Over the years door hardware has been through a series of advancements, offering us new and better ways to secure our properties – from the old-school key locks with a code and smart doors. But besides keeping a space secure, door hardware also needs to be as convenient and easy to use as possible. Then, there’s also the fact that door handles, knockers, hinges, bolts and belts, also serve an aesthetical purpose, as part of the interior or exterior décor.
So, if you need to add the finishing touch to your doors with hardware, you have a lot of factors to consider. And not only are there many different hardware types that work in different ways, but they also come in different shapes, designs, colours, materials and finishes.
Moreover, most properties, regardless of whether they are used as residences, a business or for a public service, will need more than one type, because interior doors, entrance doors, balcony doors, etc. all have different requirements. To simplify things for you, here’s what to consider when you buy hardware for doors.
The Door Handles
While there are endless choices for door handles, they can be put in two broader categories – lever handles and doorknobs. Today the most popular choice amongst homeowners are door lever handles, especially when it comes to interior doors. Many people find them to be the more practical, as well as the more comfortable solution. They are quite intuitive to use, and you can open them with your elbow if you have to.
When it comes to exterior doors, things get a little bit more complicated, even though doorknobs and lever handles are still the most popular options. You need to make sure that the exterior door hardware is strong enough to withstand all the wear and tear and changing weather conditions. However, you can also go for an option without a handle, like a deadbolt or a pull handle which are considered to be more robust than traditional doorknobs and lever handles.
Another thing to consider when it comes to the door handles is the material. Door handles are often made of brass or stainless steel, even though traditionally they were often made of cast iron, malleable iron or something similar.
As for the materials used for the finish, nowadays the most popular ones include nickel, chrome, polished brass, black or white finishes, they can be satin or matte, and so on. Each of these finishes, as well as the many other options available on the market, offer stunning sophisticated designs, with convenient mechanisms and high quality. Of course, you will need to make sure that you choose materials and finishes that will fit right into your décor, complementing the rest of the hardware and exterior or interior furniture.
The Door Locks
Another very important thing to consider when you are buying hardware for doors is obviously the lock. There are many different ways in which your door can lock, but the biggest dilemma you can face nowadays is whether you want to go for the good old mechanical lock, or you want to opt for something more modern and get an electronic door lock. The quest, of course, doesn’t end here because both mechanical and electronic door locks offer a number of different options.
While the movement required to lock and unlock the door is more or less the same – turning a key –, mechanical locks are generally a cylinder lock, a mortise lock, a deadbolt or a spring bolt. Keys and mechanical door locks have been around and served us fine, for a long time. They are really easy to operate, they are reliable and they last long.
Electronic locks, on the other hand, are modern and they eliminate the need for a key. They offer the user a way to lock and unlock their door remotely. This makes them a great option for people who often forget or lose their keys. They can be operated in several ways, including by a keypad, a smartphone, a key card, a fingerprint, and so on.
Aside from how easy they are to use, and the convenience of not having to carry a key, probably their most important advantage is that they add more security. This is because they can allow you to monitor access, as well as let you record a log of who has opened and change unlocking combinations. Their downside, obviously, is that, unlike mechanical door locks, they need electricity or batteries to be operated.
Electronic locks are still mainly used for businesses, even though more and more homeowners are opting for this contemporary locking option. However, mechanical locks are still the most common choice. Both types of door locks can provide a great level of security. Moreover, both can vary greatly in price, but electronic door locks are generally more expensive.