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


The Book

Door Hardware Simplified has been written for individuals who would like to learn more about basic door hardware and its application...
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The Books

Door Hardware Simplified

Door Hardware Simplified has been written for individuals who would like to learn more about basic door hardware and its application...
Buy Now

Installing Door Hardware Simplified

Simplifying the Installation of Commercial Door hardware!
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