Everything You Need to Know About Choosing Door Hardware

choosing door hardware

When purchasing a door, there is more to consider apart from the door itself. The term door hardware is a general term for the latch, knob, handle and locking mechanisms. The term lockset is used to refer to these door accessories, whether the hardware has a lock or not.

Choose door hardware depending on the functionality intended for your doors. Once you have selected the type of lockset you need, narrow down on the style and finish of the hardware.

There are various types of door hardware at your disposal. Whatever type of hardware you select, quality is paramount. Quality locksets will perform better and last much longer.

Here's everything you need to know about door hardware for your home.

door hardware guide

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Types of Lockset

There is a wide variety of lockset finishes and styles available for residential use. They can be narrowed down to four basic types.

Privacy Locksets

They are used on access doors for rooms that need privacy. Such rooms include bathrooms, home offices and bedrooms. They can be locked from the inside, the 'privacy' side, by a thumb-turn lock, push or turn button. There is no lock on the outside, but there may be a small hole to allow it to be unlocked using a tool rather than a key.

Passage Locksets

This type of lockset is used on doors that allow passage from one area to another. Thus, it does not contain a lock. You will find them on many interior doors, including closet doors and pantry doors.

Dummy Locksets

Also known as non-functional locksets, dummy locksets have a knob or handle on both sides. The knobs or handles do not turn or activate any locking mechanism.

Inasmuch as they look like passage locksets, these locksets operate as cabinet pulls.

Keyed Entry Locksets

These locksets are lockable on both sides. They can be locked and unlocked using a key on the outside, and either a turn button or a key on the inside. This type of lockset is ideal for providing security.

Common Types of Door Hardware


Doorknobs are a classic addition that bring color and style to your door. They are perfect for renovating old houses. The locks used in aged houses usually go with doorknobs.

Doorknobs come in a variety of shapes, finishes and sizes. Most of them are either round or square. To operate, they need tight grasping and twisting of the wrist to open and close.

types of doorknobs

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  • Doorknobs add a touch of elegance to internal doors.
  • They are well suited for both old-fashioned homes and modern homes.
  • Doorknobs help keep younger children and pets from rooms that are out of bounds for them. They can't hold or twist it to open.
  • The round, oval, or square shapes improve the handgrip. This facilitates opening and closing of doors.


  • They need tight grasping, pinching and twisting. People living with arthritis or disability, children, and older adults may struggle to operate them.
  •  If you've got wet or greasy hands, you may encounter a nightmare trying to operate doorknobs.

Door Handles

Door handles come in different colors, styles and finishes. A door handle is a lever attached to a door to facilitate the opening and closing of that door. A door handle is often added to a backplate.

Door handles have become more popular compared to doorknobs. This is because they are easier to use. These are the pros and cons of door handles.


  • They are easier to use for opening and closing doors, even if you have both hands occupied.
  • Everyone can open door handles; children, the elderly, cats and dogs. If this is not desirable for you, you have the option of choosing a lever with an upward position.
  • They can be used on glazed doors.
  • They come in various designs and styles. This makes them suitable for both traditional and contemporary homes.


  • The springs that secure the lever in position may need maintenance or changes from time to time.
  • The door handle must match the door's orientation. A left-handed door requires a left-handed lever and vice versa.
  • A door handle can easily cause accidents. The handle's shape can get caught on loose clothes, bags and jewelry.

steel door handle

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Can Doorknobs and Door Handles Be Mixed?

There's absolutely nothing wrong with mixing doorknobs and door handles. You need to ensure they have the same finish. Mixing the two adds to variety and convenience.

If you are a private person and do not like interruptions, adopt doorknobs. A door knob comes with an instant lock that can provide you with the privacy you desire. You should also install a doorknob on the main entrance door that separates the outer space from the inner space. Besides, a doorknob is stylish and offers a wide range of aesthetics. This can accentuate your interior design.

Install door handles on living room doors, those to the kitchen and the study. It is prudent to have door handles in these spaces since everyone uses them. It is also common for people to get in and out of those spaces with things in their hands.

Deadbolt Lock

A deadbolt lock has a bolt that is activated by a key or a thumb turn. It offers good security since it is not spring activated. Due to their enhanced security levels, they are commonly used on exterior doors.

There is a wide range of deadbolt locks in the market. You get to choose which one of them is most suitable for you. They include single-cylinder deadbolt, double-cylinder deadbolt and keyless locks (keypad locks and smart locks).


  • Provides enhanced security.
  • Doesn't close automatically since the bolt isn't rounded or angled at the end. This reduces the risk of leaving your door open when you're in a hurry.
  • Ease of installation.
  • They are inexpensive too.


  • Break-ins can still happen with deadbolt locks. They aren't completely impenetrable.
  • It is tedious to get through doors secured by deadbolt locks during emergencies. This should not be a problem if you don't get panicked easily. If you live with children or older adults, you may need to train them how to operate these locks during emergencies.

In Conclusion

To wrap it up, door hardware comes in a wide range of styles and finishes. Some can be used for the opening and closing of doors. Others enhance security, while some provide the privacy needed in some spaces.

Match the door hardware to your interior design style. Additionally, understand the types of lockset the various rooms in your home need. Consider the space's functionality, privacy, security and design.