10th November 2015
The impact of door details on hardware
We recently looked at the impact that features of door design such as door height, weight and width can have on hardware choice and functionality. In this article we are looking at how other details of door design can affect choices and determine architectural hardware decisions, and what needs to be taken under consideration at the beginning of a project to prevent errors and keep to your client’s anticipated budget and timescales.
In particular, we will be looking at the effect of the following on hardware:
- Cladding details
- Raised details
- Required function of the door
- Location of the door
We are in a privileged position to see trends in door design emerge and evolve and currently interior designers are applying glass and mirrored cladding to timber doors to bring light and space to an environment or to echo other design features from the room by using a skirting, perhaps in stone. Another current trend is to sandwich a different material between two pieces of glass and then use this to create a bespoke door.
Cladding elements such as these can have a major impact on the thickness and weight of the door so need to be discussed with your hardware provider on a case by case basis. Hinges, for example, will generally require some kind of projection to ensure they work freely, but if concealed hinges are required, the cladding then needs to be kept to a maximum depth of 8mm and the hinges may need to be special offset versions. If the door features bespoke styling, bespoke drilling patterns also need to be considered although, in most cases, the drilling pattern on a projection butt hinge will suffice. If the door is thicker than standard, a longer spindle for lever or knob furniture will generally be required, and perhaps even special extended keys. In some cases the cladding adds depth only to one side of the door. This requires the hardware, particularly the lock/latch and cylinders, to be offset and the strike plates extended.
Fixing handles to a clad door can also present a challenge, determined by the type of cladding and the style of handle selected. We have had many instances where we have worked closely with the door manufacturer to incorporate cut-outs to accommodate the chosen hardware. These sorts of discussions are vital to ensure that the design vision is not only interpreted, but properly implemented. This can add time to the process which needs to be factored in to ensure client relationships are not compromised.
With aluminium or other metal doors, we don’t generally supply the locks and hinges as these come through the door supplier; we will usually only supply the handles themselves, but then there needs to be a compatibility check between the door suppliers’ locks and the chosen handles.
Raised details such as bolection mouldings on a door can have an impact on hardware choices, there can be a clash with the lever handle or make the lever handle hard to operate. In addition, consideration needs to be given to the rose or backplate details and the lock backset details to ensure that there won’t be a clash with the details on the door which results in the movement being impeded. To avoid this, it is critical to consider the distance behind the lever handle (projection), as this is where the clash with mouldings etc can occur.
The layout of the panels on door design must be considered carefully with the desired hardware in mind. A poorly considered centre panel can be a killer for the ironmongery! There may be no space for the lock/latch case, mouldings may interfere with the handle, the handle may have to be off centre which looks un-balanced and may then also cause problems with the escutcheon/keyhole.
Different mould profiles can also have an impact, in particular with sliding doors. The sliding door needs to recede into a pocket and mouldings can increase the depth of the door, requiring a really wide, and somewhat unsightly, gap.
Required function of the door
When considering the type and style of door furniture, the function of the door itself is also a key part of the decision making process. Some of the factors that can affect choice include:
- Internal v external – can impact on decision on, for example, finish choices
- Damp or corrosive environments – for areas such as pool rooms, we recommend that the hardware is manufactured from 316 grade stainless steel and mirror polished. Brass can be used but applied finishes are not recommended, and satin / brushed finishes must not be used.
- Hardwearing v minimal use
- The type, or even size, of keys
- Quiet close
- Quick close v slow close
- Security requirements
- Hinged or sliding
- Fire rated or non-fire rated
- Panic exits
Location of the door
Doors in commercial environments have more additional considerations than residential projects but these points are worth bearing in mind whatever your project:
- Finish durability
- Durability of hinging, especially with excessively wide doors, or where back-check door closers are required.
- Ease of use, e.g. a commercial kitchen wouldn’t want a lever or knob handle, they’d ideally have a pivot door that swings both ways and has a pull handle
- High use doors may need large push/kick plates to protect the door, especially if trolleys are pushed through regularly
- Access control
- Disabled use
- Accessible toilets
We have over 15 years’ experience of assisting specifiers in selecting the best architectural hardware for each individual project so ensure that you get the best value by drawing on our knowledge.