door levers

What To Consider When Choosing Door Handles For A Home Renovation

A lot will depend on how you are planning to use the door handles, questions you may want to consider;

1.     How many doors are you planning to re-furbish - is this a statement piece for an entry door or are there several doors where you will be using the same style of design?

2.     How eclectic are you? Do you like to continue a particular style through the entire home or do you like to mix and match styles?

3.     Is the door exterior or interior - if an exterior door, is it protected from the elements or will it be exposed to rain, snow or sea spray as these will contribute to the corrosion and rust of the handle. While bronze does not rust, it will over time develop a patina and is often referred to as a “living finish”. Stainless steel is corrosion resistant and while not rust proof, 316 stainless steel is the preferred alloy for coastal properties exposed to sea water.

4.     Does the door need to lock - and does the door handle manufacturer provide the handles you are considering for all types of function from locking front and privacy doors to non-operating "dummy" handles that are typically fixed and often used to complete the symmetry for example of double doors where one handle operates to open and close the door and the “dummy” handle is used more as a grip or pull.

5.     Are there special needs - to consider making it important that the door handle be easy to grip and that levers not be too heavy to depress

6.     Are your doors unusual -  are they extremely deep or shallow, bare in mind that a typical door in the US is 1 3/4" to 2" thick and while many handles can accommodate other depths, the manufacturer may have an up charge to create shorter or longer spindles or through bolts.

7.     Unforeseen charges to consider -  the  lock is often not included in the cost of the door set but this varies with manufacturer, for example  we do include the costs for tubular latches but not the cost of the mortise lock made by Accurate.  The installation of a door set, particularly one that locks, will need to installed either by a contractor or locksmith.

An exciting year ahead for Martin Pierce Custom Hardware

A new year always offers up the opportunity to sit back and review the past but to also look forward to what the next 12 months might bring.  Just six days into the new year and we already have plenty of things on our calendar guaranteed to keep us busy providing you with the perfect custom architectural hardware pieces for your upcoming projects.  Here is a little peak into our 2014 agenda: Morphic door pull from Martin Pierce Custom Hardware

  • Let there be light!  We will be hoping to light up our Morphic cylindrical pull with small LED lights placed inside the cylinder, and debuting this amazing piece at the 2014 HD Expo in Las Vegas.  This new advancement will be so useful in nursing homes, hotels, and residences for not only the aging or impaired; but for anyone concerned about safety or for those looking to add something new and different to their project.
  • We will also be releasing a new smaller Morphic pull in bronze and debuting this piece at the HD Expo as well.
  • We will be very busy at the Expo this year introducing you to all these new products, including a new Ergo inspired lever that will function for a glass door. In  most cases, lever style hardware does not work on glass doors as the latch has to pass through the door but we are in the process of developing a surface mounted latch that will enhance the beauty of your glass doors.
  • Martin will be developing more of his art pieces.  His paintings are fantasy pieces that depict imaginary insects with imaginary human figures and will be offered in limited edition prints or possibly giclees.  Martin will also be moving forward with fantasy insect sculptures in bronze that will be released as limited editions.  Very exciting!
  • As mentioned above, we will be exhibiting at the 2014 HD Expo during the week of May 14-16th and will provide more information as to our location in the Exhibit Hall etc. in the coming weeks.  This will be our fourth visit to this convention and we are looking forward to seeing old friends and making new friends.

That is our year in a nutshell.  What does 2014 hold for you and your business?

If you would like to view our entire collection of custom architectural hardware and other products please visit our site at


ADA requirements for door and window hardware United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division


The baby boomer generation continues to age and, as a result, are experiencing the aches and pains and limitations associated with the aging process.  Furthermore, some statistics are reporting more than 50 million Americans have some level of disability that can make life challenging. The American Disabilities Act (ADA) regulates the building and construction industry and sets forth standards that basically make life safer and easier for those with disabilities or age-related challenges.   These guidelines address the use of wider doorways, ramps, grab bars, lower counters, etc.  Also addressed is the ability to easily access a public or commercial building and/or interior spaces through the use of appropriate door hardware.  These ADA requirements will insure that all people are able to easily and safely enter and exit a building and gain access to interior spaces such as restrooms, apartments and offices:

  • Door hardware must push through or twist and turn knobs that may be difficult to grasp for some.
  • Hardware must be installed 48 inches from the floor to accomodate those in wheelchairs
  • Both window and door hinges must move with under 3 lbs of pressure

Many items in our collection of custom door hardware can be adapted to meet ADA standards as well as meet your clientele's needs.  Specifically, door and cabinet levers found in our Ergo and Morphic collections.

Ergo door lever in stainless steel from Martin Pierce custom hardware



To view our entire collection of custom door hardware visit our site at

Glossary of door hardware terminology

Did you know there was a glossary for hardware?  Today's post is not a test but, rather, information that will help you make an informed decision next time you purchase door, window and drawer hardware. Most of us are certainly aware of the definition of door knobs, drawer pulls and deadbolt locks but there are several other terms that are unique to the hardware industry that are important to know, especially if you will be making any hardware purchases in the near future.  Let me help you out just a bit by defining some door hardware terms:

  • Keyed cylinder:  This is the lock mechanism that requires a key to activate and open or lock the cylinder.
  •  Cover plate:  Some people feel that the mechanical or functional appearance of the deadbolt cylinder distracts from the artistic trim and prefer to conceal the face with a cover plate.  In the case of the Hedgerow cover plate shown below, the plate itself is smooth and a cover plate has been designed to blend into the back plate. The same idea of a smooth design appears on our Lizard collection cover plate in which a cover plate was designed to resemble a stone or rock that a lizard might lounge on.  (don't overlook the butterfly "lunch" waiting for the lizard as well)  
  • Hedgerow cover plate from Martin Pierce custom hardware

  • Stone cover plate for lizard collection

  • martin pierce gecko hardware
  • Personally, while I understand that perfection is a good goal to have in one's aesthetic arsenal, I prefer the cylinder face to be exposed.  That way, when I get home and my arms are full, I can easily get my key into the cylinder, especially on dark evenings.  But, then again, I freely admit that I do not have the manual dexterity of others.
  • Deadbolt versus spring bolt. Wikipedia does a good job of describing the difference. A deadbolt lock, which is a more secure lock, cannot be moved to the open position without turning or rotating the lock. This is typically turned with either a key or on the inside of the door with what is termed a “turn piece”.  By comparison,  a spring bolt holds the lock in place with a spring which is activated by pressure, for example, by turning the door knob or depressing the door lever.  This type of lock is often used in powder rooms where one locks the door from the inside by pushing in a pin. In this instance the pin is fixing the spring and preventing it from being turned by someone on the outside of the door.  The spring bolt can be used with door knobs or door levers.  To really complicate things, quality hardware such as ours is sometimes outfitted with an "ancillary spring" that accommodates the larger or heavier door levers and allows it to be more easily depressed.

For more information on these products or to view  our complete line of custom hardware and get the latest news on what is happening at Martin Pierce, please visit us at