What do I need to know before buying hardware?‎

Whether you’re moving into a new home, replacing a broken lock or just updating the look on your doors, there are a few things to keep in mind that will help simplify your experience when purchasing door hardware.

Look for the label. Take some of the uncertainty out of your search by looking for products with the BHMA® Certified Secure Home™ label. This label indicates that a product has been ‎rigorously tested and meets high performance standards for security, durability and finish. Certified products will contain the label on their packaging or in their online description and can also be found in BHMA’s Certified Products Directory.

Doors have standard sizes. Figure out the following measurements to make sure the products you purchase will fit your door.

  • Determine the door thickness. Measure the thickness; most will be either 1 3/8 or 1 ¾ inches.‎
  • Determine the backset. This measurement is from the edge of the door to the center of the ‎lockset hole on the face of the door. There are two common backsets, 2 3/8 and 2 ¾.

Doors are right or left-handed. When you open the door toward you, is the door handle on the left or the ‎right? This is referred to as the “handing” of the door.‎

Gathering more information helps narrow your decision. The above questions are critical to selecting the ‎right product, but you can take it a few steps further by asking yourself the following.‎

  • Is the lock you’re buying for a door on the inside or outside of your home? Consider the difference ‎between how secure you need a bedroom door to be versus the exterior doors of your home.‎
  • How often will the door be used? Is this the frequently used door to your bathroom, or is it a ‎seldom-used guest bedroom?‎
  • Will the lock be exposed to the elements, like sunlight, precipitation or changing temperatures? ‎
  • What kind of style and look are you hoping to achieve? Do you have an existing look you are ‎trying to match?

Learn more about the BHMA Certified Secure Home label by visiting

August 27, 2021