Door Decor

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The doors inside your home are an excellent opportunity to give your interior décor a rejuvenating upgrade. From the front door to the bathroom doors, the opportunities are right at your fingertips.

But where to start? This guide will walk you through the steps and make sure you're armed with all of the right information to update your door hardware.


When choosing a latch for your new door, you'll need to know two things in particular—the type of faceplate you're looking for and the backset measurement. The backset describes the length of the latch itself. To determine this, start at the edge of the door and measure out to the borehole drilled in your door—this is your backset measurement.

For your faceplate, look at the groove cut into the edge of the door. If it has rounded corners, you'll need a round corner latch. Similarly, square corners on your groove will need (surprise!) a square corner latch. If there is no groove, you'll need a drive-in latch that doesn't come with a faceplate at all.

Some latches come with adjustable backsets and both faceplates. This can be a simple option, but if you get an adjustable backset, be sure it measures either 2 3-8 inches or 2 3-4 inches—the two most common sizes.


Handing is a term used to describe which way a door handle turns. This might seem a little confusing at first, but it's really quite easy to determine.

Stand on the outside of the room you're going to enter. Facing the door, take note of which side the hinges are on.

If your door swings inward:

  • Left handing: Hinges are on the left
  • Right handing: Hinges are on the right

If your door swings outward:

  • Left hand reverse: Hinges are on the left
  • Right hand reverse: Hinges are on the right

NOTE: Reverse swings are only on mortise handlesets

More and more handles are available with adjustable handing, but just knowing the handing of your door will keep you from feeling limited in your shopping.

Door thickness

Most interior doors are 1 3-8 inches thick and most exterior doors measure 1 3-4 inches. If your door is thicker than these standard measurements, you'll need additional (longer) components to connect the hardware from one side of the door to the other. This is commonly known as a "thick door kit." Some door hardware manufacturers provide these for free, while others charge for it.


Center-to-center is an important measurement when it comes to shopping for handlesets. It makes sure that your new fixture will fit into your door's pre-drilled holes. Just look at the two holes drilled in the side of the door for the deadbolt and the latch, then measure from the center of the top hole to the center of the bottom hole. This is your door's center-to-center measurement.


If you're buying more than one lock, you'll have the option of having your locks keyed alike or different. Locks that are keyed alike will use the same key and different keying requires a different key for each lock.

Keying is not the same across manufacturers—if you order two different locks from two different manufacturers, the keys probably won't match.


To determine the size hinges you need, look at the grooves that are cut into your door and door frame. You'll need to determine the following: Height, width and corner type (square, ¼ inch, 5/8 inch).

The grooves in your door will tell you the type of corner you have. If the corners are square, you have a square-corner hinge. If they're curved, measure from the beginning of the curve to where the top of the hinge would be if it were square. This will measure either ¼ inch or 5/8 inch.

Until next time, Happy Home Improving!

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Sean Murphy has 1 articles online is a leader in providing online home improvement products. We specialize in offering plumbing, lighting, ventilation, door hardware and home decor products. We offer the best selection online at the lowest prices anywhere. We can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.


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This article was published on 2010/11/10