All about door hardware

Door hardware makes every exterior and interior door moveable: we use it to open and close them. You can find out here what materials door fittings are made of, what types of door handles there are, and whether door handles are actually standardized.


A door basically consists of the door frame (also: frame), which is anchored in the wall and the door leaf, which moves, suspended on hinges, to allow access. The hinges act as pivots on one side of the door leaf. The lock and strike plate are located on the opposite side. Handle sets - consisting of two door handles, two door plates or door rosettes, which are connected to each other with a handle pin through the door leaf, act as handles.


Materials for door hardware

Door fittings are mainly made of metals - such as aluminum, stainless steel or brass. However, fittings made of plastic are also used. Each material has its own special features:


Door fittings made of aluminum - easy to clean and durable

A door fitting made of aluminum is mostly made of corrosion-resistant alloys. These have a so-called anodized surface - an invisible protective layer on the metal. This makes the material more resistant to moisture such as hand perspiration and mechanical impact. Door fittings made of aluminum are durable, robust and easy to clean. In addition, they are available in many different color variations - matte or glossy.


Fittings made of synthetic material - hygienic and diverse

Door hardware made of plastic can be found both indoors and outdoors. As a rule, they are made of polyamide, which allows a wide variety of colors. The material is particularly easy to clean and maintain, which is why it is often used in facilities such as medical practices or nursing homes. Furthermore, compared to metals, plastic does not become statically charged. Although plastic door hardware is resistant to abrasion, it does have one disadvantage: it is susceptible to UV radiation and thus has a shorter service life, depending on the incidence of light. On the other hand, these door fittings are particularly inexpensive.


Stainless steel door hardware - resistant and robust

Stainless steel door hardware is particularly strong and resistant - both to scratches and heavier mechanical impact. This is due to the chrome-nickel steel alloy from which they are made. The rule of thumb is: the smoother the surface, the more corrosion-resistant it is. Door hardware made of stainless steel must therefore be regularly repolished to maintain its longevity. Use stainless steel cleaners for this purpose. Make sure to use stainless steel screws during installation. Otherwise there is a risk of rust.


Brass fittings - high quality, but require maintenance

Brass alloy door hardware is more susceptible to corrosion than other metals. Without proper care, they can darken - a patina can form. Therefore, make sure to clean them regularly with special, mild brass cleaners and apply a corrosion protection. If you choose brass only for aesthetic reasons, you'd better choose stainless steel fittings with a brass look.


Finding the right door fittings: this is how it works

The door fitting should, of course, match the door. Which materials of the door leaf, door frame, hardware and door handle create a harmonious picture? Which properties are particularly important to you? What durability and care do you want? It is best to ask your specialist dealer for advice on this. You can find tips on special fittings for glass doors from us.

The great door hardware basics

When we speak colloquially of door handles in Germany, we actually mean the door handle as the generic term for all handles with which a door can be opened or closed.


Door fittings - the German standard

The most widespread in Germany is the door handle. Everyone knows it: an angled lever that has to be pressed down. A mechanism pulls back the latch in the lock case - the door opens. Door latches are also called door handles in Germany. In Austria the term Türschnalle is common, in Switzerland the name Türfalle. Door handles are mainly used for room doors, because they are easy to use. If you do not have a hand free, an elbow can also be used to open the door.

This simplicity is both a curse and a blessing: Even small children or pets quickly learn how to use the door handle. Therefore, if the door is to remain locked, door handle sets are usually equipped with a rosette or a door plate with a keyhole, so that the door can be secured against unauthorized access with the help of a key.

The doorknob - internationally popular

In the USA, the doorknob - also known as the button handle - is found particularly frequently. This is a rotating knob that must be turned, rather than pushed down, to operate the opening mechanism. Since this turning motion must be done by hand, this door handle is somewhat more difficult to operate and safer in households with small children or pets.

In Germany, changeable locks are more commonly used for front doors. These are combinations of handle and knob: Inside door handle, outside door knob. The door knob is usually fixed and cannot be turned. The door can only be opened from the outside with a suitable key.

The push handle - perfect door fittings for public traffic

Push handles are rarely found in the home - for example, on double-sided hinged doors. The special feature of push handles is that they do not have an opening mechanism like door handles or door knobs. Therefore, they can only be installed on doors without a door latch and lock case. The door is simply pushed or pushed open. In this case, a handle bar is usually mounted as a door handle, which facilitates opening. In churches or museums you can often find decorated handle bar elements, e.g. in the form of animals.

A special form is the handle shell, which is let into the door leaf. This is mainly used for sliding doors.

Push handles are less susceptible to wear, as the opening mechanism is omitted. They are used primarily in public buildings such as hospitals or train stations, but also in shopping malls where there is heavy foot traffic - in other words, wherever doors need to be opened quickly and without effort.

Protective fittings - the best door fittings for your security

To keep burglars out, look for invisible screw fittings on door protection fittings to prevent them from being screwed on from the outside, a hardened steel plate for greater resistance to drilling, and a cylinder cover made of hardened steel: this way, no one can pull out the profile cylinder.


Door fittings: Are door handles actually standardised?

Counter question: Have you ever missed the door handle? Probably not. In fact, door handles are standardized, so you can directly find the handle of the door even in the dark, with strangers or in a hotel. The standardized height is 105 cm from the floor.

However, special dimensions, for example, because of a disability, are also possible. Ask the manufacturer for a special design.

The most frequently asked questions about door hardware

What questions are most often asked about door hardware? We found out using software that analyzes the questions people ask voice assistants from Apple, Google and others. We answer four of them here:

How to find the right door hardware to the door?

Door hardware is selected to match the door and furnishings. The most common colors are silver, gold or black. Plastic door hardware usually has a wider range of colors.

What are the different types of door hardware?

There are several types of door hardware including: Locks Handles Handles Bolts and lock cylinders. Each type has its own specific characteristics and functions.

What are the main materials for door hardware?

The most common materials used for door hardware are steel, stainless steel, brass and chrome. Brass and steel are the most common materials for locks and handles while chrome and stainless steel are a popular choice for design elements such as handles and knobs.

Why is it important to choose the right door hardware?

Choosing the right door hardware is important to ensure the security and functionality of the door. A secure lock can deter burglars while a simple handle or latch can make the door easier to operate. It is also important to choose door hardware that matches the design and style of the building.


What material should be used for the door hardware?

There are several materials to choose from for door hardware, depending on various factors such as aesthetics, function, durability, and budget. Here are some common materials used for door hardware:

  1. Stainless steel: Stainless steel is another popular material for door hardware. It is very durable and resistant to corrosion and rust. In the Griffwerk assortment

  2. Zinc: Zinc is an inexpensive and durable material that is often used for door hardware. It can be produced in many different colors and finishes. In the Griffwerk assortment for zinc die-cast forms (Zamak)

  3. Aluminum: Aluminum is a lightweight metal that is often used for very inexpensive door hardware. (Currently not in the Griffwerk assortment)

  4. Brass: Brass is a classic material for door hardware and offers a timeless look for certain . It is also very durable and corrosion resistant. (Currently not in the Griffwerk assortment, but brass look by a high quality coating on various zinc fittings)

  5. Ceramic: Ceramic is a traditional material for door hardware and offers a unique and eye-catching look. However, it is not very brittle and can break easily. (Currently not in the Griffwerk assortment)

  6. Plastic: Plastic is an inexpensive and lightweight material that can be used for door hardware. It is available in a variety of colors and designs, but it is not as durable as other materials and can be easily damaged. It may also not be as corrosion resistant as other materials and may discolor or yellow over time.

Ultimately, the material you choose for door hardware depends on your personal preferences, your budget, and the specific requirements you have for your door hardware. It is also important to consider the quality of the material and the manufacturer to ensure that the door hardware is durable and reliable.