Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Choosing Antique Reproduction Door Hardware: Getting To The Heart Of Things

Choosing antique reproduction door hardware is a little like searching for a soul mate.  Initially, you might be attracted to what is on the outside but ultimately it will be what is on the inside that will determine compatibility.  Today, we put aside the superficial and look at the technical aspects that you should consider when choosing antique reproduction door hardware.

Judging what is on the inside of door hardware requires understanding the door's function.  Not all doors have the same function.  For example, some doors simply have to open and close while others must lock.  Shop 4 Classics offers most interior door hardware with a choice of functions to satisfy every door hardware need.  Below is a summary of common interior door hardware functions.
Passage Tubular Latch (top)
and Privacy Tubular Latch  (bottom).

Passage Function - The most common door function is passage.  Passage door hardware includes two door knobs, two backplates, and a passage latch.  These doors latch but they do not lock.  Closet doors and doors in hallways are examples of doors that use passage latches.

Privacy Function - Privacy door hardware includes two door knobs, two backplates, and a privacy latch.  Privacy latches lock to prevent unwanted guests from entering a room.  Privacy latches are used for bedroom doors and bathroom doors.  Shop 4 Classics privacy latches rely on a pin that projects through a small hole in the backplate near the doorknob.  Pushing the pin in will lock the latch so it cannot be easily opened from the outside.

Antique Mortise Lock
Mortise Lock Function - Antique mortise door hardware includes two door knobs, two backplates, and a mortise lockset.  Mortise locksets are box shaped locks that fit into a cavity cut into the door stile.  For interior doors, mortise locks are used almost exclusively in antique doors that have already been prepped for such a lock.  Shop 4 Classics interior mortise locks are keyed on both sides and include two skeleton keys.  The backplates have a keyhole below the doorknob to accommodate the key.

Dummy Function - Dummy door hardware is used for non-latching doors.  The doorknobs do not turn to operate a latch. Dummy door hardware can be used for a door pull or simply to match the door hardware on the active half of a French door.  Single dummy door hardware (also called half dummy) includes a single knob, single backplate, and a dummy spindle.  Double dummy door hardware (also called full dummy) includes two knobs, two backplates, and two dummy spindles.  Single dummy door hardware is used for one side of one door.  Double dummy door hardware is installed back-to-back for both sides of one door.

You might browse through the door hardware section of Shop 4 Classics much like you would page through the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue and think to yourself, "that one would be perfect" but eventually you will need to consider function over form (no matter how perfect the form may be).  Start your search for antique reproduction door hardware by choosing what looks good.  Shop to your heart's content but before you become to smitten with a particular design, make sure that the hardware's function satisfies your door's needs.

Shop 4 Classics offers vintage door hardware designs without surrendering modern quality and functionality.  Visit Shop 4 Classics for period door hardware from Nostalgic Warehouse, Brass Accents, and Grandeur.

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