Doorware.com - Door Hardware
 Supplying Door Hardware For Over 15 Years
spacer
Hardware Search 
Home brown spacer  Contractor Login  brown spacer  Specials brown spacer  My Account 
spacer
  Contact Us Checkout checkout
  Track Your Order Cart Total $0.00
spacer
spacer

Join our mailing list and get great deals sent to you!
Subscribe Unsubscribe
spacer
spacer
FREE GROUND SHIPPING All orders over $250.00 - Ends Last day of August

Frequently Asked Questions - Door Locks and Latches

  1. Q. How do I determine the handing for a lock?
  2. Q. What is a reversible lock?
  3. Q. What is Backset and how do I determine the backset for a door lock?
  4. Q. What do the different lock functions mean?
  5. Q. What is a active and inactive door in a set of double doors (pair of doors)?
  6. Q. What is the thickness of a standard door?
  7. Q. What do the keying options on your web site mean?
  8. Q. What is the meaning of a single and double cylinder?
  9. Q. What is a tubular latch or tubular lock?
  10. Q. What is a dead locking latch bolt?
  11. Q. What is a mortise latch or mortise lock?
  12. Q. What is a strike?

Note: The door hardware trade term Lock or Locksets is not just referring to a hardware item that has a cylinder and uses a key. It is a general term for Door Knobs, Door Levers, Handlesets and Deadbolts that latch (hold closed) and/or lock.

  1. Q. How do I determine the handing for a lock?
  2. A. To determine the handing of a door lock, stand Outside the room or building facing the door.
    If the hinges are on the left side of the door, the door is Left Hand (LH).
    If the hinges are on the right side, the door is Right Hand (RH).

    handing of a door
  3. Q. What is a reversible lock?
  4. A. A lock which by reversing the latch bolt, may be used by either hand door (left or right).

  5. Q. What is Backset and how do I determine the backset for a door lock?
  6. A. Measure from the edge of door to the center of the bore hole or the lock body that you are replacing. Most backsets are either 2-3/8" or 2-3/4".

    how to measure door backset


  7. Q. What do the different lock functions mean?
  8. A. Lock functions control the flow of people through a building. Here are a few examples.
    • Keyed Entry or Entry Lock: Uses a key to open the lock from the outside so you can gain entry to space. Some entry locks use cards or push buttons instead of keys.
    • Privacy: Locks but has access to unlock from the outside via a small hole or slot to insert a simple tool. Privacy locks do not offer security. Used on bedroom and bathroom doors.
    • Patio: Lock from the inside and block entry from the outside. They can not be unlocked from the outside. Note: Do not use Patio function lock on balcony doors where it is the only way into the building.
    • Passage: Latches door closed and does not lock. Used on hall and closet doors.
    • Dummy: Single Dummy for one side of door. Double Dummy for both sides of door. Used as a door pull or for matching trim. Most commonly used on the inactive door on double doors.

    Additional Commercial Lock functions.
    • Storeroom: Outside lever/knob fixed, entry by key only. Inside lever/knob always unlocked.
    • Classroom: Outside lever/knob locked and unlocked by key. Inside lever/knob always unlocked
    • Store Entry Double Cylinder Lock: Keyed cylinder in both Outside and Inside knobs. Key in either knob locks or unlocks both at the same time - for Entry doors with glass near the lock including inside office rooms that require security.
    • Communicating Double Cylinder Lock: Keyed cylinder in both Outside and Inside knobs. Key unlocks its own knob independently - for doors that require Keyed security on both sides.
    • Institutional Double Cylinder Lock: Both knobs are Fixed with Keyed cylinder in both Outside and Inside knobs. Entrance by Key in either knob - for doors that require Keyed security on both sides.

  9. Q. What is a active and inactive door in a set of double doors (pair of doors)?
  10. A. The active door is the one that opens first and to which the lock is applied. The inactive door opens only after the active door and is locked in place with Flush Door Bolts or Surface Mounted Door Bolts.

  11. Q. What is the thickness of a standard door?
  12. A. In the U.S. most doors are 1-3/8" or 1-3/4" thick. Most standard door hardware is manufactured to fit 1-3/8" - 2" thick doors. Some manufacturers have extension kits, or will build a lock to fit a thickness over 2 inches. A typical residential interior door is 1-3/8" thick and an exterior door is 1-3/4" thick. Interior and exterior commercial doors are usually 1-3/4" thick.

  13. Q. What do the keying options on your web site mean?
  14. A. You can choose how you want your locks to be keyed.
    •Keyed Alike: If you buy more than one lock, they can all work with the same key.
    •Keyed Different: Each lock will have it's own key that will not fit the others.
    •Non Keyed: Select this option for non keyed Functions (Ex: Privacy. Passage, Dummy)
    Also see: Lock Keying for information of Master keying and other options.

  15. Q. What is the meaning of a single and double cylinder?
  16. •Single Cylinder: Is controlled by a key on the outside and a turn knob on the inside.
    •Double cylinder: is controlled by a key on both the outside and inside. Normally used where you have glass next to the lock, as it can be broken and unlock if a turn knob was there.

  17. Q. What is a tubular latch or tubular lock?
  18. A. This is the most common type of latch/lock found on doors in the U.S. They are used on most standard pre-drilled factory doors. You may not recognize the entire part, but the Latch Bolt should look familiar to you, as it sticks out the edge of a door.
    tubular latch


  19. Q. What is a dead locking latch bolt?
  20. A. A higher security latch bolt incorporating a plunger that is held in a retracted position when the door is closed, preventing it from being slipped open (by a credit card). Usually on keyed levers and knobs.
    dead locking tube latch mortise latch


  21. Q. What is a mortise latch or mortise lock?
  22. A. A lock designed to fit in a cavity that is approximately 7" long by 2" to 6" deep in the edge of door.

  23. Q. What is a strike?
  24. A. A metal plate that receives the door bolt or latch when the door is closed. Strike Plates come in many shapes, styles and sizes for different applications.

ADA Compliant Handicap Logo  10 years of online door hardware shopping  Secure Online Site Verified  Thawte SSL security shopping