Door hardware includes all the hardware necessary to make your door function. This includes the lock, door knobs or handles and hinges. Door hardware adds to the beauty of your home and makes a statement about you. In a new home the builder’s designer will probably ask you to select the style and finish of your door hardware first. Why? Other hardware selections (faucets, shower fixtures, light fixtures) will be coordinated with the door hardware. Typically, if you choose oil rubbed bronze window latches you will also have oil rubbed bronze door hinges, locks and door knobs or handles. The proper selection of hardware will add cohesiveness to the design of the home.
Once you decide on the hardware finish you will then need to choose the functionality of the door knobs for each room. Bathroom and bedrooms will typically use a privacy lock to allow the occupants of that room to lock the door from the inside. If you are doing the installation be sure you place the lock on the inside of the room to prevent anyone from being locked in the room and place the unlocking key somewhere on the outside of the room where it can be easily accessed in case of an emergency. (On top of the door molding is a typical location.) Passageway locksets are typically for doors that do not require a privacy lock, such as closets, doors to stairways, laundry rooms, mud rooms or hallways. Dummy door knobs can also be used to provide a handle to pull open a door that is held shut by a magnet rather than a lock – these are typically used on closets with double doors.
Beyond the functionality you can also choose to use door knobs or door handles. Door handles are generally easier to operate (even dogs learn to open them) and add a European look. Door knobs can be more elegant especially if you opt for crystal door knobs.
If you are building a custom home you will also choose the interior door styles. Your door hardware style and finish should be complimentary to the door style. As an example: six panel oak doors with oil rubbed bronze hardware and crystal door knobs will give a new home an older feel especially when matched with oil rubbed bronze schoolhouse ceiling light fixtures and oil rubbed bronze faucets.
If you are restoring an older home you may want to use restoration hardware to maintain the look and feel of the home when it was first constructed. One caution here is that you will need to make sure the locks are appropriate for the thickness of the door as this varied in older construction.
While you are going through the selection process make sure you take your time and think through all the items that need to be chosen, let your personal style and character come through and have fun!