Broken Kitchen Swinging Door

by Josh on February 1, 2009 · 10 comments

in Projects

A swinging door between the dining room and kitchen is a feature common to many older houses across a range of eras and architectural styles.  That swinging door is also one of the most commonly removed details in a kitchen remodel.  Fortunately, though my kitchen has been remodeled at least a couple times, there still is a swinging kitchen door.

I might be weird or just old-fashioned, but I really like having a kitchen door to shield the sights, sounds and smells of my cooking from the rest of the house.  (The results are good, but the process ain’t pretty.)  And when I want a more open feel to the kitchen space I don’t need to have the door removed, I just– wait for it— leave the door open.  Shocking, I know.

 Broken spring hingebroken swinging door

Unfortunately, I also need to remove my kitchen swinging door.  Not because I need a more open flow, but because the door and hardware are broken.  For as long as I’ve owned the house, the spring mechanism on the swinging hinge has been broken.  This wasn’t a big deal– the door just didn’t close itself.  But now the top pivot has ripped out of the door and the wood has split 12″ down the side.  It won’t swing at all like this.

 This door is not the original but a replacement that was installed when the kitchen floor was tiled and the clearance height became too short for the original door.  I’m grateful the uncut original door is down in the basement waiting for the day when the tile is removed and it can be restored to its proper place.

Although I’m not planning to restore the original kitchen door at this time, I’m also not going to repair the current door.  It is a cheap, hollow, flat door that doesn’t match the heavily-moulded single-panel “wonderdoor” design of the rest of the main floor doors.  Instead, I have an alternative solution which I’ll describe in my next post.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Cheryl February 3, 2009 at 5:40 pm

I generally enjoy your blog – but this latest design really doesn’t do well. I know I don’t have the latest & greatest computer, but a lot of people often have a less than screaming computer that they use for email & browsing. I’m using IE ver 6 with 1024×768 resolution if that helps you see what I’m seeing.

I have to scroll way down to find the entry – not sure if it should be between some of the info higher up. The dark type on the greenish-brown color is hard to read, the red type (for tags & comments) is near impossible to read.

Just thought you would want to know about design issues – maybe tweak it a bit for those of us with old computers & older eyes!

Keep up the good work on the house – I do love to follow the progress and wish I could get my own butt in gear.



Josh February 3, 2009 at 5:57 pm

Thanks, Cheryl. Clearly, by your description, the theme is breaking for you. The design checked out in IE6 for me earlier, but I just did a test and can see that things aren’t right.

I’m embarrassed by this mistake. Please bear with me as I make corrections, and thanks for letting me know about the problem.


Josh February 3, 2009 at 6:43 pm

It looks like some changes I made to the sidebar recently were causing the problems. Everything is checking out now for IE6 and newer.


Cheryl February 4, 2009 at 6:11 pm

So much better – didn’t think you were really crazy enough to use that dark greenish brown behind the type – but often I can’t wrap my accounting brain around what is done in the name of art and design.

Maybe I can talk the boss into upgrading some of the computers around here so I can have enough disk space & memory to upgrade some of the programs I use – this one is only 6 years old & I’m the Office Manager/Bookkeeper/All Around Crazy Person (imagine what lesser mortals have to use around here).

Headed home now before the big freeze hits – I’m in Orlando and will have to bundle up.



Leslie Morrison October 8, 2009 at 1:23 pm

Help!! My home was built in 1939 aband my swing door broke on the bottom because I did not know I was supposesd to be oiling it. Now it has been down for many years and now one can help me. The picture of the bottom hardware part it loks just like the one I had. Do You Have any suggestion or parts that I could purchase? Leslie XXX-XXX-XXXX


Josh October 8, 2009 at 2:39 pm

@Leslie- Never fear! You probably won’t find a hinge like that at your corner hardware store– and certainly not at a big box– but replacements can be found.

My first suggestion would be to check with your local architectural salvage shops. That’s how I got my new old hinge. Shopping salvage allowed me to put my old hinge next to the new ones to see exactly where they were different.

If you can’t find suitable salvage or would prefer a new part, reproductions are available online here, here, here, or try googling “spring hinge floor

Good luck!


Gary Groh January 8, 2011 at 1:08 pm

Our 1927 bungalow originally had a swinging door between kitchen/dining room (among other doors that the bozos along the way removed).
Where do I find a replacement swinging door?
Thanks for a good website.


Josh January 26, 2011 at 1:35 am

Thanks, Gary. If you’re still looking for a swinging door, I’d check architectural salvage shops near you or in an area with homes of similar age and style to yours. It may sound coarse, but you can also hit the jackpot dumpster diving when you see a roll-off for a remodeling project in your neighborhood. And there’s always Craigslist, too. Good luck!


Gary Groh February 15, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Thanks…we decided to be creative and take an original outside door, with a small glass window in the top, take off the hardware and fill the holes and refit it to make our swinging door. Our local old lumberyard had the proper hinges which will allow for the door to stay open.

Will still look on your website for other news.


Josh February 16, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Sounds like a plan, Gary. Good luck!


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