Updated: Feb 22, 2021
The humble Door Handle adorns our homes and places of work. They are often forgotten as they continue to work effectively throughout the day. Opening and closing doors without any thought of concern. As long as they function we tend to forget the issues.
Do you need new door handles? You have been living in your house for some time now. It is so comfortable and familiar that you have neglected to notice your door handles functionality. After all, you can move through all rooms in your house with no difficulty. But some squeak, some wobble, some sag.
Have you forgotten that sticking handle or have you succumbed to its trick in opening it.
Does the drooping door handle on the bathroom door not bother you? The squeaking handle on the laundry door is now so comfortable you do not even hear it any more.
Door handle maintenance
Door handles do need attention. If your door handles do not operate smoothly, they probably need lubrication. I do not mean a quick spray with some lubricant in a can. A proper grease job should be undertaken.
Nevertheless, of course overtime we all forget our door handles because they will continue to function for a lifetime.
Except it would not hurt and it would prolong the life of your handles if we did service them occasionally.
Removing Door Handles
To remove your door handles, you will need a screwdriver. Depending on your door handles a Philips or Flat slot head screwdriver will be needed.
Some handles will require a Allen key of 4mm, 5mm, or 6mm.
Some handles will have a visible screw fix, which you will need to undo and remove carefully.
Other types of handles may have a concealed screw fix. Either these will have a screw type rose cover, or a slip on rose cover.
Turning the outer rose cover anti-clockwise, will release the cover be it screw or slip on.
When you take the cover rose off you will see the handle is held on by some small screws either side of the rose. Carefully remove them so as not to damage the door.
For those handles with a grub screw, usually found hidden under the lever handle stem, will need to have it removed with an Allen key. A 4mm, 5mm, or 6mm, key will be required.
When you have the door handles off the door you can begin the service.
There is no need to dismantle the door handle.
You only need to clean the internal mechanism on the handle rose - where the spring and cam are located. Use something like a lubricant spray.
The chemicals will help remove old grease and grime. When you have cleaned them, it is time to re-grease them.
Using a suitable grease, it could be petroleum jelly or a silicon based lube, smear over the spring area getting dome grease to slip into the gaps.
When you have applied the grease hold the rose in your hand and turn the handle/lever a few times to allow the grease to lubricate.
When done, return the door handles to the door in the reverse order you took them off. E.g. grub screw, fixing screws.
Ensure the door handles are snug on the door and DO NOT over tighten. Firm is good.
Test the door handle operation a few times to ensure the grease moves around the spring.
What if your door handles Sag or Stay down?
If your door handles are sagging or not returning to the upright position, it is probably time to replace those door handles.
You can bring one in so that we may look to see if it is repairable. If it can be done we will do it.
It is also advisable to take a few pictures of the handle on the door, and the latch or lock mechanism as well. Sometimes you may only need replace the latch or lock.
There are many different types of door handles and each type has different fittings and assembly methods. If you are having difficulty please send us a photo or two, alternatively bring the door handle to us.
Cleaning Door Handles
Sometimes your door handles just need a little bit of TLC. After years of usage your door handles may need a good clean. If you clean on a regular bases say every few weeks with warm water and a clean cloth to wipe down the handle and rose your door handles should still look pristine.
If however as some of us are guilty of, not cleaning the door handles for many months, you may need to apply something a little harsher. Again warm water and a clean cloth is recommended but you can add a little dish washing liquid.
NOTE: if on the bottle it tells you to use gloves, don't use it.
A dish washing liquid that you can use without using gloves is soft and gentle and in most cases will not harm your door handles.
If you have door handles that have a coating, like brass door handles with a lacquer you will want to be very careful with them. Chemicals can harm the lacquer. Chemicals can harden the lacquer and it will crack and shatter. Leaving the door handle looking rather sad.
If disaster strikes and you damage the lacquer, you can strip the lacquer off and re finish them in a spray lacquer. Not ideal but salvageable.
Refurbishing Door Handles
You may have door handles that are unique, or as old as the house, and still working. You may want to refurbish those handles.
Most door handles can be stripped down, greased up, and even give then a new coat of lacquer. It is a little work but the end result is preservation and originality.
Finding similar door handles to match may be difficult as times and designs change even in the door hardware industry. If you want to try and match your existing door handles please share a picture or two with us so that we can see if we know of door handle that may be a close match. Not always possible but we will try.
If you want to refurbish your door handles, bring a sample with you so that we can at least assess the potential of a refurbishment.
New Door Handles
New door handles are always an option. As previously mentioned choosing new door handles comes with a few important decisions as far as fittings.
If you are replacing all the doors in your house then the choice of door handles is open. There are thousands of door handles to choose from, but once you have chosen the right style, fitting them is simple on new doors.
Re using the old doors
When you are keeping the doors but just want to replace the door handles then we need to look at the old and the new! There are difference between old and new fittings. It is easy to sell you a door handle but not so easy for you if it will not fit your existing door.
Bring the old door handle with you when you come to select a new door handle. This will help us help you choose the right door handle.
Older door handles tend to have large hole cutouts when compared to new door handles. There is also issues with locks and privacy doors matching suitable replacement hardware.
Old door handles may have a large rose, whereas new door handles have a smaller rose.
The backset of the latch or lock may differ.
These need to be taken into consideration when making a choice.
If there is a large hole in your door, the new handles may not have suitable fitting support. Patching the door is one option if you are going to paint the doors. However if you want to retain the natural features of the door, you need to choose carefully the new door furniture.
New rose furniture may need a backing plate to support the handle if large holes are on the door. Backing plates can solve a problem but are you going to be happy with the visible view of a backing plate?
It may blend in or it may just look like a swollen thumb. Not pretty.
You may want to choose plate furniture, door handle on a plate rather than a rose. The plate can cover up some blemishes on the door. It will certainly add a different appearance and appeal.
Italian Style Door Handles
We have many door handles from around the globe.
And with each door handle there will be subtle differences.
For example spindle size.
There are two common variants of spindle.
The 7.5mm and the 8mm spindles.
The 8mm is common from Italy and other European door handle manufacturers.
It is also mostly standard on mortice locks.
The 7.5mm spindle is common on many Australian door handle manufacturers.
However when it comes to latches, there are two main types - 7.5mm and 8mm.
If you have 7.5mm or 8mm spindle and you choose a handle that uses the other, then you will need to change latches, or spindles.
The wrong size may result in loose fitting causing the handle to slop!
This is something that you need to consider when purchasing your door handles, or upgrading, or refurbishing door handles.
Powder coating Door Handles
Way back in the 70's door handles were colored. You could buy red, or yellow, ivory, or black door handles. That trend sadly has been replaced with the return to satin chrome, polished chromes, brass, and more recently black (or a variation there of).
Why can't I have red door handles? You can!
With powder coating today you can have a range of 100's of available colors for your door handles.
We tend to be going for black, when red would add a special feature to your doors. A bright yellow, or dark green would feature nicely in the hallways of your home.
What we need to remember is that powdercoat is a paint. It is baked onto the door handle but it is still a paint and as such has a short life span. Carefully looked after and several years of use is achievable.
As far as powder coating you existing door handles, assuming you want to improve the look of your door handles that are on your door, it would be best to allow us to examine them first.
There are a number of factors you need to consider before powder coating.
Are the door handles still functioning efficiently?
Are the springs in good condition?
Can the door handles be dismantled?
Note: Not all items can be powder coated. If we can not dismantle them we may not be able to have them powder coated as the process might damage other components.
You also need to consider items like latches, locks, hinges, screws, and such like. Many of these we can not dismantle. A hinge for example although metal can not be pulled apart easily and powder coating as such will only crack along the spine when the hinge is opened or closed.
An option to this is to spray paint those items. This bring two issues.
The first is spray paint is not hard wearing. It will scratch easily.
The second is paint color matching. Powdercoat paint is unique and as such there are only a few hundred colors compared to spray paint or tin paint where there are literally thousands of colors.
Given that most items like latches and locks are 'off to the side' on a door you probably wont notice any color variation. It is a consideration when choosing to powdercoat your door handles.
Renew Old Plating
For some door handles it may be possible to re-plate the door handle. Most door handles are plated, apart from natural brass handles, and some cast handles.
Finishes like satin chrome, polished chrome, satin Nickle are common plating finishes. Ideally plating over a brass handle is superior to other handle metals.
We advise extra caution if trying to plate cast handles. The heat temperature can cause the cast metals to melt resulting in pits on the handle. Been there done that!
Plating is long wearing which is why satin chrome, polished chrome, and satin nickle are common finishes.
Your door handles would be acid stripped, plated in copper, then plated in the desired finish. Followed by final finishing preparation. This can be an expensive and time consuming exercise. Always allow 6 to 8 weeks assuming they can be done.
Locks and Latches and Door Handles
While not always necessary, it is a good idea to look at locks and latches if you are looking at your door handles. Once you have the door handle off your door, the lock or latch is relatively easy to remove.
You may find your latch has a squeak when the door handle is turned. Sometime you just need to grease the latch mechanism (use a silicon spray) to stop that annoying squeak. If however you find the latch has had its day and needs to be replaced, usually two screws to remove and the latch will slip out.
Old style latches have a small face plate, so a new latch may require a little work to install.
Generally locks should last and last. But occasionally we do find one that is in need of replacement. If your lock is not functioning as it should and you are not sure what might be wrong, bring it to us to have a look. Locks do not have spare parts! It means a replacement lock will need to be purchased.
Some very old 1800's locks may be able to have repairs but that in itself would be a costly exercise if the machinist can manufacture the components.
If you are not sure about your locks, note what is causing a problem and if you can bring the lock to us to have a look. We can't fix everything but we can look.
Do you need new door handles?
The question of do you need new door handles is two fold. If you are tired of the look of your old door handles no matter their age and just want to have new door handles, then we can certainly help.
If your old door handles are drooping, sagging, lacking oomph, maybe we can help. We can certainly have a look and advise a solution. We tend to live with door handles even if the sag, whilst happy to replace cabinet handles at will.
Door handles may appear a daunting task but perhaps that is not always the case. With a little effort you could easily have new door handles.
Removing a couple of screws, a grub screw perhaps, and you can remove that door handle from the door. Bring it to us here at Architectural Design Hardware and we can advise options. Or take a picture or three so we can see what we are dealing with.
Our selection of door handles is one of the largest in Australia, so there is a plethora of choices you can start viewing here.
We hope this gives you an inkling into door handles. We are here to help, so please contact us or visit our showroom.