Door hardware serves 4 basic purposes or functions. The 4 basic door hardware functions are:

  1. To hang the door
  2. To secure the door
  3. To control the door
  4. To protect the door

In this article we will cover the first basic purpose of hardware: hang the door.

1. Hang the door

Doors will not be able to open and shut if they cannot swing. Doors cannot swing on the door frame unless they are hanging on the frame some how. This is accomplished by the use of hinges.

Hinges come in several types. The most common type of door hinge is the conventional butt hinge. Butt hinges can be mortised into the door and frame or surface mounted. Conventional hinges are generally supplied with ball bearings for commercial applications. The ball bearings in the hinges help the hinge last longer and swing smoother.

The next type of hinges are continuous hinges. These are hinges that run the full height of the door and frame. Continuous hinges can carry more weight by distributing the weight of the door the full length of the frame. Aluminum geared hinges or pin and barrel hinges are the typical options you’ll find in continuous hinges.

Finally, there are pivot hinges. Pivots are an appealing option because of their aesthetically pleasing look. Pivots can also carry heavier loads than conventional hinges by transferring the weight of the door into the structure of the building instead of the frame. There are center pivots, offset pivots, and even concealed pivots.

With any method that you choose to hang the door, be sure you are aware of the door and framing conditions as well as any codes or special requirements that must be met.

Hinges are the starting point of using a door in the way it is intended. Without working hinges, no matter what else is installed on the door, the door won’t function and that can cause many more issues to the occupants of a building.

In part 2 of this series of articles we will cover the next basic function of door hardware: securing the door.