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Your front door welcomes the first impressions of your home. So when it’s time to select door hardware, it’s important to consider both functionality and the style of your home. When it comes to interior doors, you should consider who will use the door, how they will use it, and how to best complement your interior decor.
A deadbolt provides a simple and effective way to add security to 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 common.
Front door entrance sets are available in a wide variety of styles, so look for 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.
You can select either knob or level handles with your door sets. Many people (especially children and the elderly) find lever handles easier to use, as they do not require a twisting motion of the hand. If you opt for a lever handle, determine whether the lever will have left or right handing before you buy.
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 are 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.
In order to select door hardware, you’ll need to know whether your door has 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.
Measure the door before you select a handle set to make sure the handle set will fit and cover existing holes in the door.
Dummy, Passage or Privacy
These hardware sets are used with interior doors. 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 where the handles look the same but operate differently.
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.
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 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.
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 the new set matches the threading of the existing spindle.