ada compliant door lever

When to Use a Door Knob Versus a Door Lever?

When to choose a door knob versus a door lever? When it comes to truly custom hardware where a design is being created for a specific project then the choice between a door lever and door knob is largely a question of taste and budget and less a question of function. If the door knob or lever is being created from the drawing board on-wards then some of the limitations off each can be overcome by a creative design.

Door knobs by nature are a handles that can be turned either clockwise or anti-clockwise to release the door latch. By comparison a door lever unless it is operating a multi-point lock has to be depressed to release the latch. This can be an important issue when designing for the kitchen or other wet areas and when designing for the disabled. A lever has the upper hand so to speak when your hands are wet or full of shopping as it can be depressed with ones elbow or possibly with one’s foot! Clearly for those with limited gripping strength, a door lever has clear advantages.

Door levers are also directional with the lever pointing away from the latch towards the hinge and this can be an important consideration when working with a narrow stile. In this case when you grip a knob your knuckles may come too close to the door jamb especially when the door is being pulled closed .  By comparison the area of a door lever that is gripped is typically at midpoint along the lever and a safe distance from the door jamb.

So why do we ever use door knobs? Well they are inherently more self- contained and less obtrusive than there lever counterparts and they arguably  make a more symmetrical  aesthetic statement. In the world of custom door hardware as knobs are not usually directional one knob pattern and mold will be needed unlike a custom door lever which frequently requires a left and right pattern and corresponding molds.

Ada compliant contemporary hardware designs

Stainless Ergo Front door lock from Martin Pierce Custom Hardware ADA compliant Many of today's designers and architects are seeking door and cabinet hardware for hotels, spas, nightclubs and commercial buildings that are not only attractive but that also comply with strict ADA building codes.  In other words, hardware that is easy to grasp and operate for those who may have some physical limitations. This might be necessary in brand new construction or in a retrofit situation.  This is difficult enough without adding the additional requirement of good looks.

As the population continues to age and, in this very competitive market, it is important that buildings be designed to allow easy access to all who wish to enter.  After all, a businessman does not want to deter someone who might have difficulty gaining entrance and/or navigating the building from entering and conducting their business.  More importantly, consumers need to be able to gain access to their home, their doctor's offices or retail shops.

We are pleased that our Ergo collection of custom hardware meets these demanding standards.  The lever design of our entry and passageway pieces are easy to operate and create a stunning look that will please any lover of contemporary design. Several of our collections, including Morphic, can, upon request, also be adapted to meet ADA standards. This might include lever style handles in place of knobs and pulls that do not require a strong grasp in order to easily operate them.

If you are in the market for door hardware with a crisp and contemporary look and that is ADA compliant or would like to view our entire collection of custom hardware, please visit our site at