How to Choose Interior Door Hardware

by Bambi Turner

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Interior door hardware includes everything used to hang and operate a door. This includes locks, hinges, doorknobs, and stops. When choosing interior door hardware, you will need to balance function with overall aesthetic appeal. For most interior applications, you will find a number of different hardware styles to complement any type of decor. Here are some of the most important things to consider.

Choosing Door Hardware:

  1. Consider the door's operation. Swinging doors will almost always be hung on butt hinges, though doors that are taller or heavier than average may work better on pivots. Sliding doors are hung on tracks, while pocket doors are installed using a pocket door kit. All of these devices can be found in a variety of finishes to match the look of your home.

  2. Determine the type of lock you'll need. You can choose from mortise or cylindrical models. Mortise units are more secure and are installed in a pocket within the door. Cylindrical locks are more affordable but less secure. If your door has a cutaway pocket already mortised into it, choose a mortise lock. For doors with circular holes or no lock preps, choose a cylindrical lock style for easy installation.

  3. Decide what lock function you'll need. Non-keyed locks are often used on interior doors. A passage function can be used when you want the door to latch but not lock. Privacy locks don't use keys but can be locked by a push-button on the door knob. These locks are used in bathrooms and bedrooms. If you want to lock storage, bedroom, or office doors with a key choose a lock with an office or entry function.

  4. Compare trim options. You can choose from doorknobs, levers, or handles, though options will vary between different models. You'll find these trim units in a variety of styles and designs to complement your decor. Be sure to pick trim that you can easily operate. Many elderly adults or young children are unable to operate door knobs successfully and may benefit from handle or lever trim.

  5. Choose a finish. Interior door hardware for the home often comes with a standard brass or chrome finish, though alternative options may also be available. Once you've selected a color, decide whether you want a polished or brushed finish. Keep in mind that polished finishes tend to scratch and show fingerprints more easily than brushed finishes.

  6. Consider using simple door pulls in place of locks. A door pull is a handle used to open a door. The door will not latch or lock, and these pulls are often used on kitchen doors to allow for hands-free operation. You may wish to add a closer or spring hinges to help keep the door closed.

  7. Select stops and holders. Door stops are used to prevent an open door from swinging into walls or furniture and causing damage. Door stops typically will consist of a single rubber-tipped spring that can be installed on the backside of the door. Holders are used to hold the door open and prevent it from closing automatically. Simple models consist of hooks or magnets installed at floor level, while more complex versions are mortised into the door and frame.

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