doors but can be used on double acting (Eliason) doors.

Intermediate Pivots

An intermediate pivot, similar to a barrel hinge, is placed on the edge of the door at mid-height. These pivots are non-load bearing and are used to keep tall or heavy doors properly aligned. They are only used in conjunction with top and bottom pivots, whether offset or center hung. All fire-rated doors hung using pivots must have at least one intermediate pivot if they are more than 5 feet tall.

Side Jamb

A side jamb pivot is designed for applications where the pivot cannot be fastened to the head of the frame. It is used to hang frameless doors or those set in frames that are not solid enough to support the weight of the door. It may also be used on a frame with wires or other objects placed in or near the head. The side jamb pivot fastens to the top and bottom of the door jamb and to the edge of the door. If there is no door frame, it can be fastened directly to wall studs or framing members.

Specialty Applications

Asylum pivots are used in detention and institutional facilities to reduce the risk of hanging. They have a sloped top pivot rather than a traditional squared edge. Lead-lined pivots are designed for use in hospitals and other buildings where X-rays and MRI machines are operating. These pivots have specially placed screw holes to allow installers to fasten them around the lead panels in a lead-lined door. A traditional pivot will not work with lead doors because it is too difficult to drill into the lead.

About the Author

Emily Beach works in the commercial construction industry in Maryland. She received her LEED accreditation from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2008 and is in the process of working towards an Architectural Hardware Consultant certification from the Door and Hardware Institute. She received a bachelor's degree in economics and management from Goucher College in Towson, Maryland.