Hardware (Interior Door) Buying Guide

Hardware (Interior Door)
  • What to Consider

  • Architectural Style of the home will impact the style of the hardware. Manufacturers produce sets that coordinate with each other and with the home.

    Age of Occupants will have an effect upon the types of handles that offer ease of use.  Levers are easier to grip for older and younger hands.

    Weight and Height of the door will suggest the number of hinges and thickness of the hinges to effectively hold the door in the frame for accurate opening and closing.

    Direction of Opening/Closing is important to understand, especially if using levers. The direction of the lever handle and the side of the door it will be installed on will have an impact upon functionality.

    Security for interior rooms may be an issue for families with special requirements, such as home offices, expensive collections, wine rooms, etc. The use of the room requiring security will have an impact upon the type of security required.

  • Hardware

  • Handles are the means of opening and closing most interior doors. Handles may include decorate trims, such as faceplates, to make a statement about the décor, or to cover pre-existing holes in the door panel.

    Knobs turn a cylinder that slips a latch into a strike plate attached to the doorjamb. Knobs may be manufactured of metal, such as polished or oil rubbed brass, nickel, chrome, etc., crystal, enamel or a variety of materials

    Levers turn the cylinder that pushes a latch into a strike plate attached to the doorjamb. Most frequently manufactured in a range of metals, the lever is the easiest to use and is ADA compliant. Usually produced in a metal for strength.

    Dummy handles — whether knobs or levers or arch handles — provide access on a door that is not latching, such as a closet door. Dummy handles on barn doors make it easier to roll the door on the railing, or on non-functioning French doors, will be decorative. These handles may be simple or decorative to enhance the design of the room.

    Privacy handles include a turn or push lock in the knob or lever. Used for areas such as bathrooms or bedrooms, the knob or lever will not turn, providing privacy. Security is not the issue; privacy will be maintained.

    Pocket doors are operated by latches that are installed into the door and operate by a finger pull on the handle.

  • Security

  • Security/Privacy Locks may be required inside for bathrooms, home offices, specialty rooms, such as wine or collections rooms.

        •  Door handle locks function by turning a button in the handle, which stops the knob or lever handle from turning. Use on bathrooms or bedrooms for privacy.

        •  Deadbolts consist of a cylinder installed through the door that activates a bolt from the door through the doorjamb. Recommended for wine rooms or collection rooms in which entry is reserved.

        •  Mortise locks require a box containing a locking system to be cut into the door. This is the most secure system and is most frequently used on commercial buildings, or for rooms containing expensive collections or firearms.

        •  Keyless locks use a combination keypad to activate a deadbolt lock, which may be programmable from a smartphone or other wireless technology. This adds another layer of security.

    A Strike Plate will be needed on the doorframe to accept the lock bolt. Strike plates are created in several configurations so check the shape of the bolt. Also available in several types of metal to match or complement the lock and handle set.

  • Door Bumpers and Stops

  • Door Bumpers and Stops may be necessary if the door opens wide enough for the handle to hit a wall. 

        •  Rigid or Spring stops are installed on the baseboard and stop the door or handle from striking the wall.

        •  Hinge Pin Stops are mounted on the hinge and can be adjusted for the opening size.

        •  Decorative Floor Stops provide a wedge or statue with a rubber bumper to hold doors open so breezes do not blow a door closed.

  • Hinges

  • Hinges hold the door to the frame. When purchasing a new door, most frequently, the door is attached by hinges to the frame and is installed as a system. Three hinges are standard, with additional hinges used on taller, heavier doors.  A hinge may need replacing, or updating when new handle sets are installed.

        Hinge Anatomy:  Leaf is the name of the two flat portions with screw holes that are attached to the door and the frame. Constructed of a variety of metals, such as stainless steel, aluminum, bronze, iron, etc., and a variety of thicknesses to support a range of door materials. The size of the leaf used is determined by the door thickness and height.  Barrel is the circular, hollow, end of the leaf, which rotates on the pin. Pin is the solid rod that runs through the barrels of the two leaves to allow the barrels to rotate for opening and closing the door.

    Residential hinges are lightweight, standard size hinges used on basic construction.

    Architectural hinges are an upgrade, with standard leaf sizing and larger sizes for supporting larger, heavier doors. Manufactured in a wider variety of metals, Architectural hinge leaves also are thicker to hold the weight of larger doors so doors and jambs may need additional mortise space to accommodate.

    Ball Bearing hinges include a ball bearing between the barrels of the leaves to reduce friction on heavy traffic doors.

  • Cost Considerations

  • Material: The type of metal used to create the hardware will have an effect upon the cost. The amount of material will increase the cost, so size does matter. Add faceplates, and the cost goes up.

    Sets: While a set may seem to be expensive, purchasing all the pieces together may save money in the long run. Each manufacturer provides sets of handles, interior and exterior, deadbolts, faceplates, etc. for ease of complementing the aesthetic.

    Installation: Add installation to the cost.