Door Hardware 101

Door Hardware 101

Door hardware includes everything attached to a door, including pieces you can’t see, such as hinges, and pieces you can, such as knobs, levers and locks. When you’re looking for replacement door hardware, you’re likely more concerned with the parts you can see. Learning a little door hardware 101 helps you better understand door hardware options that enhance your door’s functionality, security and appearance.

Door Hardware 101: Application

Door hardware includes the door handle you use to physically open and close a door, usually a knob or lever. Door handles have various applications based on the type of door you’re installing the hardware on and play a huge role in functionality. There are four primary types of door handle hardware, including:

  • Keyed entrance handles are appropriate for entry doors with the primary function of providing security.
  • Privacy handles let you lock interior doors without using a keyed lock to allow privacy in bathrooms or bedrooms.
  • Passage handles work on interior doors that need a functioning knob or lever that doesn’t need to be locked, such as closets.
  • Dummy knobs don’t function, meaning they don’t turn, and are used for looks on non-opening doors or to open shallow closet doors with a catch.

Secure Door Hardware Options

Entry doors require keyed door hardware, called a lockset, to protect your home and family. There are numerous lockset options that effectively blend functionality, security and appearance. Start by deciding whether you want electronic or mechanical door hardware.

If you or someone in your household tends to lock themselves out and/or lose their house key, an electronic lockset may be an ideal solution. These locksets use a programmable numeric keypad instead of a key, but many also include keyed entry as a backup. Some also automatically lock after a set time, which is convenient for those who often forget to lock up.

You can also buy a smart electronic lockset that allows you to remotely lock and unlock your door, which makes letting in maintenance personnel easy. Electronic and smart locksets are usually pricey compared to old-fashioned keyed locksets. If budget is a concern, consider mechanical locksets, including keyed:

  • Doorknobs for a traditional design and standard operation that has either a thumb turn or push button to lock/unlock the door from the inside.
  • Door levers for easier operation than knobs with interior thumb turns or push buttons that may/may not disengage the lock when manipulating the interior handle.
  • Single-cylinder or double-cylinder deadbolts to create a second locking point for added security when paired with a locking handle.
  • Handlesets for more decorative options that include a thumb-operated latch and matching deadbolt on the outside and a knob or lever on the inside.

Always check the security grade for keyed locksets, which range from highest, mid-level and basic security grades. Door and jamb security hardware make it more difficult to kick in a door because they strengthen weak areas of the door or frame. Other door hardware options that further enhance security include peepholes that allow you to see who’s at the door before opening it.

Door Hardware Finishes

Once you’re settled on the functional and security aspects of your door hardware, another essential part of door hardware 101 deals with aesthetics. Door hardware comes in a broad range of finishes to complement your home’s decor or define your personal style. Things to keep in mind include:

  • Antique or oil-rubbed bronze are living finishes, or natural patinas, which change appearance over time, basically getting lighter with age and use.
  • Prevent polished brass door hardware used on exterior doors from tarnishing by choosing hardware with a PVD finish.
  • Pewter varies between brands from a flat finish to a glossy antiqued nickel.

Chrome door hardware offers a more modern look, while brushed hardware looks more contemporary. When matching new hardware to old hardware, the same finish name doesn’t mean it will match if you switch brands.

Get Quality Replacement Doors

When it’s not the hardware but the entire door you need replaced, Thompson Creek professionally installs custom doors built to your home’s specifications. Our doors have built-in safety and security mechanisms, including steel plates and deadbolts on exterior doors that thwart would-be intruders and keep your family safe. Contact us today for answers to your door hardware 101 questions or to learn more about our door hardware options.