New Front Door Hardware

Are you in the market for a new front door set?  Take the time to have some important information with you when you go to shop!  If you think all door locks are standard and you simply pick the style you like, you might be in for a disappointment and find that the set you really like will not fit your door.  If you are getting a new door and think all choices are available to you, not so fast…door prep, width of stile and door thickness may limit your selection options.

Are you overwhelmed yet? Don’t be!  Understanding some basics will help make entry set selection easy and care-free.

Selecting Hardware for a Door with Existing Hardware

At the least, have pictures to show the salesperson at the decorative hardware showroom. A picture is definitely worth a thousand words! Take a photo of the front trim, inside trim and edge of the door with the latch mechanism. A knowledgeable salesperson will determine a great deal from seeing the hardware that is already on your door.

Determine what type of lock you have?

Tubular lock – Typically installed in a 2-1/8” hole on the face of the door and a cross-bore hole in the edge of the door for a latch.  You may have one hole with a keyed entry knob or lever.  You may have two holes with a knob/lever or a thumblatch set and a separate deadbolt.

If you have a tubular set, these are the important things to know:

Backset – measurement from the edge of the door to the center of the bore hole.  This measurement will be either 2-3/8” or 2-3/4”. See measuring guide at bottom of this post.

Door Thickness – the standard door thickness is 1.75”. Be sure to let the sales person know if your door is thinner or thicker.  This is not a problem, you just may need a kit to ensure the hardware you select will fit your door.

Hand of Door – determine the way your door is hinged and determine if it swings toward the inside or outside of your home.  Please see handing chart at bottom of this post.

Door Prep – if you have two holes, measure the distance from the center of one to the center of the other.  If this measurement is 5.5 inches, you will have more choices when deciding on trim.

Mortise lock – A lock in a large case that is meant to be installed in a pocket (or mortise) in the side of the door.

If you have a mortise lock, these are the important things to know:

Backset – measurement from the edge of the door to the center of the existing trim. This measurement will typically be either 2-1/2” or 2-3/4”. Narrow locks are available with 2” or 1.5” backsets but are not typical. See measuring guide at bottom of this post.

Door Thickness – the standard door thickness is 1.75”. Be sure to let the sales person know if your door is thinner or thicker.

Hand of Door – determine the way your door is hinged and determine if it swings toward the inside or outside of your home.  Please see handing chart at bottom of this post.

Door Prep – knowing the brand of your existing lock may help determine if you need to replace the set or just purchase parts. It is recommended to visit a showroom or get help from a carpenter familiar with mortise lock installation.

Selecting Hardware for a New Door

When you are starting with a new door, first determine if the door will be pre-drilled or supplied blank.

For pre-drilled doors, these are the important things to know:

Backset – measurement from the edge of the door to the center of the bore on the face of the door.  This measurement will be either 2-3/8” or 2-3/4”. See measuring guide at bottom of this post.

Door Thickness – the standard door thickness is 1.75”. Be sure to let the sales person know if your door is thinner or thicker.

Hand of Door – determine the way your door is hinged and determine if it swings toward the inside or outside of your home. Please see handing chart at bottom of this post.

Door Prep – if you have two holes, measure the distance from the center of one to the center of the other.  The standard center to center distance is 5.5”.

For blank doors, these are the important things to know:

Width of Stile – measurement from the edge of the door to the edge of any molding, raised panel or glass in place on door. Stile measurements 4” or less may limit some of the options for trim selections.

Door Thickness – the standard door thickness is 1.75”. Be sure to let the sales person know if your door is thinner or thicker.

Hand of Door – determine the way your door is hinged and determine if it swings toward the inside or outside of your home. Please see handing chart at bottom of this post.

The best advice for someone ordering a new door is to determine the type of hardware you would like first.  This will give you the freedom to choose the trim you like most.  Let the door manufacturer know your hardware selection and they can make sure you order a door that will accommodate the hardware and they may also be able to prep the door for the lock set.  Do not hesitate to ask the hardware showroom salesperson for a template for your lock selection to give to the door manufacturer.

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