Posted by DDH Staff on 11/16/2023 to Tips
Vintage door hardware radiates a timeless charm that adds character and authenticity to any space. As time passes, these hardware pieces may lose their functionality or aesthetic appeal, and that’s when it’s time to start looking for vintage door hardware replacements. A great brand we always recommend for vintage door hardware is Nostalgic Warehouse.
In fact, when my brother purchased a home that was built quite some time ago, all the doors had the old school type of mortise locks on them. You know, the kind with the generic skeleton key that usually gets left in the door all the time - or lost so you can't lock them. I'm not sure why, but a couple of his doors had a crystal knob, one door had a porcelain knob, one black porcelain, and one made of brass. And not all of them had the same backplate either. I don't know if the guy that originally built the house 70 yrs ago worked for a company that sold doorknobs and he used some returns or leftovers, or maybe he just couldn't make up his mind so he got one of each. All of the doorknobs were quite worn and sloshy in the mortise box so we ordered some New York knobs with the New York backplate. (They have a simple rectangular backplate and squashed round knob that just looks clean and simple.) I planned on helping him install them, but after receiving them he was a little anxious to get them on the door and see how they look, so he did. Some of his doors are stained, while others he painted chocolate brown. The new satin nickel doorknobs looked really clean and sharp on both the painted and stained doors.
Now the knobs have a nice solid feel on the door again and the latch is nice and tight. After seeing how much better his new doorknobs are in comparison to his old knobs, I think everyone that has an old home should replace their doorknobs with Nostalgic Warehouse knobs or something like them. The nice thing is, he still has the vintage door hardware look, but they are brand new! I actually have a similar knob here in our office that I installed on a modern door using the standard tubular latch (like most every other brand of door hardware comes with) and I was impressed with the quality. Restoring an old home is a lot of work, but so many old homes have so much character and architectural appeal that it is worth the restoration process.
Benefits of Upgrading Vintage Door Hardware
There are many benefits to upgrading your door hardware. Vintage hardware may have become stiff or unreliable over the years. Upgrading to new, well-functioning hardware guarantees smooth operation, making your doors easy to use. Additionally, vintage door hardware replacements offer an opportunity to revamp the look of your doors. Choose hardware that complements your decor while preserving the vintage ambiance.
Replacing a Vintage Door Knob
Vintage (or antique) door knobs go way, way back. We can all picture a style in our heads of what one might look like, or maybe one we have seen in the past. I just now thought of a time when I was young and my parents wanted to buy a new home and I would ask them what the door knobs looked like in each house they went to tour. I remember them thinking it was so funny that I really wanted to know what the doorknobs looked like. And now, I work for a place where door hardware is ordered and shipped on a daily basis. A little ironic.
If someone were to mention vintage door knobs, the first style that pops into my head is the porcelain door knobs (my favorite), then I think of the crystal door knobs. There are other styles too, like brass that have fancy designs engraved on them, or just simple style ones with a big rectangular backplate. The list goes on and on.
Maybe you have an older home with some of these old antique or vintage style door knobs that need replacing, not the mechanism, just the door knob. You can do just that. Nostalgic Warehouse offers reproduction door knobs to replace old antique hardware, making it easy to begin replacing vintage door knobs without having to buy all new mechanisms and go through the hassle of installing them all. These vintage door hardware replacements come with a spindle of your choice (standard, mortise, privacy, or dummy).
Note: It's important to know that we do not guarantee that these will fit all the brands out there and some brands may have their own design, so please make sure to take measurements of your existing antique or vintage hardware to be certain you order the correct size of spindle. Please note that Nostalgic Warehouse has a 20% restock fee.