Commercial doors are often sold “unfinished” and without hardware, like locking systems, door closers, handles, and knobs. For example, many commercial doors ship with a bore hole and a cross bore, which is a pre-drilled hole that accommodates a locking system and handle. As a result, the installer must buy hardware separately.
Since doors are often unfinished, installers can customize the door to fit a particular property. The installer can choose the correct type of door closer, locking system and handle set, but it can be difficult to know what type of hardware you need. To help you determine your needs, here is a list of some of the most common commercial door hardware components:
Locks and Strike Plates
There is a long list of the types of locks and grade plates that are available for commercial doors, and there are many considerations to make. For example, interior and exterior doors may have unique requirements for locking systems. Exterior doors need more durable locking systems while interior doors may require a basic keyed entry lock.
Strike plates, on the other hand, are a little less varied. A strike plate – which is the metal piece within the door jamb that the deadbolt or lock enters – is made from a durable metal material like steel. They may be a certain thickness or depth, depending on security requirements. Often, they are sold along with the lock.
Some common types of commercial locks include:
- Electronic, Keypad Locks: These are programmable locks that can be unlocked with a card or by typing in a code. Some electronic locking systems can be controlled remotely via a computer system. These are commonly used in educational facilities, hospitals, and larger commercial properties.
- Single and Double Cylinder Deadbolts: The deadbolt locking system is one of the most common types of locks and is widely used in commercial buildings. There are interior and exterior deadbolt systems, and they are available in a number of different sizes. Single-cylinder deadbolts are keyed on the exterior side of the lock and have a push lever on the interior. These are very typical in residential properties. Double cylinder deadbolt locks, though, are keyed on both the interior and exterior sides.
- One-Sided Deadbolts: Another common type of lock, typically used inside commercial buildings, the one-sided deadbolt has a keyed or thumb-lever lock on one side of the door and a blank plate on the opposite side.
Hinges for commercial doors are available in all types, yet there are a few that are most commonly used. For example, the butt hinge, which features two plates connected by an axle, is a durable hinge that is mortised into the door and door jamb. They are sometimes called mortise hinges. Typically hinges are graded for the traffic in and out of each entrance. Light-duty hinges are used for less-trafficked doorways while heavy-duty hinges are used for front entrances. They are made from durable metals like steel or brass, and there are decorative options available.
Commercial properties often require door closers, which are mechanical systems that automatically close the door. Overhead door closers tend to be the most common, while concealed door closers another option.
- Overhead: There are three main types of overhead door closers: Regular arm, top jamb and parallel arm closers. The arms are spring-loaded and can be adjusted to alter closing speed.
- Concealed: Floor-spring and in-jamb closers are two of the more common types of concealed closers. They are not visible when the door is closed, and thus, they’re typically used for aesthetic reasons.
Stops and Knob-Bumpers
Floor-mounted door stoppers and knob-bumpers are used to prevent damage to the wall behind the door. They’re installed in the floor and the adjacent wall, and provide a cushion for the knob and corner of the door. Often, you can opt for one or the other.
Handles, Knobs, Exit Devices
There are countless options for knobs and handle sets for commercial doors. There are standard keyed knobs, as well as handle levers and exit devices. You can choose decorative options. The list goes on and on. Some of the most typical types include:
- Keyed Entrance: A keyed entrance set is a knob, handle or lever that can be unlocked using a key. The lock may be set apart from the handle or lever, and they differ from “inactive” knobs or levers, which are not keyed.
- Commercial Lever/Knob Sets: These are inactive levers that are used just to open the door. The door is unlocked at the deadbolt, and therefore, the lever or knob is used only to open the door.
- Rim or Rod Exit Devices: Commonly used in commercial properties, exit devices are the push bars installed to the front of the door that activate the lock. Rim exit devices look like a box with a full-length push button while rod exit devices have a bar that is pushed toward the door.
Purchasing commercial door hardware can be a complicated process, due to the many different types of components that are available. If you’d like more information about the types of hardware available, contact Aeroseal Windows & Storefront. We’re a leading commercial door installation firm, serving clients throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, and we have decades of combined construction experience.