About Emtek Door Hardware Products
Emtek is dedicated to bringing interesting, well made hardware back into American homes. Until about 1930 there was a proud history of hardware in America. Hundreds of small factories made an enormous variety of creatively designed products. Craftsmen from many disciplines devoted their energies to making locks that provided both function and beauty.
Unfortunately, during the depression many of these factories failed, and then during WWII brass became scarce and lock designs were reduced to the bare essentials. In more recent years the emphasis on cheap, high volume building products has discouraged manufacturers from re-introducing well made hardware.
But now these ideas are changing, Americans are re-discovering the satisfaction that comes from owning well designed products. Emtek's mission is to make it possible for home owners to apply these higher expectations to door locks. We are striving to provide a broad, interesting range of products that consumers can use as elements of decor, not just as a way to latch a door.
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Emtek Product Features
Mechanical Design - Emtek locks have heavy duty mechanisms designed to provide trouble free service.
Knobs and lever handles are supported by springs mounted behind the rosettes and sideplates. These springs return the handles back to the "rest" position and prevent lever sag.
- Latches are heavy duty diecast construction, with strong internal springs, solid brass nose bolts and sintered metal cams.
- A plastic bushing located in the joint between handle and rosette ensures a friction free wear surface. This prevents metal from bearing on metal and provides smooth long-lasting operation.
- Handles are positively connected to rosettes with a permanent clip
- Spindles are spring loaded "half spindles" pre-installed into the base of each handle. Half spindles are more forgiving of imperfect door preps. If the holes in a door are drilled out of alignment the spindles still have a good chance to operate the latch without binding.
- Each Emtek handle has a set screw which, when tightened, eliminates "handle wobble." Set screws do not hold the handles on but serve to remove any looseness after other installation steps are completed.
- Emtek levers have a fixed stop at the top of their stroke. An Emtek lever will only rotate down, not up and down like most products found in homecenters. Emtek's European style construction yields a solid, positive feel for every lock.
- The threaded tubes inside an Emtek lock are machined brass, not steel. The use of brass ensures good threads and prevents corrosion for easy installation and long life.
Many Emtek handles and sideplates are authentic reproductions of antique designs.
- Old Town and Astoria style lead crystal door knobs were made by many North American factories as early as 1830 and continued in vogue through the 1930’s. Small versions of these two styles were highly popular for use as cabinet knobs during the same period.
- Porcelain knobs were used even earlier, going back to the 1700’s. During the early 1900’s they became less common in America, but continued as a popular style in Canada and the U.K.
- The Rope Style, used in Emtek knobs and levers and rosettes was developed in England during the early 1800’s and is associated with Georgian architecture. Rope designs were introduced into North America around 1910.
- Belmont Style sideplates were manufactured by the Sargent Lock Company, in New Haven, Connecticut during the 1910’s and 20’s. This style is associated with the Arts and Crafts Movement.
- The Quincy Style sideplate was a staple in North American product lines during the period 1880-1940. It was introduced as a clean, straight forward response to more ornamental European designs. Emtek’s Quincy sideplate is a heavy forged part, an improvement over more common stamped versions.
- Emtek’s highly decorative Victoria Style sideplate is a replica of one manufactured by the Yale & Towne Company in New Britain, Connecticut beginning in 1910. As it’s name implies, it is representative of the Victorian school of design.
- Lafayette, Normandy, Savannah, Jamestown and San Carlos wrought steel levers and knobs can be used to enhance American Colonial or Rustic Ranch decor. All of these handles reflect a primitive hand-craftsmanship.
Emtek uses genuine materials and traditional craft techniques to achieve authentic reproductions.
- Emtek handles and rosettes are forged, not cast or stamped. The forging process provides a flawless surface which can be highly polished when desired. The generous thickness and weight of forged parts gives them a solid look and feel.
- Emtek Diamond, Old Town and Astoria knobs are lead crystal. The optical quality of lead crystal makes Emtek knobs clear and brilliant.
- Flat facets on Emtek crystal knobs are hand ground and polished with the same methods used to polish gem stones.
- Old Town and Astoria knobs are silver mirrored on the back side creating a highly reflective interior surface. This is a design detail that is true to the historical heritage of these knobs. As far as we are aware, Emtek is the only source for genuine silvered knobs.
- Shanks for crystal knobs are solid brass, machined to close tolerance.
- Brass handles, rosettes, sideplates and shanks are hand-buffed to achieve the highest possible polish.
- Wrought steel handles and rosettes are hot forged, distressed and relieved to achieve an appearance of graceful wear.
- French Antique , Pewter, and Oil Rubbed Bronze finishes are hand relieved to give each part an individual character.
- Emtek’s oil rubbed bronze finish is underlain with copper. Normal use will produce natural relief of the oxidized finish and reveal rich highlights on raised portions of the design.
- Latch nose-bolts, faceplates and strike plates are solid brass, not brass plated steel or zinc
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Door Preparation for Emtek Hardware
Emtek door hardware fits into a standard American style tubular door prep. If you are replacing existing locks then your door preps will most likely be correct for Emtek Doorknobs. Just determine the backset and you're ready to order. If you're installing locks in new doors that do not have a door prep you can follow the instructions below. Emtek knobs are shipped with square corner strike and mortise plates. If you need rounded mortise plates you'll need to specify when ordering. There are certain Emtek locksets that will require different bore hole spacing that the standard American bore hole spacing for knobs and deadbolts. Any special requirements will be noted on the individual product page for that Emtek doorknob. These keyed locks with sideplates require two sets of holes with a center-to-center distance of 3-5/8" between the two sets of holes. Please watch for special notes on any of our door hardware product pages so that you don't order door knobs that are not going to work with your existing doors.
Emtek was founded in 1981, in City of Industry, CA as a manufacturer of specialty hardware products selling to door manufacturing companies. Beginning in the mid 1980's the company began making a limited range of solid brass door levers for specialty hardware dealers in the Los Angeles area. Gradually since that time we have worked to broaden the product line and the customer base. Emtek's emergence as a nation-wide supplier of decorative hardware has been slowed by our exacting quality standards. Insisting on good workmanship has limited the pace of product development, but it has resulted in a well earned reputation for reliability and integrity of design.
Emtek assembles locksets to order in City of Industry, California. Customers are encouraged to select knobs, levers, rosettes and sideplates, with styles and finishes that compliment their individual decor. Individual orders are assembled and shipped by express service to dealers across North America. Normal shipping lead times are one to two days and most orders are received by dealers within five days of order.
Emtek now sells to dealers in all fifty States and across Canada. These knowledgeable dealers can advise homeowners on the technical aspects of door locks and many provide installation services when needed. Emtek has provided dealers with product displays so by visiting a local dealer customers can see a wide range of designs from which to choose.
In 1999 Emtek was acquired by ASSA ABLOY, the largest lock manufacturing company in the world. ASSA ABLOY is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, and has extensive operations in Europe and North America. Joining with ASSA ABLOY provides Emtek with new resources for supplying quality door locks. Emtek has as affiliated companies in the U.S.; Sargent, Medeco, Arrow, Curries, McKinney, Securitron, H.E.S., Graham, Yale, Russwin-Corbin, Rixson, Norton and Folger-Adams. These are all respected manufacturers of door and hardware products. Association with these companies allows Emtek to continuously expand its product line in new and interesting directions.