Commercial Door Hardware Article

July 12, 2013
Category: Articles

Commercial Door Hardware

Lee A. Garver DAHC, FDHI

Commercial Door Hardware is comprised of many different types of door hardware components and it can get confusing during the selection process to determine what piece of door hardware goes where, when and why.

Different factors must be considered which will affect the selection of the type and grade of commercial door hardware. They are;

Operational description


Completion time

Does it need to match existing hardware

Frequency of use


Door type and style

Frame type and profile.

It seems like a simple process to determine  exactly what should go on a door, but it has become more and more difficult due to the many regulatory changes and the increased awareness of authorized access and egress concerns.  Before any selection of commercial door hardware is made, there are four primary questions you must ask. They are;

  1. Where is the doors location?
    1. Is it an exterior door?
    2. Is it an interior door?
  2. What is the arrangement (number of doors in the opening)
    1. Is there only one door?
    2. Are there two doors in the same opening?
  3. Regulatory requirements
    1. None
    2. Fire Rated; Hardware for Fire Doors and Windows NFPA80
    3. Means of Egress; Life Safety Code NFPA 101
    4. Accessible and Useable Buildings and Facilities (ADA)
  1. Doors operation
    1. Is the door required to latch?
    2. Is the door required to lock?
    3. Is the door to be self closing?

Once the above 4 questions have been answered, additional door information must be known before the actual selection of each piece of commercial door hardware is made;

Door Size;

  • Width of the door(s)
  • Height of the door(s)

Door Material;

  • Is it a wood door?
  • Is it a metal door?
  • Other material?

Frame Material;

  • Is it a wood frame?
  • Is it a metal frame?
  • Other material?

Once the four questions have been answered and the door’s size and material have been determined the selection becomes easier.


The process of selecting commercial door hardware for a single door (one door in an opening) or a pair of doors (two doors in one opening) becomes simpler if a procedure is established and followed each time.  The book Door Hardware Simplified should be referenced for a more detailed explanation of selecting commercial door hardware.

Follow these 8 simple steps for each door.

  1. Hang the Door; always hang the door first with hinges, floor closers or pivots.
  2. Lock the Door;

If hardware is to be selected for a Pair of Doors the inactive leaf, or the door that will not be used every time to access a room or area must first be secured or locked first before a locking device is selected for the active leaf.  The active leaf of a pair of doors will be the door that gets the locking device.

A) Active Leaf ; the latching or locking device for the active door can consist of many types of hardware; lockset or latchset, deadbolt, exit device, etc.


  1. Operate the Door; if a latching or locking device is not required the use of door pulls and/or push plates may be chosen.


  1. Close the Door; if the door is required to automatically self close, and if floor closers are not used to hang the door the use of surface mounted door closers would be used.
  2. Stop the Door; there are many types of stops to choose from.  They can range from; wall stops, floor stops, overhead stops and holders, and door holders.
  3. Protect the Door; protection plates consist of, kick plates, mop plates, armor plates and even door edges.
  4. Seal the Door; with thresholds, weather stripping or gasketing.
  5. Miscellaneous Items; door silencers, room numbers, card holders, viewers, or any electrical components required for the locking portion or controlling of the door. I.e. power supplies, controllers, actuators, etc.


Selecting or servicing commercial door hardware has become more simplified thanks to the book Door Hardware Simplified and to the website www.doorhardwaresimplified.  Visit it often.


Copyright © 2013, 2014 Lee A. Garver


Commercial Door Hardware Training

July 11, 2013
Category: Articles

Commercial Door Hardware Training

Lee A. Garver DAHC, FDHI

Commercial Door Hardware Training has become essential and crucial to anyone trying to select or maintain a door assembly that has commercial door hardware installed on it.  Included in a door assembly is the door frame, door and all the necessary door hardware and the components required to properly operate the door assembly as intended.

Door hardware for commercial applications has seen many changes recently stemming from; new building life safety codes, fire door inspection requirements and government regulations which have drastically affected what type of commercial hardware is selected and the performance of it.

The book Door Hardware Simplified authored by Lee A. Garver DAHC, FDHI was written to be recognized as a resource reference for individuals who would like to learn more about basic commercial door hardware and who are interested in continuing their education to include a recognized credential from one of the industry organizations that specializes in door hardware and the many components that are a part of it.

Door hardware training can come in many forms.  It can come directly from a manufacturer or an industry organization such as, Door and Hardware Institute or the Associated Locksmiths of America or as it is now referred to as ALOA Security Professionals Association.  In any form, it is imperative for anyone that comes in contact with commercial door hardware to become completely knowledgeable in the selection process of door hardware and the unique technical aspects of the maintenance and servicing of it.

The Door and Hardware institute is a membership organization that offers its members specific credentials such as; AHC – Architectural Hardware Consultant, CDC – Certified Door Consultants, EHC – Electrified Hardware Consultant.  When a person achieves all three certifications he/she is automatically awarded the AOC credential which identifies them as an Architectural Openings Consultant.  Education from Door and Hardware Institute is delivered either through online continuing education or via instructor led sessions during one of their mega schools which is delivered by industry volunteer instructors.

ALOA Security Professionals Association is also a membership organization which offers a number of recognized credentials that relate to the locksmithing professional; they are, CRL – Certified Registered Locksmith and CML – Certified Master Locksmith. ALOA offers other areas of training and certification and they are delivered by CAI – Certified ALOA Instructors.  These certified instructors must complete a professional training session and are required to be approved by ALOA before becoming an instructor for any of their certified courses.

Any form of commercial door hardware training must, at a minimum be comprised of the complete understanding of each piece of door hardware that together allows the door to function properly, meeting all regulatory and operational functions of the opening.

Currently a Door Hardware Technician doesn’t have a dedicated curriculum or a recognized certification, but it is this authors opinion that a person who has an industry credential from Door and Hardware Institute or ALOA Security Professional Association, and one that continues to participate in continuing educational programs offered by leading door hardware manufacturers, is a perfect candidate to be recognized as one.

One aspect that must be included in this article is the recent initiative by various states, of the requirement of a commercial door hardware service person to be licensed.   Any individual who services, adjusts or installs door hardware must be licensed by that state.  This also comes at a time where all fire door assemblies must be inspected annually by an individual who is knowledgeable of door hardware, or who has completed one of the many certified fire door inspection programs that are available.

A person who is considered a door hardware technician, or who wants to be recognized as a door hardware technician, must be a person who continues to seek out any type of door hardware training and achieve all possible certifications relating to door hardware.  They must also be aware of the regulatory requirements of the state for which they service door hardware.

Door Hardware Simplified offers the door hardware technician a complete overview of basic commercial door hardware and should be considered as the go-to resource manual for any of the training necessary to be recognized as a Door Hardware Technician.

Copyright © 2013, 2014 Lee A. Garver

Door Hardware Technician Guide

June 11, 2013
Category: Articles

Door Hardware Technician Guide

Lee A. Garver DAHC, FDHI


A Door Hardware Technician is a person who must have the technical knowledge necessary to service, maintain and install all of the different components of commercial door hardware and this Door Hardware Technician Guide will expand on the importance of understanding each piece of door hardware and its application.

For a  person to be recognized as a door hardware technician he or she must have a thorough understanding of all the different pieces of door hardware.

Finding training for this designation can be difficult, this Door Hardware Technician Guide will introduce you to a few of the sources available; one source is the specific manufacturer of the hardware item itself.  Typically the manufacturer can offer all the necessary technical information regarding their product; however a Door Hardware Technician must have the knowledge of an individual hardware item plus all of the commercial door hardware items that are installed on the door itself.  Generally speaking each individual hardware item when installed on a door serves a unique function to a door assembly.  A swinging door assembly will most likely include the door frame, the door, hinges, locking mechanism, door closer, stop, protection plates and miscellaneous items.  Each individual item plays an important role in the  successful operation of a door assembly, therefore a door hardware technician must have the knowledge of not only each item separately, but have the knowledge of the entire door assembly and its proper functionality.

Door Hardware Simplified; the book, was written for individuals who would like to learn more about basic commercial door hardware;  and its application, the selection process of each piece of door hardware – including basic helpful hints regarding the care and preventative maintenance for each piece of commercial door hardware.

In addition to the 12 dedicated pages titled “Doorware Care”, a quick tip matrix has been included in Door Hardware Simplified organizing the most common problems associated with commercial door hardware problematic conditions with the most common solution, including specific quick tips that can resolve each issue.  Pointed out throughout the book is the fact that the most common problem associated with commercial door hardware is the direct result of improper installation and that manufacturer’s installation sheets were not followed.

The number one non-hardware related condition that affects door hardware and is the direct result of commercial door hardware failure, is the door frame condition.  If the door frame is not square or plumb it can contribute to;

The door not closing

The door is binding

The door not closing and latching properly

Difficulty in retracting the locks latchbolt

The locks latchbolt either hangs up on the strike or doesn’t engage fully into the strike plate.

Latchbolt alignment with the strike plate

If the door frame is square and plumb the next condition to check would be the fasteners of each piece of door hardware that is installed on the door, are they tight and are they the manufacturer’s original fasteners?  It is not uncommon for fasteners to loosen up; it can be the result of vibration and door usage.  Over tightened fasteners can contribute to the door not latching, difficulty in retracting the latchbolt and even preventing the latchbolt of a lockset from fully engaging into the strike plate.

There are a number of conditions that can cause door hardware failure or problems for a door assembly when there is a door closer on it.  A door closer is designed to close the door every time the door opens, unless it incorporates a feature that holds it open.  If a door closer is installed incorrectly and not in accordance with the manufacturer’s installation sheet or if the door closer is not sized correctly it will affect other door hardware installed on the door.  A door closer when installed properly and sized appropriately will ensure a smooth and positive closing and latching cycle for which it was intended to do.  A door closer that is not adjusted properly will affect the door not closing properly, door latching and overall performance of the assembly.

A great deal of effort was made to incorporate Doorware Care in Door Hardware Simplified to simplify the task of troubleshooting a door assembly that is not functioning as intended.  This article only touches on some of the most common problems so please visit and get your copy of the quick tips so you can be proficient in detecting a common problem associated with commercial door hardware and its application.

Copyright © 2013, 2014 Lee A. Garver

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