New types of door hardware are revolutionizing the way we open and close doors in homes and businesses. From smart locks to hands-free options, new door hardware offers convenience, security, and sleek aesthetics. Read on to learn about the latest innovations in door knobs, handles, hinges, locks, and more that are giving doors a turn for the better.
Key Benefits of New Door Hardware
Upgrading your door hardware can provide a wide range of benefits:
- Increased Security – New high-tech locks, latches, and security systems help prevent break-ins and unauthorized access. Smart locks allow keyless entry via smartphones, codes, fingerprints etc.
- Convenience – Features like auto-locking, keypad/touchscreen entry, and hands-free options increase convenience, especially when juggling items in hand.
- Sleek Appearance – Modern door hardware comes in stylish finishes like matte black, brushed nickel, and more to enhance your home’s aesthetics.
- Accessibility – Lever handles, automatic door openers, and more make doors easier to operate for mobility-impaired users.
- Energy Efficiency – Advanced hinges, weatherstripping, and thresholds help seal out drafts and reduce heating/cooling costs.
- Noise Reduction -Specialized hinges and seals dampen sound between rooms for more privacy.
- Smart Home Integration – Many new door locks sync with home automation systems and can be controlled remotely.
With so many practical benefits, it’s easy to see why upgrading door hardware is a smart investment. Even simple swaps like new knobs and hinges can improve your doors’ functionality and appearance.
Latest Innovations in Door Knobs and Handles
The humble door knob hasn’t changed much in the last century – until now. New modern door knobs and handles offer great improvements in style, comfort, security, and efficiency. Here are some of the top innovations:
- Ergonomic Designs – Contoured lever handles and angled knobs are easier to grip and operate. This is ideal for arthritis sufferers and mobility-impaired users.
- Smart Locks – Digital smart locks allow keyless entry via smartphone, keypad code, fingerprint scan, or facial recognition. This enhances security and convenience.
- Touch-Latch Technology – NFC (near-field communication) allows doors to unlock with just a touch of a smartphone or smartwatch. No need to rummage for keys!
- Hands-Free Options – Motion-activated knobs and handles open doors automatically as you approach, great when carrying packages.
- Antimicrobial Finishes – Copper and silver ion-infused surfaces kill bacteria for more sanitary door use in hospitals etc.
- Tri-Form Handles – Special 3-lobed shape fits more hand sizes comfortably compared to circular knobs. Ideal for schools.
- Eco-Friendly Materials – Handles made of bamboo, recycled aluminum, etc. appeal to environmentally-conscious homeowners.
With enhanced style, easy installation, and flexibility, the latest smart knobs and handles give doors an impressive upgrade. Just be sure to choose compatible options that work with your existing locks and doors.
Cutting-Edge Developments in Door Hinges
You may think of door hinges as a dull necessity, but new innovations are making them stronger, quieter and more secure than ever. Here are some cutting-edge developments in door hinge technology:
- Self-Closing Hinges – These special hinges close the door automatically behind you, ensuring it’s never left ajar. Great for safety and preventing heat/AC loss.
- Concealed Hinges – For a sleek, seamless look, concealed hinges fasten doors smoothly and invisibly inside the door jamb.
- Adjustable Tension Hinges – The tightness of the door closure can be customized to your needs for the perfect swinging resistance.
- Continuous Hinges – Running the full length of the door, these provide enhanced security and stability for heavy doors.
- Ball Bearing Hinges – Offer ultra-smooth, quiet opening and closing. Ideal for homes with sleeping babies!
- Smart Hinges – Outfitted with sensors, smart hinges can detect unauthorized entry, monitor for moisture/leaks, etc.
- Mortise Hinges – Installed inside cut-out cavities in the door and jamb for completely hidden functionality.
Today’s hinges go far beyond basic functionality. With noiseless operation, high security, and modern aesthetics, new hinge technology gives doors a major upgrade.
Exciting Advances in Door Locks and Latches
High-tech digital door locks and latches are transforming the way we secure our entrances. Here are some exciting new lock capabilities:
- Keypad and Touchscreen Entry – Conveniently unlock doors by entering a code instead of using keys. Great for securing garages, offices, etc.
- Smartphone Access – Many new locks sync with your phone via Bluetooth or WiFi, letting you control your door remotely.
- Fingerprint Scanners – Doors with built-in scanners identify authorized fingerprints to unlock, for keyless convenience.
- Facial Recognition – With an integrated camera, these locks identify you by your face and open your door seamlessly.
- Voice Activation – Control your smart lock with handy voice commands via Alexa, Siri, etc. Say “unlock the front door” from anywhere.
- Activity Tracking – View access logs to see who has entered and when. Handy for monitoring kids after school.
- Auto-Lock and Unlock – Never worry if you’ve left the door unlocked again. Locks can be set to secure doors automatically.
- Remote Administration – Manage user access codes and permissions for your smart locks from your smartphone app.
With robust home connectivity and high-tech unlocking capabilities, smart locks are revolutionizing door security. Just be sure your WiFi connection is reliable before installing one.
What’s New withDoor Thresholds and Weatherstripping?
Many overlook the simple threshold as an area for innovation, but new technologies are transforming these humble strips into energy-saving devices.
- Adjustable Thresholds – Allows the threshold height to be adapted for a tight weatherproof seal or to improve accessibility.
- Interlocking Thresholds – Extra lips, grooves and gaskets interlock for maximum protection against wind, water, bugs and dust.
- Automatic Thresholds – Open and close access gaps as the door is used to prevent tripping hazards.
- Threshold Heat Tracing – Built-in heating elements keep frost and ice from accumulating to prevent water infiltration and slips.
- LED Threshold Lighting – Makes steps more visible at night for improved safety. Motion-activated for convenience.
- Smart Thresholds – Integrated moisture sensors alert homeowners to flooding risks before water can infiltrate under the door.
New weatherproofing materials are also enhancing door sweeps and jamb seals:
- Graphite-Infused Vinyl – Made from lubricious graphite-laced vinyl for easy operation, high compression, and superior temperature resilience.
- EPDM Rubber – This synthetic rubber offers enhanced resistance to heat, sunlight, ozone and weathering compared to natural rubbers.
- Antimicrobial Strips – Weatherstripping infused with silver ions or copper effectively kills mold, bacteria and microbes to prevent mildew and allergens.
- Magnetized Sealing – Powerful rare earth magnets attract weatherstripping firmly to metal door frames for consistent compression and sealing.
- Customized Sealing – Precisely measured and cut on-site for flawless fit, minimizing gaps and air leaks.
Though invisible, new thresholds and weatherstripping seal out the elements and lower energy bills – an upgrade well worth considering.
Optimizing Doors for Better Accessibility
Opening and closing doors poses difficulties for many with limited mobility. Fortunately, a range of new accessible door hardware options are available:
- Automatic Openers – Activated via push button or motion sensor, these mechanisms open doors automatically. Ideal for maneuvering wheelchairs.
- Lever Handles – Require less grip strength and dexterity to operate compared to traditional knobs, ideal for arthritis sufferers.
- Pull Handles – Horizontal pull handles give those in wheelchairs the perfect grip shape and leverage to open doors.
- ADA-Compliant Hardware – Meets guidelines like door levers instead of knobs, 48″ or less high handles, etc.
- Power-Assist Devices – Provides powered assistance when opening exterior doors via a gentle push or pull. Prevents straining.
- Wireless/Remote Automation – Doors can be conveniently opened via smartphone, smartwatch or voice commands, no handles required.
- Low-Energy Operators – Electrohydraulic openers require only gentle pressure to activate for easy access.
- Retrofit Kits – Adapted levers, pulls and kick plates can upgrade existing doors to improve accessibility.
Thanks to thoughtful designs and technologies, opening doors is becoming less of a struggle for the mobility-impaired. Just be sure automatic and power operators are properly maintained for safety.
Using Smart Technology to Improve Doors
Home automation and artificial intelligence is making doors smarter and more convenient than ever. Some exciting innovations include:
- Smart Locks – As described previously, these allow doors to automatically lock/unlock and be controlled remotely via smartphone.
- Connected Cameras – Live video feeds allow remote viewing of exits for home security monitoring.
- Door Status Sensors – Know if doors are open/closed/locked at a glance via your smart home dashboard. Prevents worrying over forgotten closures.
- Activity Logging – Doors can keep records of who enters/exits and when for security audits.
- Remote Announcing – Have your smart speaker or doorbell announce “Front door open” when your kids arrive home.
- Notifications – Get mobile alerts whenever doors are opened for unauthorized access, left ajar, need maintenance, etc.
- Voice Activation – Hands-free operation lets you tell Siri or Alexa to lock/unlock doors instead of fumbling for keys.
- Smart Lighting – Change interior/exterior lighting based on door’s open or closed status for convenience.
- Automated Routines – Program doors to lock at bedtime, unlock for dog walker at scheduled times, and more based on your preferences.
Implementing just a few smart door technologies can add great convenience and peace of mind. But take care to secure your smart devices properly against hacking attempts.
Choosing Secure, Sturdy, and Standardized Door Hardware
With so many options for upgrading handles, hinges, locks, and more, how do you select the best hardware for your needs? Here are some tips:
- Assess security needs – Do you require keyed locks, deadbolts, smart locks, security strike plates, reinforced jambs, etc. to protect your home?
- Consider your lifestyle – Keyless entry and hands-free options provide great convenience for busy households.
- Check ADA compliance – If anyone in your home is mobility-impaired, ensure door hardware meets accessibility standards.
- Choose durable materials – Opt for sturdy metals like stainless steel and brushed nickel over cheaper plastic hardware prone to breaking.
- Standardize fittings – Using the same size knobs, deadbolts, and hinge placements makes replacement and upgrades simpler.
- Watch keying – Rekeying or replacing locks becomes difficult if previous owners used odd, proprietary key blanks.
- Look for certification – Verify door hardware meets ANSI grade 1/2 security and Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA) standards.
- Seek professional help – Licensed locksmiths and builders can advise the best options to suit your space and habits.
Taking the time to select the right high-quality door hardware will ensure your doors stay securely closed, easily operable, and looking great for years to come.
Maintaining and Improving Door Hardware Over Time
Any quality door hardware upgrade can lose functionality if not properly maintained. Here are tips for keeping new handles, hinges, locks and more working like new:
- Lubricate regularly – Apply silicone or lithium grease twice a year to hinges, latches and locks to prevent binding and wear.
- Test electronic components – Check batteries, control panels, and smart locks routinely to ensure proper operation.
- Inspect weatherstripping – Replace flattened, cracked or missing sweeps and seals to prevent drafts and leaks.
- Confirm attachments – Ensure screws securing strike plates, handles, and hinges are still tight. Tighten or replace as needed.
- Update access codes/passwords – Change smart lock credentials periodically to maintain robust security.
- Clean surfaces – Polish metal surfaces occasionally with rubbing alcohol to prevent tarnish and mineral buildup.
- Adjust strike plates – Fix misalignment to ensure latches close securely without sticking or rubbing.
- Update firmware – Download the latest software for digital smart locks and other electronics for optimal performance.
With consistent maintenance and care, even the most basic handles and hinges can deliver years of smooth, reliable service. Take steps to keep your door hardware in tip-top shape.
Improving Door Hardware – FAQs
What are the benefits of upgrading old door knobs and handles?
Some benefits include easier opening for mobility-impaired users with levers, more secure locking with smart locks, keyless convenience via smart locks, more hygienic antimicrobial finishes, and enhanced aesthetics from stylish new hardware designs.
How can new hinges make doors more secure?
Upgraded hinges can improve security by using reinforced metals to prevent breaking, heavy-duty mortise designs for added strength, tightly sealed self-closing mechanisms to prevent the door being left ajar, and integrated alarm sensors to detect unauthorized access.
What are the advantages of keyless smart locks?
Smart locks provide convenience through various keyless entry methods like mobile apps, codes, biometrics, etc. This eliminates the hassle of carrying and tracking keys. They also allow remote monitoring and access control for improved home security.
How can new weatherstripping and thresholds save homeowners money?
New weatherproofing products form air-tight seals around doors to prevent drafts, water infiltration, and energy loss. By sealing out the elements, these simple products can lead to substantial savings on utilities and prevent costly water damage.
Why should businesses invest in automatic handicap door openers?
Automatic door openers dramatically improve accessibility for mobility-impaired customers in wheelchairs and with walkers. Making entrances handicap accessible is also often required by local regulations and building codes. The improved convenience can attract more customers and clients.
What maintenance tips can extend the life of door hardware?
Lubricating hinges/locks, tightening screws, replacing worn weatherstripping, cleaning surfaces, adjusting alignments, updating electronic controls/codes, and downloading updated firmware for smart locks are all great ways to extend the usable life of door hardware and keep it working smoothly.
Innovative new door knobs, handles, hinges, locks, latches, and weatherproofing are making our entrances more convenient, secure, energy-efficient, and accessible than ever before. As smarter designs and technologies emerge, doors are being transformed from mundane utilities into high-functioning home solutions. When planning door hardware upgrades, carefully consider your needs, lifestyle, safety, accessibility, maintenance, and aesthetics. Investing in durable, high-quality hardware and staying on top of maintenance will ensure your new handles, hinges, and locks deliver maximum value and trouble-free performance for years to come. Talk to locksmiths and hardware specialists to explore all the options available for giving the doors in your home or business an impressive turn for the better.