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Door Handle FAQs

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Door Handle FAQs

What height should door handles be? 

Door handles must be installed at a certain height to comply with regulations; it’s recommended that handles are installed at 1000mm from the floor on a standard-sized door. This keeps it in-line with the disability discrimination act among other laws. 


How to tighten door handles

Should your door handle be loose, thankfully it’s almost always an easy fix. For an interior door with unexposed screws: 

  • Use an Allen key to loosen the set screw on the side and remove the handle. 
  • Next, use a flat head screwdriver and remove the cover plate; this will expose two Phillips screws.
  • Tighten the screws on each side with a Phillips screwdriver to secure the handle.
  • Put the door handle back together by placing the cover plate back on, inserting the handle and tightening the screw set with the Allen key.  

For an interior door with exposed screws, you simply need to tighten the screws either side of the handle with a Phillips screwdriver. 

What are all the parts needed to replace a door handle?

When replacing a door handle, all you need is the new handle and some screws. When purchasing a door handle, you will be provided with all the parts you require, even with a mortice style. If you are replacing a door handle that also has a lock, then you will also need to purchase the lock too.

 

How to clean brass door handles 

Over time, brass door handles can become dull and tarnished, however, simple steps can be taken to combat this. To clean your door handles

  • Fill a bucket with warm, soapy water and dip a clean cloth into the water before wringing it out. 
  • Using the cloth, wipe the door handles before dipping a brush into the warm, soapy water, gently scrubbing the handle to remove dirt. 
  • Rinse the cloth once more and wipe the handles to remove any excess soap before drying. 

To remove tarnish from door handles: 

  • Soak a clean cloth with pure lemon juice or white vinegar before adding a teaspoon of salt to the cloth. 
  • Wipe the handles thoroughly using the cloth before rinsing in clean water, wringing out and wiping the handles to remove the lemon juice/vinegar. 
  • Using a soft cloth, dry and buff the handles until shiny. 

How to clean chrome door handles

Given its high-shine finish, chrome door handles soon pick up unsightly dirt and finger marks, however, they are simple enough to clean.  To clean chrome or nickel, we recommend: 

  • Using your breath and buffing the door handle with a soft cloth. 
  • Using warm, soapy water and a clean cloth, wipe the handle thoroughly before drying and buffing with a clean, soft cloth. 
  • Using a specialist cleaning product for chrome-plated surfaces, these mild polishes are specifically designed for cleaning and polishing chrome without damaging or stripping the finish.

 

Can you paint door handles?

In short, yes! Painting door handles is a quick, simple and cost-effective – but there are steps you need to take to ensure that the job is done safely and effectively. 

  • Remove the door handles or doorknobs from the door with a screwdriver or Allen key.
  • Clean the door handles with a cloth and the appropriate cleaning method, then lightly scuff the surface with sandpaper and steel wool. 
  • If the handle or doorknob has a keyhole, insert and block it off using decorators tape to stop paint entering the opening and clogging the mechanism. 
  • Prime the door handle according to the manufacturer recommendations in your packaging, allowing ample time for the primer to dry.
  • Spray paint the doorknob or door handle using metallic spray paint, let it dry thoroughly before applying a second coat and leaving to dry for at least 24-hours. 
  • Apply a glossy or matte polyurethane clear (depending on your desired finish) when the handle is dry, allow the first coat to dry before applying a second coat.  
  • Reinstall the door handle or doorknob once completely dry. 

Are door handles reversible? 

Generally speaking, door handles are reversible. You’re able to remove the door lever, rotate the handle and install it on the other side of the door, all while ensuring that the latch mechanism operates exactly the same. Here’s how: 

  • Loosen the level by rotating the screws which hold the lever in place, you should then remove the section of the latch that sticks out of the edge of the door. 
  • Remove the various lever pieces from the door, rotate the lever setup and hold it against the door so that the setup is upside down and back to front. Check that the lever fits with any existing holes, drilling or enlarging where necessary to fit with your adjustments. 
  • Set the internal latch within the door frame, sliding the edge latch piece back into place. 
  • Reinstall the lever pieces and any external sections of door hardware that you removed earlier and test that the door opens and closes smoothly. 

 

Do door handles need to be fire rated? 

In public buildings, you’ll need to ensure you install fully fire rated door handles to adhere with strict building regulations. A fire rated door handle is tested to 30 minutes (FD30) or 60 minutes (FD60) to ensure their performance isn’t compromised in the case of a fire. 


For more how to’s and information, browse our More4Doors guide page and follow our team over on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

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  • Craig Scully