Our Guide to Front Door Hardware: What You Need to Know

front door hardwareWhen buying a new door, there is more to think about than just the door itself. There are many options when it comes to front door hardware. Locks, bells, handles and other accessories help define your door. Whether you are looking for a safer option or something more stylish,we have a guide to help you find exactly what you desire.

Front Door Hardware That Keeps Your Home Safe

Everyone knows that locks are there to keep you safe from break-ins, however, they could also add a little flair to your door. You have many different choices, so it is important that you know what you want with your lock.

Entry Lockset

Entry locksets are common for your front door. They offer a medium level of security but don’t overwhelm the door with large, unattractive locks. It locks from both the inside and outside and has a dead latch. Many colors and styles  are available including different types of door knobs and handles.

Deadbolt Lock

The deadbolt lock provides the maximum level of security. They are called “dead” bolt locks because there are no springs to operate the bolt. It locks to the door frame which makes it difficult to pry open. Be careful though: deadbolt locks come in many sizes because they are made to fit directly into the door. Make sure you measure the hole in the door before purchasing a lock.

Privacy Lock

Privacy locks are interior only locks. They are made more for privacy than security. They are typically found on bathroom or bedroom doors but can be used on your front door. This would give the door more of a sleek and less crowded look. The lock is a button or level that locks the door from the inside. This button or level can be found on the knob of the door or can be a separate piece. From the outside, the lock can be opened by inserting a narrow object into a small hole found on the door.

Mortise Lock

mortise lockMortise locks are flat boxes that fit into the recess of your door. Much like deadbolt locks, make sure you measure the recess because the mortise lock comes in multiple sizes and styles to fit your door. It also comes in a right or left handed  style. Similar to the entry lockset, a knob or handle can be part of the flat box if you are interested. It locks with a pin tumbler locking mechanism. The latch can be locked on either side but the knob is only locked from the inside.

Electronic Door Lock

These are unlike any lock mentioned above. The electronic door lock uses a security code to gain entrance through the door. There is a pad with numeric buttons ranging from zero to nine. The user creates a four to five digit code using the buttons, and the door only unlocks when the created code is input correctly.

Night Latch

You see these a lot at hotels or older apartment buildings. Night latches are installed to the surface of your door. It is a latch that locks with a chain in order to hold the door shut when opened. Usually, these are most effective when used with other locks rather than on its own.

You Have to Open Your Door Somehow

As mentioned above, some locks have knobs, levers or handles installed with them. That being said, if there isn’t one pre-installed with your lock, you have a few options from which to choose.


A door knob is the most common handle for interior doors but can also be used for the exterior of the front door as well. The advantage of a door knob is that it can be used on doors that swing in either direction. They are also difficult for children or pets to open which is a great safety feature. Unlike the other options, door knobs don’t catch on or damage clothing.


door handlesHandles are another option for your front door hardware which provides a bit more visual drama. It isn’t often you see a handle on a front door. In order to open it, you have to squeeze a button or lever while pulling towards you in order to open. That means it is still difficult for pets and children to open. Make sure you know which direction your door swings cause handles can’t go on doors that swing in both directions.


The level is the most unique of the three. It is the easiest to open of the three because you only have to push down on the level and the door is able to swing. While this makes it easier for pets and children to open the door, it almost helps those with arthritis or hand injuries. This is because you do not have to grip or push anything with the lever. You have to make sure you know which way your door swings before purchasing this hardware though.

Knock Knock

door knockerEveryone nowadays seems to have door bells, so the use of a door knocker has been relegated to aesthetic appeal. That being said, door knockers can add a sophisticated look to your home. They come in many different shapes and sizes; some are even as crazy as a hand. They are also made of many different types of metals or woods. We recommend that if you are interested in door knockers, you take a look and see which shape, size and material looks best for your door before purchasing.


Door bells are an essential piece of front door hardware. How would you know there was someone at your house without one? That being said, many people aren’t aware that they have a couple options with door bells and the chimes they play.

Wired Doorbells

Wired doorbells are directly hardwired to the electrical system of your home. While the wiring through your house is inconvenient to install and maintain, it does have its advantages. Wired door bells do not run on batteries. This will not only save you cost on batteries but also makes the door bell more reliable than one that isn’t hardwired.

Wireless Doorbells

Wireless doorbells are the opposite of wired doorbells: they work off radio waves rather than being hardwired to the electrical system. This means there are less wires running throughout your home, however, it does run on batteries. It also has a larger range so that the bell could be heard throughout the house.


Doorbells used to have only one option: a standard tone. While you can still get that, you have so many more options now. Its very common for someone to get a buzz or a chime rather than the ring. Its different but still not too long or overbearing. You do have the choice to also get music or popular jingles such as Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

You Even Have Options with Your Door Hinges

Hinges are often the most forgotten piece front door hardware. They play a major role in the look of your door or how your door will open. We have a few suggestions for hinges that might help make that decision easier.

Barrel Hinge

The barrel hinge gets its name from its shape; the hinge has a hollow section in the middle. These are very sturdy hinges that are made for doors that experience a great deal of traffic. That makes the barrel hinge a great hinge for your front door.

Strap Hinge

strap hinge on red doorsThese are used on doors that need extra support. If you have a larger door, it is recommended you use a strap hinge as well. They are installed on to the door like a normal hinge, but then reach across the back of the door to nearly the quart length mark. Not only does it give the door a strong support but also adds style you don’t get with other hinges.

Parliament Hinge

The parliament hinge’s main purpose is to give your door extra range when opening. This is because the hinge has an extended leaf that allows the door to open fully and beyond the frame.  It’s perfect for people moving large furniture in and out of your home.The hinge is easy to distinguish from other hinges because it is sharped like an “H”.

Butt Hinge

A butt hinge inserts into frame of the door. They are made mostly of steel, but when used outdoor, they have stainless steel or brass butt hinges. This is to prevent corrosion of the hinge. The best part of butt hinges is that they come in the largest amounts of style and color to accessorize with your door.

Sometimes the Smallest Accessories Make a Big Difference

spring door stopperNot all front door hardware is obvious. Often forgotten, door stoppers are used to prevent any damage, whether its to the door or the wall behind. You have a few different options with door stoppers:

  • Floor door stop: A floor stop installed on the floor that is used to cushion the impact of slamming
  • Spring door stop: These are installed to the frame of the wall behind the door and prevent your door from hitting the back wall.
  • Hinged Door Stop: An adjustable door stop that is installed to the door itself. It looks like a kick stand for a bike.

Door Hardware You’ll Want For Your Home

There are many ways to improve the look and safety of your front door. Between door knobs, hinges and locks, you can find exactly the right front door hardware that enhances the appeal of your door. While keeping you safe, even making a small change to your door’s hardware can make an old door look new!

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