Handrail brackets aren’t something a lot of people think too terribly much about. But there are many among us that are hardware snobs due to our various professions whether it be home builder, interior designer, architect or hardware retailers like myself. If you know much about hardware, you know that the standard handrail brackets work, they just aren’t the most attractive. So what do you do when you’re building a multi million dollar home, or a really high end office? Linnea makes a great quality modern style handrail bracket that looks great and is nice and sturdy. We’ve sold a slew of these to designers and builders working on luxury type projects where the standard bracket just won’t do. More spendy? yes. But some times you get what you pay for. In this case it’s better quality and a clean sleek look worthy of high end projects.
Emtek continues to lead the way with their innovative new EMTouch keyless locks. The EMTouch locks function much like a smart phone with it’s sleek touch screen. When not in use the touch screen is blacked out, and when touched the numbers light up for quick and easy code entry. The EMTouch keypad is available on Emtek’s E4827 Handleset, the E3020 Deadbolt and E4020 Keyless Lever set. Add a really cool modern and techno look to your door and get the added benefits of a keyless lock.
Do you have an older door with smaller than standard door prep? The most common door prep is 2 1/8″ dia. You probably know this already and have been looking all over for something that will fit a 1 5/8″ dia. bore hole. We now carry Baldwin door hardware and they make a deadbolt that will work on this smaller sized bore hole. Check it out:
Installing a commercial door lever is a little intimidating at first, but it’s really quite simple once you understand how the lock assembly works in the door. They are even more challenging to install in doors that are prepped for residential locks. Commercial doors are generally prepped a little differently as the heavy duty locks used in commercial construction are a bit bulkier.
I recently installed some ezset commercial levers and took some pictures along the way to help illustrate how they are installed. Commercial Locks like these are cylindrical locks which means that they have a cylindrical housing that fits into the bore hole. The latch then attaches to that cylinder. Cylinderical locks are a more stout than your regular tubular latch type lock, so they hold up better in commercial applications.
This type of commercial lock is designed to fit a 2 1/8″ bore hole, but two additional holes are required – one above the bore hole, one below. Other Commercial locks from Schlage, Falcon or other brands will also require this same type of preparation. To prep the bore for the new lock, you’ll need to drill these holes. You can either measure, or use the template included in the package. You can see the supplied template has both standard backsets marked out. Just line up the edge, and center the circle over the bore hole. Pretty easy to do if you have some light shining behind the door. Now drill your holes. Since I installed these locks on steel residential doors, I first made a small hole in the surface to start the drill bit and keep it accurate. If you don’t, you’ll likely get some floating on your bit and the hole won’t be in the right spot.
You can see in this photo below, the latch is installed in the cross bore. Those little tabs will align into the housing when you install the door lever, we’ll show you how to install that in the next couple of steps. First you need to drill your holes and now that you’ve made a starter hole, it will be a bit easier. Make sure you’re using a good drill bit designed to drill through steel as other types of bits may pull too hard and damage the surrounding surface of the hole you are drilling. If you are installing in wood doors, you may still want a starter hole just to help you keep it straight and on target.
Before you start installing the lever set, you’ll want to verify your door thickness. Out of the box these commercial levers will fit 1 3/4″ thick doors which is pretty standard for exterior doors. If you are installing on a thinner interior door, you may need to adjust the cylindrical housing of the lock so that it will fit. To do this, you’ll need to remove the outside lever with the little tool provided, pull the rosette and then twist the housing. Its hard to see in this picture but the spindle between the cylindrical housing and the rosette is threaded. As you twist the housing on the threaded core, you can fit it to your door thickness. Once your done adjusting, put the rosette back in place and slide the lever back on until the spring loaded pin pops into place. By the way, you cannot remove this outer lever unless you have a key in the cylinder, this protects you from someone removing your outside lever to get in your door. It’s not possible to take apart unless you have the right key.
Now, insert the latch into the cross bore on the edge of the door and slide the outside half of the lever set into the bore hole. You’ll want to hold the latch in place and make sure it slides into the square notch on the edge of the cylindrical housing shown in the picture below. You can install the latch with screws on the mounting plate before hand if you wish.
Now that you have the latch and outside housing in place you’ll need to attach the inside mounting plate. There is a little arrow on the edge of the plate. That arrow needs to be pointed to the edge of the door where the latch is. You’ll use the screws provided to attach the plate to the other side of the lever using the inner holes on the mounting plate as shown below. You can see there is a hole right above the bolt we are installing below, you’ll use that hole in the next step, so be sure and put that first bolt in the correct hole.
Now you’ll mount the outer mounting ring. Again, be sure that the little arrow along the edge of the circular mounting plate is on the side, pointing to the edge of the door. Use either the short black screws, or longer screws provided for added security if you wish.
Now you can Install the rosette. Just slide it over the outer mounting ring in the slots top and bottom and twist.
Then slide on your interior lever until the spring loaded tab locks it in place. If you ever need to remove the lock, you can use the tool provided (shown in previous picture) to depress the tab and slide the lever back off. You can also use a paper clip or something similar. As I mentioned before, to remove the outside lever you have to have a key for security reasons, the inside lever you do not.
That’s it for the lock. Now all you have to install is the strike. These levers come standard with a heavy duty T Strike, installation of strikes is pretty simple so we won’t get into it here. I hope this article gives you a bit more confidence installing a commercial lock if you have not done so before.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to install a Lockey M210 Mechanical Keyless Deadbolt. This deadbolt is very easy to install already, but to make it even easier, Lockey came out with an Lockey M210EZ. The M210 requires that you drill an additional hole above the standard bore hole, the M210EZ does not require the additional hole. I installed this lock for a friend of mine who will be using it on his manufacturing facility. Because it will be a high use door, we opted for the M210 which has the additional hole, mainly just for added security. We probably didn’t need to, but since I was installing having to drill an additional hole was not a big deal to me. The deadbolt was very easy to install and looks great on the door. I added this picture above so you can see the size relative to my hand. Before seeing this lock in person, i imagined it being much larger. It comes with a black trim piece that mounts behind the keypad and covers the bore hole and looks nice completely installed. This mechanical lock is built well and has smooth operation when entering the code and retracting the lock.
To lock the door from the inside or out, just throw the bolt using the turn knob. From the outside, once the bolt is thrown you have to unlock using the code. From the inside, just retract with the turn knob. I like this keyless deadbolt because it is very simple to use, sturdy and smooth.
The Pro’s to this lock:
– Easy Install on Standard Bore (M210EZ even easier install)
– Mechanical Lock means no batteries to worry about.
– Smooth operation and sturdy feel.
– Simple. Sometimes you just want a simple functional lock – this is it.
Cons (Well, cons if you care about these features):
– You can only have one code (some electronic keyless locks allow up to 20 or more codes)
– The buttons are not lit.
– You have to remove the lock to change the code.
Ironically, the Lockey has the word ‘Digital’ stamped on the lock, but it is not a digital lock – Mechanical however, it is.
Overall, I was pleased with this lock. I would buy this lock for its simplicity, functionality and sturdy construction.
Keyless locks with remote key fobs are a popular type of keyless lock because they give you the option of using your key fob, key or key code on the keypad. Much like your car key fob you use to unlock your doors the Lockstate keyless deadbolt uses a similar key fob, except that your horn won’t honk and lights on your house won’t flash when it’s locked or unlocked. This keyless deadbolt comes in a variety of finishes and you can even order multiple key fobs if you want. Sorry, you still have to remember not to let your key fob go through the washing machine.
Sure-Loc leads the way again with a an affordable modern lever that is great quality for the price. Check out the new Sure-Loc Oslo Lever:
Schlage has come out with a new modern style lever that has been quite popular. Be sure to check it out. It has nice simple lines, a great price for modern levers and backed by Schlage, a market leader.
Check it out:
There are days when I don’t think about door hardware at all. I know this is hard to believe because it’s such a fascinating product, but it’s true, sometimes we get away from it all and spend some time doing something fun. This last weekend my brother and I took our kids on a backpack trip into the peaks of Northern Utah. We had a great time and honestly I could have used a day or two longer in the mountains to forget about my worries.
Ever wonder how the latch mechanisms compare from brand to brand? Most people probably think very little about their door latches and how they are made, but I’m a door hardware geek, so it interests me. First of all, let me describe the three most common types of door latches today. I’ve included an image of how they look on the edge of your door so you can compare to what you have.
The drive in latch is the easiest to install. You don’t have to chisel anything out of your door, just tap the latch into the hole (make sure the latch is placed in the correct direction) and you can install the knob or lever. If your door is already prepped for a larger faceplate, these won’t work. How do you know? If the edge of your door is smooth with just a 1″ hole for the latch, drive in will work. If the 1″ hole has a rectangular indentation around it where some of the door material has been removed, you’ll need one of the following types of latches.
Pros: Super easy to install. No door prep other than bore hole and cross bore.
Cons: Not quite as solid as larger faceplate styles, don’t look quite as nice.
Rounded Corner Faceplate Door Latch
Rounded corner faceplate latches are pretty common. Door shops will often use a router jig to remove the material around the crossbore (latch hole). Because they are using router bit, the corners are rounded. Doing this takes a little more time for the door shop, but in looks nicer on the door than a drive in latch does. The larger faceplate also keeps the latch solidly in place as it’s position is held with 2 mounting screws, whereas the drive in latch can shift in the crossbore if it is not snug enough.
Pros: Door shop can prep the doors so the install is easy. Looks nicer. More solid than drive in.
Cons: If your doors aren’t prepped, you need power tools, jigs and some experience to do it.
Square Corner Faceplate Latches
Square corner faceplate latches are standard on most higher end door hardware brands. These are generally installed the old school way using a nice sharp chisel and hammer. If done properly, a nice square corner faceplate latch chiseled carefully and at just the right depth looks the best. If you have rounded corner faceplates you can replace them with square corner by chiseling out your corners, but they usually look the nicest if you are starting from scratch, rather than retro-fitting. I personally like this look the best because it is nice and clean and I like square corners.
Pros: Nice and Clean lock. More secure on the door than drive in. Can use these to replace rounded corner or drive in.
Cons: Take a little time, patience and skill with a chisel to prep the door.
Now that we’ve covered the main types of latches, lets get into the different brands and what type of latch they are packed with from the factory.
Schlage – The nice thing about Schlage latches is that they design them so that they are compatible with all of the most common latch designs so they are an easy replacement. The Schlage latch shown here has the faceplate attached (packed with both square corner and rounded faceplate) but you can remove it and use the latch as a drive in instead. A great replacement lock. Schlage latches have adjustable backsets.
Kwikset – Shown here is the drive in option on their latches. Kwikset also packs their latches with all three options, drive-in, rounded faceplate and square faceplate. Also a great replacement lock because of the flexibility of their latches. Kwikset Latches have adjustable backsets.
Weiser – Also similar to the Schlage and Kwikset latches because they will accomodate however your door is prepped. Weiser was recently purchased by Kwikset so they may be packing identical latches soon. Weiser latches have adjustable backsets.
Sure-Loc – Sure-loc latches are basically drive in latches with a removable rounded corner faceplate. You can request a square corner faceplate latch as well, but they are not packed from the factory with this type as the drive in or rounded is the most common. Sure-Loc latches have adjustable backsets.
Weslock – Weslock latches in my opinion are the nicest latch for the money in the pricepoint their door locks are in – competing with Schlage, Kwikset, etc. The latch is heavy duty and adjustable by snapping off the end of the latch. Weslock packs their door hardware with a latch and both rounded and square corner faceplate. Drive in latches are available upon request, but not standard.
Emtek packs their hardware with standard square corner faceplate latches. Rounded Corner faceplate latches and drive in latches are available upon request. Emtek latches are not adjustable so you will need to specify 2 3/8″ or 2 3/4″ backset when you order.
Grandeur, Nostalgic Warehouse and Baldwin all use latches that are very similar to Emtek’s Latch style. All are packed with square corner faceplates as a standard. You can request the rounded corner faceplate latches or drive-in. All of these brands require you to specify the backset upon ordering.
There are many other brands of hardware out there which may have different latch styles, but hopefully this give you a good overview of the main brands. Most faceplates are 1″ wide and 2 1/4″ tall. The most important thing is that you double check what you have before you replace it. If you have ordered locks with the incorrect backset or latch type, we can just replace the latches for you rather than returning them all.