The main difference between Commercial and Residential door hardware comes down to the grade or quality. A better grade can usually withstand more use without breaking. You would never put a residential door knob (or any type of residential hardware for that matter) on a commercial application like a public office building. Take a dental office for example, a residential door knob wouldn’t last a month! This goes for any type of door hardware, like hinges and other miscellaneous hardware components. Commercial doors are going to get a lot of use, whether it’s the bathroom or the front door. Commercial hardware generally has an ANSI grade of 1 or 2, one being the highest and most heavy duty. Commercial hardware not only has heavy duty grades, but also lots of commercial buildings require the hardware to meet certain specifications such as UL Listing and ADA Compliant. You can find all different types of commercial hardware to fit the application you have.
With that said, it is just as important that we use this same rationale when it comes to the doors we choose for commercial applications. For any of us that have been involved in these types of projects it is often a struggle between design and functionality when choosing the materials to use. Most commercial applications are going to need very specific hardware functions that cannot be achieved using residential hardware. Commercial hardware will almost always require different door preparation and reinforcing to support the hardware needed. It is pretty common to see a residential fiberglass door used with Commercial hardware. Often the thought process is that they are saving money or are more concerned about the style of door than the long term functionality of the opening. Generally this combination is a recipe for disaster and will almost always be a call back for the contractor and supplier. Most of the time due to the fact that the hardware will not be supported correctly or sized correctly compromising a proper installation and causing issues with the opening or closing of the door.
When faced with this dilemma we have a supply chain for commercial fiberglass doors in 10 styles: 6 panel, 2 Lite, 4 Panel, 1⁄2 Lite, 9 Lite, 9 Light GBG*, Flush, 1 Lite, 15 Lite and 15 Lite GBG. Available in 2’-8” wide x 6’-8” high and 3’ wide in 6’-8” and 7’ heights. These are blocked for Closers and Panic Hardware in stock at the supplier. This should be the minimum standard for all commercial applications whether light or heavy traffic conditions exist. We can also meet most other commercial door needs as well.
There are many details that need to be covered when ordering commercial hardware. Often each piece of the lock is called out in a part number designating the backset and strike type. Specifications like these, if not addressed with the initial order, can delay the installer and add on unexpected costs. When ordering commercial doors it is imperative that we get all the hardware information at the same time to avoid issues like the afore mentioned. This will ensure everything is coordinated properly and the job is kept on budget and on time!
Contact us anytime to discuss your Commercial Door and Hardware needs.
*GBG* (Grille Between Glass)
Dwayne Campbell has over 20 years experience in the lumber and building materials industry. His extensive background includes: contractor sales, retail hardware and paint sales and management, and architectural hardware sales and purchasing. Dwayne has been the Architectural Hardware Product Specialist at Shepley for 9 years. He is skilled in jobsite takeoffs, producing hardware schedules for installation and servicing your hardware purchases.
Dwayne works with Colleen Marzelli. You can contact them at 508-862-6215 to set up an appointment in our Shepley Showcase or a jobsite visit!