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How to Choose the Right Door Hardware

Posted on December 18, 2017 in Replacement Entry Doors

How to choose exterior door hardware

Finding the right entry door for your home is important, but so is choosing the correct door hardware. You may not realize it, but a door handle completes the overall look of your door in addition to giving you an element of security.

When choosing the right door hardware, you want a handle that matches and compliments your door style. However, this can be easier said than done. There are many types of door handles, handle sets, and hardware to choose from, and it’s hard to know which one would be best for your entry door.

To help make your choice easier, here’s what you need to know about door hardware, and how to know what kind of handle to get to complete the look and feel of your door.

Get the Right Style Hardware for Your Door

These days, there are many different styles of exterior door hardware.

Keyed entry door knob

Keyed entry doorknobs and levers - these are common on many types of exterior doors, and usually have a deadbolt above them. A deadbolt is a secondary locking mechanism, operated by a key and a thumbturn. The doorknob is the round mechanism used to open and close the door. Doorknobs come in a variety of materials, such as antique brass, rubbed bronze, or satin nickel. Instead of a doorknob, some doors have levers, otherwise known as a door handle that either turn up or down.

Entry door handlesets

Entry Door Handle Sets - if you’re looking for a more elegant look, a handle set may be the way to go. Most handle sets don’t have a lock on the handle itself, but come with a matching deadbolt. Handle sets may also come in different options: single door entry, glass door entry, and double door entry.

For single door entry, there’s a handle and deadbolt on the outside, and a thumb turn on the inside that locks or unlocks the door. Full glass entry doors sometimes contain double cylinder deadbolts.

For double front entry doors, two handle sets will be needed — one for each door. Usually, one door is active and locks/unlocks, while the other one is inactive.

There are also different styles of handle sets: sectional, monolithic, and full length.

For sectional handle sets, the handle and deadbolt are separated. Monolithic handle sets are more unique; one plate holds the deadbolt and the top of the handle, while another plate holds the bottom of the handle. Full length handle sets include a single plate that covers the deadbolt and the entire handle.

Make it Match

Whatever door hardware you choose, make sure that it matches your entry door. Usually it’s best to choose a handle set that looks good with the door’s hinges and threshold.

Handle sets can be made from brass, bronze, stainless steel, or wrought iron. Different handle sets look better with different entry doors. Here’s a guide to help you:

  • Modern entry doors - stainless steel door is a popular choice for a modern look and a door lever complements many modern doors.

Modern front door handles

  • Rustic entry doors - bronze or wrought iron door hardware best portrays a rustic or craftsman style and a sectional or monolithic handle set complement this style.

Rustic Door Hardware

  • Classic entry doors - brass or antique brown hardware would be a classic choice and consider a full length handle set.


Know the Difference Between Tubular and Mortise

Keyed entry locksets (and some keyless entry) are divided into two different styles: tubular or mortise.

Tubular latch - the most common entry door lockset, and is used in most residential homes. Installing tubular locksets is fairly straightforward, and comes either as a full-length handle set or a monolithic handle set.

Mortise latch - used for heavy-duty residential and commercial entry doors. They have a wider and thicker deadbolt, along with an emergency egress feature that lets you turn the handle, and the deadbolt turns with it. Mortise locksets are typically considered more secure, since they are thicker and more complex. They also can be difficult to put in, and installation may be best left to professionals.

Additional Hardware Options

As you choose your door hardware it’s also necessary to consider all the additional options and upgrades that are available, such as keyless entry and locking systems.

While the standard is keyed entry locks, there are other upgrades and security features other than keyed entry that are worth considering.

First, there’s keyless entry, which is also known as electronic locks. These require batteries and have a keypad to lock or unlock the deadbolt. These are usually sold with a deadbolt and a handle, include a physical key, and work with tubular style locks.

Another security feature available for entry doors is a multipoint locking system. This secures the entry door at the top, middle, and bottom with one twist of the thumb turn. This allows your door to withstand more force, making it harder for burglars to break in.  

A third feature is Pella® Insynctive technology. Think of this like a smart home, where you can monitor if your entry door is open or closed and locked or unlocked. This is all controlled through an app you can download on your smartphone, tablet, or computer. This requires connection to a compatible home automation system and smart device.

Choosing the right door hardware can seem overwhelming at first, but by matching it with your entry door style and determining what type of handle set you want, you will be well on your way to checking door hardware off your list.

To learn about more door hardware options, click here or visit your local Pella Showroom.

If you want to learn more about the different parts of a door, check out our infographic.

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