Are you renovating your house and would you like to add a more personal touch? Why don’t you choose door handles, or window handles yourself?
With this guide, the world of handles will have no secrets for you.
Types of handles: what do you need?
First, you have to know that door handles are sold in pairs.
Some producers sell what are called half handles, which are single, unpaired handles.
For example, such a choice is right if you look for a handle for the inside of the front door, because on the outside there is no knob to pull.
However, as for interior handles, there are some differences.
There are, actually, different types of door handles and window handles.
For the first type, we have:
- Handles with rosette and key rosette: they generally have an horizontal grip, the rosette can be different in shape, round or squared for example, and below they have the key rosette with the keyhole;
- Handles with long escutcheon: it is a handle with a usually vertical escutcheon that includes the keyhole, and the escutcheon can be squared or round.
- Sliding door handles: sliding doors have their handles , too. They can be smaller in size and allow dragging the door to open or close it;
- Knobs: knobs are part of the handles group and they are usually used for front doors and for armoured doors, too. If they are unpaired, they are placed on the outside of the front door, putting a fixed or rotating knob.
A special mention is for furniture knobs, which are placed on different types of furniture, for example on kitchen shelves, night tables or wardrobes.
Window handles – it is better if they match with door handles – are divided into:
- DK Handles, with Vasistas or flap opening
- Classic door handles
- Cremonese handles, which have a mechanism to open the window in different ways.
Buying door handles: which keyhole should I choose?
The keyhole in a handle is on the key rosette.
There are two types of keyhole:
- Patent: it is the standard keyhole, good for the doors of the rooms inside the apartment. It is placed on doors that do not require a high security level; for handles with escutcheon, the distance between the patent keyhole and the centre of the handle can be 70 or 90 millimetres.
- Yale: this keyhole, also called “mushroom-shaped” is for doors that require a higher security level, such as for the entrance doors of an apartment. Yale keyholes will have a key with cuts.
Separately, we have the cam or WC rose, which enables closing the door turning a knob.
It is usually used for bathrooms and toilets. A cam can show if the toilet is free or occupied.
Door handles: how do I know if a handle is good for my door?
When you have to buy a handle, it is important to know the door thickness and of course, to count how many handle pairs you need if you consider doors for standard rooms, WCs, rooms with sliding doors, etc.
Handle pairs are united by a pin square, which is usually 8x8 mm thick, and this is the standard size that is suitable both for Italy and the most part of European countries.
France deserves a separate mention. The pin square has to be 7x7 millimetres. In this case, those who buy a handle have to ask for an adapter for 7 mm.
Materials for door handles
There are different types of materials for handles. We have brass, steel, aluminium handles and so on.
Brass is one of the strongest materials for handles because it is wear-resistant and shock-absorbent.
Steel is also one of the best material, because it is long lasting and resists corrosion.
Aluminium is corrosion resistant and then there are also handles made of zama, which is a less expensive alloy that protects the handle from wear and shocks.
Some manufacturers, like Linea Calì and Olivari, enrich the handles with other materials including crystal, glass, porcelain, leather, etc.
Handle finishes and styles
How do you choose the handle that best suits your furniture and house style?
Handles will change if you have to decorate a rustic country house in the countryside, or if they are inside a luxurious apartment in town.
First, you have to distinguish between handles with a classic style and a modern style.
The design of these products can be actually pretty much modern, pretty much refined.
Brands like Olivari, Colombo Design and Dnd Martinelli, have several beautiful handles created by the best and most important Italian designers.
Not only design tells us if a handle is classic or modern. You should also think about colours, that is handle finishes.
For example, polished brass or polished gold handles are more suitable for classic doors, while those in polished chrome or satin chrome are usually destined to environments that are more modern.
Bronze, or antique brass, are colours that you can find in a more classic style, even vintage.
Interesting finishes to make environments more refined and elegant are also charcoal grey (Olivari produces handles in Super Satin Charcoal Grey (US)), or black (Colombo Design produces handles in Neromat, which is matt black).
In these cases, it is very important to be guided well by handles resellers in the product selection.
The best thing is to have good alternative in order to make a final decision according to your personal taste.
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