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How to Purchase Door Hardware

Start Here With the Basics:

The most important thing you need to know before shopping for door hardware is how your doors are already prepped.

Before You Order Check These Things:

Door Backset

Backset - The measurement from the bore hole to the edge of the door. Some door hardware comes with an adjustable backset, some you have to specify what you need.

Bore Hole and Cross Bore - Standard door prep is 2 1/8" Bore hole with 1" cross bore. If your doors are different than this, please contact us for help.

Door Thickness - Standard doors are 1 3/8" - 1 3/4" thick.

If your doors are prepped in this manner, start shopping our huge selection of door hardware as most products will fit your doors. For more information about door hardware types, functions and applications read on through this guide.


Basic Door Hardware Terms
See our complete door hardware terms page if you need help with terms not discussed here.

Door Hardware Parts Image 1 Door Hardware Parts Image 2

Standard Door Latch Types
Standard door latches are available in three configurations, Drive-in Latch, rounded corner and square corner mortise plate latches. If you have a much larger latch than shown here, you likely have a mortise lock.

Door Hardware latch parts

Door Hardware Guide

So you're looking for door hardware or other home hardware accessories? Read through this simple guide to educate yourself about door hardware, functions, finishes and other important information. Its easier and less costly to order the correct items the first time rather than have to order, return and re-order to get the items you need.

The topics discussed in this guide are:

Standard Measurements for Door Knobs
Door knobs and levers and their functions (what you need and where)
Deadbolts - Single Cylinder Vs. Double Cylinder
Entrance Handlesets
How to determine door handing. 
Door hardware to use on a french door 
About Hardware Finishes 
Caring for your Door Hardware 
How to use DirectDoorHardware.com 
Door Hardware Checklist how to determine what you need one item at a time.

Standard Measurements for Doorknobs

The first step to ordering door hardware is figuring out what you need. Before we get into the different doorknob functions, it's important to know what your door preparation is so that you don't order knobs that can't be used. You'll want to check your backset, the bore hole size, cross bore size and the thickness of your door. 

What is Door Backset To the left is a simple diagram that helps illustrate what a bore hole and cross bore is. The bore hole is the large hole where the actual door knob is inserted and mounted. The cross bore is the small hole on the edge of the door. The door latch is inserted into the cross bore first. The latch goes through into the large bore hole and then the door knob is mounted The backset is the distance from the edge of the door to the center of the large bore hole. The standard backset is 2 3/8" or 2 3/4". Most doors are 2 3/8" backset, but some [mostly exterior doors] have a 2 3/4" backset.

While many door knob manufacturers ship their hardware with an adjustable backset, some do not. You may be asked for this information when ordering.

Door thickness can vary. Most interior doors are 1 3/8" thick. Exterior doors are often 1 3/4" thick. Most door hardware manufacturers make their products to fit these standard thicknesses. If you have a thicker door, please contact Direct Door Hardware. We may be able to recommend something that will work for you.

Common Question:

Q: I have an old style knob with a threaded spindle and a square box that fits inside the door [not a standard fitting knob] Do you have anything that will replace this?
A: Yes we do. What you have is an old mortise box style knobset. We have a great line of reproduction door knobs that have these mortise boxes that use skeleton keys.
(please refer to the mortise lock section of the guide).

What Door Hardware You Need and Where
Doorknobs come in several functions for different applications like closet doors, bathroom doors, and exterior doors. Here is a quick explanation of each type and what they are used for.

> Keyed Entrance Doorknobs and Levers
What is an Entrance or keyed door knob.

Description: Entrance or keyed entry knobs are usually used on exterior doors. The inside portion of a keyed entrance knob will vary according to manufacturer. On the left it shows a keyed cylinder on the outside, and a push button lock on the inside that releases when the knob is turned. Some brands of door hardware will have a turn button on the knob itself that has to be unlocked manually. 

Where they are used: Keyed entrance doorknobs are generally used on exterior doors of the home, the garage and the door between the garage and home. If any of these doors have two large holes drilled [bored] in them you'll need to order a deadbolt as well.

> Hall and Closet or Passage Doorknobs
What is a Hall and Closet door knob. Description: Passage doorknobs are non-locking. As shown on the left, they do not have keyed cylinders or locking buttons.

Where they are used: 
Passage or hall and closet doorknobs are used on closets, laundry rooms or other rooms that do not need to have a privacy lock on them.
> Bed and Bath or Privacy Doorknobs
What is a privacy lock Description: Privacy or bed and bathroom door knobs will vary according to manufacturer. On the left it shows a pin hole on the outside, and a push button lock on the inside that releases when the knob is turned. Some brands of door hardware will have a turn button on the knob itself that has to be unlocked manually and a pin hole on the end of the knob instead of the rosette as shown. Bed and bathroom knobs are unlocked using a generic key provided that is inserted into the pin hole on the rosette or knob. 

Where they are used: Privacy doorknobs are generally used on bedrooms and baths or anywhere that privacy is wanted, but an actual keyed lock is not necessary.
> Dummy Knobs
What is a dummy knob. Description: Dummy knobs are one sided, kind of a fake knob as it has no working parts. The mounting method will vary according to manufacturer. They are usually surface mounted or mounted from behind similar to a cabinet knob. Dummy knobs are sometimes sold in pairs [double dummy] as they are often used on sets of double doors.

Where they are used: 
Dummy knobs are usually used on shallow closet doors. Shallow closets don't have room to be inside and have the need to have a knob to get out as you never go in and close the door behind you. These types of closets usually have a ball catch or magnetic catch at the top to keep the door closed when not in use. Dummy door knobs are also often used on the inactive side of a french door. French doors will be discussed later on in this guide.

Single and Double Cylinder Deadbolts

Description: Deadbolts are used to securely lock the door with a thick throwbolt that is inserted into the jamb. Deadbolts are available in single cylinder and double cylinder versions. Single Cylinder deadbolts have a keyed cylinder on the outside and a thumb turn to lock and unlock the door on the inside. Double Cylinder Deadbolts have a keyed cylinder on both sides.

Where they are used: 

Single Cylinder Deadbolts are generally used in combination with a keyed door knob or lever handle on exterior doors. Single Cylinder deadbolts are unlocked with a key on the outside and a thumb turn on the inside.

Double cylinder deadbolts are locked or unlocked on both sides with a key. This is a good option for doors with glass in them as an intruder could not unlock the door even if the glass was broken. This option is not recommended for most exterior doors because if there is an emergency, occupants would have to search for a key before being able to escape.

Entrance Handle Set

Looking to create a good first impression when guests visit your home? Upgrading your handle set is an easy way to do so. Choose from many styles of handlesets above in various finishes. Rather than having just a regular doorknob and deadbolt on your front door, give your front door the elegance of a quality handleset. We now have many handle sets to choose from in all of the popular finishes. Handle sets are also available with many different trim options on the interior. For example, if you are ordering an entire house worth of egg shapped doorknobs, you can get your entrance handle set with an egg shaped door knob on the interior to match your other doors. This provides continuity throughout the home, while setting your entry door apart from the rest. Handle sets generally do not lock on the handle part, but do come with a deadbolt to secure the door. We can key your entry set alike the rest of your doorknobs if you order the same brand. Handlesets are available with single cylinder or double cylinder deadbolts, or as a dummy set. What is the difference? Here are a couple of examples to help you decide which would work best for you.

Applications:
Single Door Entry: 
Usually if you have just one door, you'll want a handleset with a single cylinder deadbolt. The deadbolt will lock with a key on the outside, and lock or unlock with a thumb turn on the inside. If you have a glass front door, you'll want to consider the double cylinder deadbolt handleset as described below.

Glass Entry Door: It is not uncommon for a home to have a full or even half glass front door. In this case, a lot of people prefer to install a double cylinder deadbolt. A double cylinder deadbolt is keyed on both sides. So rather than have a thumb turn on the inside, it has a keyhole like the outside does. The reason people like these is that if a burglar were to break the glass, he still would not be able to unlock the door. Keep in mind that this is not always recommended as you would not be able to get out of the home quickly in the event of a fire as you would have to find the key to unlock the door. These should only be used where there is another escape route easily accessible.

Double Door Entry: If you have a double front door where one side is generally inactive while the other is always active, you will need a combination of two handle sets. For the active side, you'll need a handleset with a single cylinder deadbolt. Usually, the active side will clase and latch to the inactive side and the deadbolt is latched into the inactive door edge. For the inactive door, you'll want to order a dummy handleset. This gives you the look of a complete working set, but doesn't have all of the mechanisms - perfect for an inactive door.

We also have Emtek Mortise Handle Sets available. Please contact us for more information.

How to Determine Door Handing

When ordering lever handles or handlesets, we'll need to know the handing of your door. Door handing is the direction in which your door swings. If you order the incorrect door handing you will either have locks on the wrong side of the door, levers that are upside down, or levers that point in the wrong direction and keep the door from closing properly.

Please refer to the illustration below to determine which handing your will need before ordering your door hardware.

Image: determining door swing before ordering your door hardware

Exception to the Rule: If you have a locking door that swings outward, you'll need to order your lever handle in the opposite handing so that the lock is on the correct side of the door.

Example: Fred has a patio door that he wants to install a locking lever handle on. Refering to the illustration to the right, he stands in the door and the door swings out to his right side. However, since Fred's door swings out onto his patio, rather than into his home, he'll need to order the opposite handing than he generally would so that the lock is on the correct side. So, Fred orders a left handed lever handle.

This same rule applies to doors that use privacy levers. If the door swings out of the room, order the opposite door handing so your lever handle has the lock on the right side.

You do not need to determine door handing when ordering doorknobs, deadbolts and even some levers that are non-handed. Any lever handles that need to have their handing indicated will have the option upon checking out.

French Doors - What Door Hardware You will Need.

We get asked this question a lot. French doors come in a variety of configurations. One of the most common applications is to have one side of the door fixed and the other operable. The fixed door usually has a piece of wood trim [astrigal] along the edge that the operable door can latch against. For the operable side you would order a privacy or passage knob and install it just like you would on any other door except the strike is installed on the edge of the inoperable door. The fixed inoperable door usually does not have a hole bored in it at all so you can install a dummy knob on each side of the door.

Also, the fixed door is usually held closed using a little latch on the edge of the door that slides upward into the jamb at the top, or downward into the threshhold at the bottom. If these little slide latches are mounted on the edge of the door, they are called Flush bolts. If they are mounted on the surface, they are called surface bolts. You'll want to measure the length of what you have so you can be sure to order the right size.

Materials Needed for French Doors 
For the Operable Door - 1 Privacy, Passage or Entrance knob and Deadbolt.
For the Fixed Door - 2 Dummy Knobs and two flush[or surface] bolts.
Enough Hinges for both doors.

What if you have a new set of french doors without holes?
Have the door shop or your carpenter prep the door for the above configuration.

What if both doors have a hole bored in them?
Please select the type of knobs or levers you need and give us a call. Some manufacturers have a kit that you can use to make a passage knobset work without a latch.

What if you want handle sets on your french doors?
Exterior doors will often already have holes bored in both doors. This is fine for handle sets as the dummy handset for the inactive door will need the hole in the door to mount properly. In this case you would need one single or double cylinder handle set and one dummy handle set, flush bolts for the inactive door and enough hinges for both doors.

About Door Hardware Finishes

When ordering door hardware there are a few things to keep in mind about finishes.

1. Even though different brands use the same finish code or same finish name, doesn't necessarily mean they will be an exact match.
2. Plumbing and electrical fixtures that are the same finish [name] as door hardware are not neccessarily exactly the same.
3. Because of 1 and 2, it is always best to be consistent with brands as much as possible. However; most brands will be close enough that unless the items are right against one another most people will not notice the difference. 

Other things to note about door hardware finishes:
> Oil rubbed bronze and antique bronze are living finishes and will change over time revealing more or the color beneath the darker brown color. The amount of change will depend on the brand that you choose.
> Polished Brass will tarnish if used outside. If you are using a polished brass finish for an exterior application, you'll want ot order the Polished Brass PVD finish which is designed for exterior use.
> Pewter is sometimes a flat finish, sometimes a antiqued nickel glossy type finish - this will vary from brand to brand.

Should you have any questions regarding finishes please give us a call or contact a Direct Door Hardware representative. Please keep in mind that different computer monitors will display finishes differently. We cannot control how your monitor displays the products on our website so it is best to ask questions about finishes if you are unsure what it is you are ordering.

Door Hardware Care and Maintenance

Caring for your door hardware is simple. Just remember to clean your door hardware only with mild soap and water. The chemicals that are used in cleaners, polishes, etc., can be harmful to the clearcoat finish that is applied to nearly ever brand of door hardware on the market. If you want your hardware finish to last for years to come... don't use chemicals.

Hardware cleaned with chemicals is not covered under the manufacturer's warranty.

How to use Directdoorhardware.com

We have tried and continue to strive to make our website as easy to use as possible. We have researched how other websites allow customers to search their door hardware products and found that many are more confusing than they need to be. As a result we have designed our website so that you can find what you need in three easy steps.

1. Select a product category - For example: Door knobs, lever handles or handlesets.
2. Select a style you like - Just pick the look that is right for your home.
3. Select function and finish and add to your cart.

All of the available functions and often coordinating deadbolts are on the same page so you don't have to search and re-search to find all of the different functions you need. Once you have added a privacy knob to your cart for example, you can click the continue shopping button and you'll return to that same page to add you passage doorknobs and so on.

If at any time you want to look at something else, just click a category at the top or click on the site map link at the top to view links to every product organized by brand. We value your feedback..

Door Hardware Checklist

Make sure you get all the home hardware you need. We do our best to offer a wide variety of home hardware products so that you can get it all in one place.

Not sure where to start? First you might want to check out our help section to learn the basics of door hardware. Once you are familiar with the different types of doorknobs that are available, you'll be more confident that you are ordering what you need. Below is a basic outline of the door hardware items that most homes will need. Be sure to check back with this list as you shop so you don't forget parts you'll need.

Doorknobs or Levers - There are four different types: keyed entrance, privacy, passage and dummy knobs.

Deadbolts - These are often forgotten. Most exterior doors are also pre-drilled for deadbolts. These can be keyed alike other doorknobs.

Door hinges - We have these available in a variety of finishes and styles for interior and exterior doors.

Handlesets - This is a fancier handle set for a front door. They come with a deadbolt to match - Single or double cylinder. Dummy handlesets are available for double doors where on door is inactive most of the time.

Spring Door Stops - These mount on the baseboard and keep your door knobs from punching holes into the drywall.

Bifold pulls - smaller knobs with long screws to mount through a bifold door.

Stair brackets - available in several finishes to support and mouont a handrail to the wall.

Closet rods - Yep, we have these too. Available in a variety of sizes.

Cabinet knobs - Dress up your cabinets with cabinet knobs in a variety of finishes. Knobs also help protect your cabinet finish and keep the drawers gliding on the track correctly.

Pocket Door Hardware - Pocket doors are a great space saving way to have a door in a tight space. We have pocket door hardware in a variety of finishes to compliment our door hardware products or those you may already have.

Door Kickplates - Protect your front door from dents and scuffs with a kickplate in finishes to match your existing hardware. Kickplates are available in a variety of widths to accomodate many door sizes.

Bathroom Accessories - Whether you need towel bars, towel rings of paper holders; we have a variety to choose from in finishes to compliment our door hardware products.

Address Plaques - You'll need your address posted to get your certificate of occupany. Be sure to order one before you run out of time. Their customized nature required a couple of weeks for shipment.

House Numbers and Letters - Choose from a variety of solid brass letters and numbers in several finishes and sizes. House Numbers are a more common alternative of address markers.

Do you need other home hardware products that we currently do not have on our website? If you have any special home hardware needs, please contact us and we'll do our best to help you out.



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