Tightening Up Loose Hinges

Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated January 1, 2020)


Have you ever noticed how, every once in a while, your door hinges will get a little loose? This is sadly a natural state of affairs, but one that does need to be addressed when found. If you don't, you can easily find that your door comes off the wall, and you are faced with an even bigger problem than the one you had before. Luckily tightening up loose hinges isn't all that difficult of a task to accomplish. In fact, it is so easy that just about anyone can accomplish, no matter what their skill level. All you really need to do is use one of three four methods, and you should find that you have no problem.

  • Try simple tightening. Often the simplest answers are the best answers, and that works when tightening up loose hinges as well as it does with anything else. Simply put, this means that if you find loose hinge, the very first thing that you should try is tightening the existing screws. Grab the appropriate screwdriver, and then begin tightening. Keep turning the screw until it stops turning, or until you notice that it won't tighten anymore.
  • Use a longer screw. Over time screws have a tendency to wear away at the wood that is holding them in place. If this happens with the screws in your hinges, and you find that you simply can't tighten the ones that are currently in place, then you should try using a longer screw. For example, if you use a screw that is 2-1/2 inches long, you will easily be able to get past the wood that has been worn away and get into some wood that hasn't been used yet (for example, the actual door frame.
  • Refill the hole. A very effective method for tightening up loose hinges is to actually refill the hole, and then drill it out again. This will require that you first take off the door, as well as the door hinges. Once you have done that, identify the troublesome holes, and grab a few golf tees. Fill the hole partway up with some wood glue, and then stick the golf tee in as far as it will go. If you can, lightly tap the tee with a hammer to make it nice and snug. Allow the tees and glue to dry overnight, and then cut off the exposed parts of the tee so that it is flush with the door frame. Drill a small pilot hole for your screws, and then reattach the door and hinges using the newly filled and stronger holes to support the weight.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


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What is eight more than 7?

2017-01-04 23:14:29

Pete Laberge

You may not need to take the door off.
It depends.

If it is not TOO loose, you may be able to get away with an old trick....

Take off 1 screw. Get a Q-tip or flat toothpick, and put glue on it. Get that glue inside the hole. Smear it in, and let it dry a bit.

At the same time, you will be able to measure the depth of the hole.

You will then cut some flat toothpicks (3 or 4 of them), and trim them so they are just shorter than the depth of the hole. (That way they fit in underneat the hinge plate.)

(It is often better to trim at the wide end, but you may need to stick 1 or 2 in, with the wide, not the shallow end, in first.)

Then you dip those trimmed toothpicks in glue and put them around the circumference (outside diameter) of the screw hole.

Now, once they are in, let them dry a bit. Now screw the loose screw back in, and move on to any other loose screws.

If you have made it tight enough, no worry's. If not add ONE more toothpick.

The idea is NOT to add too many picks, so that you can still get the screw back in, without drilling, or other work.

2012-12-14 23:41:37

Pete Laberge

Or, failing golf tees, a bunch of flat toothpicks slathered in glue....