Door Hardware Buying Guide

Door Hardware Buying Guide
Your front door provides guests with a first impression of your home. To make the most of that first impression and select door hardware throughout your home that best meets your needs, consider the style of your home, who will use the door, how it will be used, and the characteristics of the door. Interior door hardware should fit the needs of your household as well as complementing your interior decor.

 Entrance Set

  Entrance Set Front door entrance sets are available in a wide variety of styles, so it’s easy to find one that fits the look of your home. Entrance sets provide security and typically unlock with a key. These come in several options like full-plate and two-piece handle sets and may include lever or knob handles.  


  Deadbolt Installing a deadbolt is a simple and effective way to provide security for your home. Most exterior doors are pre-drilled for deadbolt locks. Deadbolts can be single cylinder (keyed on one side and latched on the other) or double cylinder (keyed on both sides). Because double cylinder deadbolts make it difficult to exit quickly in an emergency, single cylinder deadbolts are most often used in homes.  

 Knob or Lever

  Knob or Lever You can select either knob, or level handles with your door sets. Most find lever handles easier to use, as they do not require a twisting motion of the hand, children and the elderly in particular. If you opt for a lever handle, determine whether the lever will have left or right handing before you buy.  

 Mortise Sets

  Mortise Sets Mortise sets are used on pocket doors. A mortise lock requires a pocket to be cut in the edge of the door so that the locking mechanism can be inserted.  

 Rim Locks

  Rim Locks An interior door locking device that attaches to the surface of the door, rather than fitting into the door. This type of lock may feature a keyhole with key, or a push button for locking and unlocking. Since rim locks are attached to the door's surface with exposed screws, this type should not be used on exterior doors, as they can easily be forced through.  

 Left or Right Handing

  Left or Right Handing "Handing" refers to the side to which the door opens. There are two types of door handing: left or right. To determine if your door is left-hand or right-hand, stand on the side of the door in which you would have to push (not pull) it open, then look to see which side of the door contains hinges. If the hinges are on your right, then the door is right-handed. If the hinges are on your left, the door is left-handed.  

 Dummy, Passage or Privacy

  Dummy, Passage or Privacy These harware sets are used interior doors, or doors inside the home. A door handle can function in three different ways - as a simple pull, as a latch that keeps the door closed, or as a privacy lock. Many handle sets are available in all three options; the handles look the same, but operate differently.

Dummy Sets
A dummy set is the best choice for doors that don't require a latch - such as hallway doors, cabinets or bi-fold pantry doors. Dummy sets or dummy singles (also known as half-dummy handles) function as pulls and do not turn. Dummy sets are surface-mounted to the door and usually take only a few minutes to install with screws.

Passage Sets
A passage set is used for interior doors that don't need locks but do require a latching feature. These types of handles and knobs are often installed on doors in the general living area, dens and basements.

Privacy Sets
Privacy sets are used where locking functionality is desired, such as bathrooms and bedrooms. They have a pin that enables locking from the inside, and an emergency release access hole on the outside.
Additional Features
Bore Hole Trim-only Sets
If you are keeping an old door lock and only need to replace a back plate and handle, buying a trim-only set is sufficient and easier to install than an entire lock set. Trim-only sets usually include the handle trim, handle and spindle. When selecting a trim-only set, make sure new set matches the threading of the existing spindle.

Important Measurements
Measure the door before you select a handle set to make sure the handle set will fit and cover existing holes in the door.

Standard Door Thickness
Interior doors are normally 1-3/8" thick. Exterior doors are 1-3/4" thick.

Bore Hole
The doorknob hole, also known as the bore hole, is typically 2-1/8" in diameter. Most door handle sets will cover a standard bore.

The backset is the measurement from the edge of the door to the center of the bore hole. Most door handle sets feature a 2-3/8" or 2-3/4" backsets.

To determine the backset on your door measure the distance from the outter edge of the door, to the center, or highest point of the bore hole. If there is existing door hardware measure from the edge of the door to the center of the backplate behind the door knob.
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