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.
Door 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 door hardware - high quality, but requires 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 fitting - 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 handle multiplication
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.
The door handle - 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 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 solution 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.
Are door handles actually standardized?
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.