Rim Exit Device

The Language of Door Hardware

As a homeowner or property owner, you may have a need to replace a door or its components. This is not uncommon, especially in Colorado where drastic temperature changes can cause settling of foundations that in turn can cause sagging doors. You also may be considering replacing locking mechanisms with newer access control technology to improve security and reduce the need to carry keys.

Regardless of your scenario, understanding the jargon behind door hardware can save you time and money. There are four main steps to reviewing the health of a door to determine replacements and upgrades. The four steps are hanging, securing, control and protecting (Allegion, 2018).

Hanging A Door

Hanging a door may seem like simple enough task but if you do not have a plumb environment and misaligned hardware, things could get complicated pretty quickly. Besides ensuring that a door is hung up straight, determining the weight of the door and the traffic levels it will experience also factor in. The hinges that you use as a result of this analysis are the key to a well-hung door. Fire doors, steel doors, and glass doors can be weighty options that are best installed using continuous hinges that run the entire length of the door and/or pivot joints that attach the door at the top and bottom of the frame to allow the door to open in either direction. Lighter doors, like wood doors or aluminum doors are best hung using five-knuckle or three-knuckle hinges that attach to the frame and the door.

Securing A Door

Securing a door all comes down to the locking mechanisms. There are five main mechanical locks to consider: mortise, cylindrical, tubular, interconnected and deadbolt. Mortise locks can be a secure option as the actual lock fits into a small pocket cut into the frame of the door. Cylindrical locks house the lock inside of the level or knob, making it easy to rekey. Tubular locks are the least secure option with a spindle assembly inserted through the center of the latch that allows for the retraction of the lock with the rotation of the lever of knob. These are often used on interior door applications. Interconnected locks are a combination of two locks that are connected, allowing for a tubular or cylindrical lock to work in tandem with a deadbolt lock. This means that retracting the level or knob will activate both locks at the same time. The deadbolt lock typically operates with a key on the outside and turning knob inside to secure the door. These locks can be good for residential applications. Commercial door locks may have coding laws that prohibit the use of deadbolts so be sure to check local requirements before installing these on your business. When it comes to securing a door, there are also options for electronic locks, access control systems, and exit devices.

Controlling A Door

Controlling a door addresses the opening and closing of a door so that it properly seals and locks. Door openers and door closers not only allow for a smooth opening/closing of a door, they also prevent door slamming, improve wind resistance, and allow for automation, such as motion detectors or approach sensors. One also must consider fire codes, ease of access during an emergency and aesthetics when reviewing control options for door hardware. Review the links in this paragraph for more detail on controlling doors.

Protecting A Door

Protecting a door simply requires a good maintenance plan. Reviewing strike plates, proper engagement of door locks, health of push and pull plates, seals, gaskets, stops and frames can help you avoid emergency calls to locksmiths when a door will not lock at closing time. Add a regular check of door hardware and functionality into your monthly safety routines.

For more information or a deeper discussion around your door hardware needs, we are here to keep you All Secure. Our trained locksmiths and professional security specialists can help you navigate all of your interior and exterior door hardware needs. Contact us today for a complimentary walk-through to keep your home or office doors functioning properly.


Allegion. (2018). Door Hardware 101 – Basic Hardware Jargon Article. Retrieved from Allegion.com: https://us.allegion.com/content/dam/allegion-us-2/web-documents-2/Article/Door_Hardware_101-Basic_Hardware_Jargon_109637.pdf