Door hardware

When searching for the best door hardware, it is important to understand first the different types of door lock.

More information on door hardware

The first type of door lock is the mortice lock. This is the standard lock and it fits on the inside of the door's edge. In the door's hollow ("mortice", in woodworking terms) goes the mortice lock cylinder; a strike plate lines a frame recess, where the bolt will fit. It can be locked from the inside and from the outside. The main advantage of the mortice lock is the mortice itself -- the door frame protects the lock mechanism. Certain home insurance companies specifically ask for a mortice lock in their compliance terms, usually asking for the BS3621 British Standard.

The second type of door lock is the rim lock, which is mounted inside the house, on the door surface, so they are better suited for doors that open inward. The entire mechanism containing the key cylinder and the lockbolt are inside of a box called nightlatch. Rim locks are much less invasive on the woodwork, and are preferred on listed or heritage properties.

Modern houses sometimes use this third type of lock, called UPVC multi-point locking system. As its name describes, the door will be locked at multiple points, thus increasing the security level. Here the doors are usually made of composite material with a central locking mechanism, which activates long strips on all four sides of the door.

The fourth type of lock are cylinder locks - they are very common, and not very safe. Some lower-grade cylinder locks can be opened through lock snapping. They are very popular, however, because they can be used indoors and outdoors, while also being very simple to install.

Now that you are familiar with several types of door locks, let me introduce to you an important type of door hardware: the door reinforcement strip. Installing any type of door lock will cause you to remove material and compromise the integrity of the door structure. By installing these metal bars on the door side, you will greatly reinforce your door frame against burglars trying to kick their way in.

Another piece of hardware that is important to your security is the door viewer. Although it is not strictly necessary for the door function itself, the door viewer gives you the possibility to see who is knocking at your front door, while you are still protected by your closed door.

And let us not forget about door hinges. There are many types of hinges in the market. The most common type are ball bearing hinges, which are mostly used on internal doors. They work very smoothly because of the hinge pivoting on tiny ball race bearings. The materials used are mostly steel or stainless steel; common sizes are 3 and 4 inches (76 and 101 mm).

Another very important type of door hinges are butt door hinges. These are usually measured by the length of the knuckle: from 2-1/2 inches (64 mm) of cabinet doors, passing through 3 inches (76 mm) of internal doors and 4 inches (101 mm) of external doors, up to 8 inches (203 mm) in length for butt door hinges used in industrial applications.

These are the main types of door hardware. Now you can go to your local hardware store and find everything that you need.