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Door handles or door knobs? Where will it be best to use these?

They can come in a glittering array of styles and designs; some resemble gaudy Christmas baubles, others mythical beasts, the more expensive ones are inset with semi-precious stones or, made of crystal and finished with 24 carat gold.

We are talking about door knobs of course.



For reasons unknown, doorknobs have lent themselves to excesses of creativity and, despite being popular with traditionalists, they continue to do so.

Door handles on the other hand, tend to have a reputation for being more minimalist in design. That’s not to say there’s not plenty of ornate door handles out there, if that is what you are after, but door handles have come to be associated with an elegant refined look. As such, they are the perfect option for business premises.





Beyond the aesthetics, there are important reasons why door handles are the right option for commercial/business premises, and that’s related to their practical design, which provides access to all. Doorknobs MIGHT be more beautiful and ornate and individualised BUT the reality is, they are harder to open.

For this reason, several years back, the Canadian city of Vancouver controversially banned doorknobs in ALL new buildings including private homes. The decision made international headlines. This probably sounds like a trifling ‘first world problems’ type of attack on humble doorknobs but; mandating door handles can make a huge difference to elderly people and people with disabilities. People with arthritis in their hands or wrists or fine motor skill impairment can find turning a door knob difficult if not impossible; while people with disabilities can also find door knobs challenging. A simple door knob can therefore act as a barrier to access.

Door handles on the other hand, because of their simple lever action, open easily, and are much easier to use. Another benefit of handles is even if you have both hands full, it’s still possible for an able-bodied person to open the door using an elbow or even a foot! The Disability Discrimination Act makes it against the law for public places to be inaccessible to people with a disability. The definition of public places actually encompasses some private businesses that everyone generally needs to use, like hairdressers, travel agents and law offices.

So it may not be simply a matter of wanting to provide equal access, depending on your business, it can actually be a mandated one.


Fire Safety


There’s another reason door handles are used rather than knobs in business settings and that is because of Australian fire safety legislation. Fire doors, exit doors and ‘path or travel’ doors (door in the egress pathway leading to or between a fire door or exit door) must be fitted with a downward action handle. This makes sense if you think about the following example: A fire has broken out and one person is dragging another to safety and has limited use of their hands. They’ll easily be able to open a door handle whereas a stiff door knob may cost them critical seconds, making escape more difficult.

If you are set on ornate door knobs for your business, you’ll therefore need to do your homework first and see what is possible.  You may be limited to using door knobs on cupboard doors. But do keep in mind there are plenty of gorgeous, sleek door handle designs out there. If you want a statement piece, you can still find that in door handle form. And you never know, opting for door handles may one day save your life, or the life of a work colleague.





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A right door handle can create great first impressions for the office

As a business, creating the perfect entryway means contributing to the ultimate first impression. It also plays a large role in setting the tone for your commercial space – no matter what industry you reside in.

Something as seemingly as simple as a door handle can affect someone’s initial thoughts about your business, and can ultimately make or break a deal. While it sounds like a minuscule detail, it’s these subtle touches that entice a for a customer or client to take the next step.


For retail stores and shops


Within retail and commercial spaces – and even offices – large entrance handles are often used for aesthetics. This type of door accessory only requires a grip and a push, which makes for an accessible form of entry for visitors and prospects.


While it’s only a small consideration, any business that specialises in sales should generally consider a type of handle that does not require much effort to use, or that reflects strict privacy. If you’re a retail business, creating a sense of restriction will likely turn customers away, so it’s important to keep this sense of interior design in mind. To do so, choose bigger, more appealing architectural door handles that are easy to use and are the epitome of an open invitation.



For medical clinics and facilities


Contrary to retail, when selecting the type of entryway for a medical establishment, a more professional approach is usually the way to go. Specifically choosing a stylish door handle that matches the interior design of a medical setting allows for a consistent, more comforting entry. As medical facilities tend to value patient privacy, a solid door accompanied by a n architectural handle can also help the patient to feel more secure.



For schools and universities


Educational institutions tend to value practicality over aesthetics, especially when it comes to choosing accessories like these. Selecting a front door handle that has a locking mechanism communicates safety and security for any student or parent when on a campus. However, aesthetics are often less important in this instance.


For the office


On a corporate level, a door handle can speak volumes for the office of a CEO or General Manager of an enterprise. It can be easy to determine if someone has an ‘open door policy’ based on the entryway they create for their private space. Something stylish, yet subtle, can communicate the impression that a corporate executive is more focused on the employees and communication, rather than a locked off, elite-like approach.


It’s also important to consider that handles with locking mechanisms equipped often communicates a closed-off approach to employees. Or if it’s too big and extravagant, it can even be intimidating. While these small details are often overlooked and seem less important, they contribute to the overall experience of those visiting your business. And in the end, all factors count, when it comes to a solid first impression.



Choosing a door lever vs. an entrance handle


Making this kind of decision is ultimately up to the designer or owner of the business. However, there are a few things to consider here. For instance, handles can be more inviting, as they are easier to open in comparison to opening a door with a lever. They’re also more sanitary, as it takes less contact with the hardware to actually open the door.


In the end, finding the right modern entrance option or pull handle all comes down to understanding how you need it to function. It’s also highly essential to keep the user in mind and consider how they’re likely to be feeling upon first entering your space. These tiny details are only minor, but they do contribute to the overall impression of your business, so it’s always worth putting in the effort – just in case.


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Push or pull – which type of handle works best for your door?

The hardware of your doors is an expression of your workspace personality. Selecting the right door handles, push plates and locks can give your office a new look, and even increase its value – if you tackle it all from the right approach. However, you will be confronted with dozens of different options to choose from, all designed to do the same thing in a slightly different way.


So how do you even know what to look out for? When you’re on the hunt for the right fit and design, there are three key factors to consider.


  1. Function


The function of your door is the biggest consideration. What works for the front entryway of a building won’t necessarily be appropriate for other doors and rooms in other areas. For many businesses and public buildings, push plates and pull handles are the most practical choice.


These can be used in almost any building and they are designed to make opening or closing a door as easy as possible, often to allow the person passing through to do so while carrying objects with both hands. This makes them perfect for a range of buildings including restaurants, offices, schools, stores, and even homes.


A push plate is installed on the side of the door that is pushed, while the pull handle goes on the other side. If a door swings both ways, push plates are often installed on both sides. Pull plates are most often found on doors with high traffic volumes and where a latch would impact the speed and efficiency of people entering and exiting. Such doors are designed to be accessible, and if your entry point needs a handle that doubles as a latch, then a standard lever set may be more suitable.


Another functional aspect to consider is who will be using the doors. Restaurants are fast-paced environments where kitchen and wait staff dash in and out as they go about their work, however, what works for this environment might not be suitable for the elderly, people with a disability or for a school. It’s important to consider who will be using the space, just as much as where it will be used.



  1. Style


It is also vital to ensure the handles match the door. If you’ve invested money buying a designer door, you don’t want handles that detract from their appearance. The majority of push plates and pull handles function in the same way, so the choice comes down to design and aesthetics.


You might want them to blend in and put functionality first, or choose designs that stand out and add an eye-catching feature to the overall look. Alternatively, you might have two rooms with entirely different decors, which means you may want a different style on either side. Your choice will also have to consider how much traffic passes through the door and how durable the handles and plates need to be.



  1. Budget


Finally, the amount of money you have to spend on your door handles will determine your choices. Simple, no-frills designs will generally be more affordable than ornate ones. However, even the plainest, most utilitarian door handle and push plate will perform the same task, the same way.


  1. Installing push and pull plates and handles


A major advantage of using push plates and pull handles on your doors is the ease of installation. Without the complications of latches and locks to consider, the installation process is relatively straightforward. If you already have existing hardware in place, then it is a simple case of unscrewing and removing the old ones and then screwing in the new ones. If the designs are significantly different or you are creating a new installation, then you will need to drill pilot holes into the door to match the layout of the plates and handles.



Want to find out which door handle design is best for your project? Get in touch with the ENTRO team to get started.