Our discussion on the door hardware basics concludes with this final article which will cover part 4: protecting the door.

Protect The Door

Hardware that will protect a door is crucial for the longevity and endurance of the door in the opening. Protecting the door can also protect the building and individuals going through that opening. While doors can be built with durable cores and faces, installing hardware used for protecting them is a valuable investment.

Protective door hardware includes push plates and pull plates, door pulls, protection plates, door stops, wall bumpers, gasketing and thresholds to name a few.

Protection Plates

When thinking of how to protect a door most people may have kick plates come to mind. Protection plates come in different sizes and are meant to protect the faces of the door. Plates come in four types: mop plates, kick plates, stretcher plates, and armor plates. Kick plates and armor plates are probably the most commonly specified protection plates.

Door Protection Plates

Kick Plates

Kick plates cover the bottom 8 to 16 inches of the door and are installed on the “push” side of the door. Armor plates cover the bottom 24 to 48 inches of the door and can be installed on either the “push” or “pull” side of the door. Armor plates prevent equipment that passes by the door from damaging the faces.

Push and Pull Plates

Door Pull Plates

Pull Plates

Doors without latching hardware will often have push and pull plates or a combination of pulls and bars. This type of hardware is sometimes referred to as “door trim”. These prevent scratches, dirt and fingerprints as people use the opening. These plates and handles can come in many different styles and mounting options.

You wouldn’t want hand prints all over your beautiful glass doors!

Door Stop and Bumpers

Stops and bumpers have the dual function of controlling and protecting the door. Door stops can be mounted on the floor, to the wall or mounted overhead to the door and frame. These protect the walls and items that are in the path of the door’s swing. The doors are also protected from damaging the faces and the hardware that is installed on the door.

Gasketing and Thresholds

Finally we come to gasketing and thresholds which protect the door but also protect the building or space where the door is located. Gasketing provides a seal around the perimeter of the door that can reduce the transmission of sound, light, smoke, and the elements.

Gasketing is commonly referred to as “perimeter seals” or “weatherstripping”.

Thresholds will protect the flooring beneath the door and can act as a barrier between spaces. Thresholds sometimes will have seals inserted into them that act as a gasket at the bottom of the door. They can also be used to seal the gap between the bottom of the door and the flooring.


Protecting the door is accomplished in many ways. The location of the opening and how it will be used can determine how much hardware is needed to fully protect the door and the surrounding architectural elements.

Now that you know the basics of how door hardware should function you are better equipped to understand how openings in a building should function. If you notice any faulty doors or hardware, you can now quickly diagnose which function needs to be addressed and ensure that the 4 basics are covered:

  1. Hang the door
  2. Secure the door
  3. Control the door
  4. Protect the door