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Door Hardware Buyers Guide: Door Handles, Hinges, Locks & Latches

Matt Black Door Hardware

How to Choose The Right Door Handle For Your Door

There is such a wide range of door handle hardware on the market that it can become overwhelming trying to understand exactly what it is you need. This guide will help you identify the specific products you need for any given door. We will go over the several types of products available, as well as the different styles of door you may be looking to install or upgrade.

First things first, one frequently asked question is “Can I upgrade the hardware on my existing door, or do I need to buy a brand-new door?”. Buying a completely new door isn’t cheap, so you’ll be glad to know that you can in fact upgrade the hardware on an existing door. You will of course need to be aware of the dimensions of the door, most importantly the thickness as this will dictate which hardware you can and cannot use.

A standard interior door thickness is 35mm to 40mm, but some fire doors go up to 54mm.

Terminology

Lever A lever refers to a standard door handle that operates via a lever-action. The term "Lever on Backplate" refers to a door handle on a backplate.

 Lever

Backplate - A backplate refers to the rectangular metal plate which the door handle sits on.

Spindle - A spindle is a square metal rod that is used to connect two door handles or knobs together, passing through the latch.

 

Rose - A rose refers to a small circular (or square) metal plate which the door handle sits on. Unlike a backplate, a lever on rose door handle offers a more modern & minimalistic look. Most of the time, their fixing screws are concealed.

 

Latch - A latch is a mechanical fastener that keeps the door closed whilst shut, however doesn’t have a locking mechanism. Generally compatible with most levers & knobs.

 Tubular Door Latch

Forend & Strike Plate - Forend & Strike Plates are usually supplied with a latch and are decorative metal plates that cover the mechanisms and match the finish of your door hardware.

Cylinder - A cylinder is the part of the door lock which you insert the key into. When locked, it engages spring-loaded pins, keeping the cylinder from turning.

Escutcheon - A decorative metal plate that covers the hole in your door where the cylinder lock will be fitted.

Hinge - A hinge attaches the door to the wall & allows you to open and close the door.

Types of Door Handles

There are many different styles of door handles that you need to be aware of and it's not just how they look that differs. Different styles are often only compatible with certain types of locks and latches or are only intended for certain doors due to how they operate.

Lever on Backplate

The most common type of interior door handle, a lever on backplate comes in five different variations: Latch, Lock – Standard, Lock – Euro Profile, Bathroom/Privacy, and Oval Profile. These variations determine which kind of latch you will require, later in this guide we will go over the different combinations you may require.

Lever on Rose

For a more minimalistic look, you may opt for a lever on rose. Most of the time these are equipped with concealed fixings in which the screws are hidden behind the rose. They are available with both round and square roses, and even though they aren’t directly compatible with a lock – you can simply install a separate Escutcheon and a suitable latch/lock to enable use of a thumb turn lock underneath the rose.

Doorknobs

Doorknobs are another option for both interior and exterior doors. Unlike the other door handles, these use a twist action rather than a lever action to release the door latch. Whilst it is uncommon, you can get locking doorknobs.

Types of Locks & Latches

Tubular Latch

You are more than likely going to require a tubular door latch if you are dealing with a standard interior door. They don’t contain any locking hardware and operate using a spindle connected to the handles & passing through the tubular latch.

Sashlock

A sashlock combines a latch and a locking mechanism into one unit. They are commonly used on exterior doors and come in two different types 3 lever and 5 lever, with 5 lever sashlocks being the most secure option. The main advantage of a sashlock is that they are designed to be locked and unlocked from both sides of the door.

Cylinder Lock

If you’re installing a locking interior door, you’re going to want to use a cylinder lock. It allows you to use a separate locking cylinder to lock the door via a key. Keep in mind that as well as the cylinder, you will also need a compatible cylinder sashlock.

Bathroom Locks

Bathroom Locks differ to the others as they are made to be used with a thumb turn, rather than a cylinder. Instead of requiring a cylinder, they have a secondary spindle hole that the thumb turn passes through to enable the use of the locking mechanism.

How many hinges should a door have?

The general rule is that you require one hinge per 30 inches of door height. With a standard door being roughly 78 Inches tall, and therefore requiring 3 hinges. Most internal doors are fine with only 2 hinges, but you usually find that most door are fitted with 3 for that extra level of structural strength.

Different lock profiles

The three main lock profiles are standard, euro & oval. Standard is a keyhole shaped lock profile that is most common in the UK, designed to fit a stem key. Euro is another keyhole shaped lock profile but is designed to accommodate a cylinder lock rather than the key itself. Finally, the oval lock profile is the same as the euro profile but designed to fit a cylinder with an oval shape.

We stock lever on backplate door handle with all three lock profiles, as well as blank backplates designed to be used with tubular door latches.

Deciding what you require

Now that we’ve gone over the different types of hardware available – let’s figure out what it is you need. This is largely determined by what type of door you’re looking to install or upgrade. For example, if it’s a bathroom door, you’re going to need different hardware to if it was a standard interior door, or a locking interior door.

Standard Interior Doors

This is the most common type of door setup and houses typically have these throughout. They generally don’t have locking hardware, rather just a latch that holds the door shut when closed. There are a few different options when it comes to door handles, and a lot of it comes down to preference for these doors.

Standard UK Door Sizes & Dimensions

You will need to purchase either a Lever on Backplate (Latch) or a Lever on Rose, a tubular door latch, and matching hinges.

But don’t worry, we have taken the time to put all the parts you need together in the form of a helpful kit! Check out our matching bundles here.

Locking Interior Doors

The obvious difference between a locking interior door and a standard interior door is that you'll require a different type of latch to allow the door to be locked. Something that often gets overlooked is that you'll also need to have a door handle that allows for a lock to be fitted, as most standard doors will be fitted with a lever on backplate door handle that only allows for a latch. 

You will need to purchase a Lever on Backplate (Standard, Euro or Oval Profile), a Cylinder Door Lock, and matching hinges.

Alternatively you could buy a Lever on Rose door handle and a matching Escutcheon.

Bathroom Doors

Whilst a bathroom door also locks; there is a key difference between a bathroom door and a locking interior door, and that is a thumb turn locking mechanism. These can be pre-installed on a Lever on Bathroom Backplate door handle or purchased separately as with a Lever on Rose door handle.

A thumb turn allows you to lock the door from one side (e.g., the inside of the bathroom) without need for a key.

You will need to purchase either a Lever on Bathroom Backplate handle OR a Lever on Rose Handle and a separate Thumb turn. You will also need a bathroom door lock as well as matching hinges.

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