One of the first decisions to make when choosing your home’s entry set is whether you want a mortise lock set or a tubular lock set. Viewed from the front of a closed door, they may look the same, but installation, price, and security are quite different. Many homes have tubular entry sets. They are usually more economical and easy to install with standard door preparation. Their functionality is quite simple with two latches – handle and deadbolt - contained in “tubes” that are pushed into pockets within a door frame to latch the door. Mortise locks are a bit more complicated. They require specific door preparation and a professional to install them, but do boast added home security. A mortise lock involves installing the lock body – a box containing the entirety of the locking mechanisms – completely inside the door. With both mortise and tubular entry sets, electronic upgrades are available in a few different forms. Traditional push-button keypads exist alongside touchscreen keypads, and most of today’s options work with apps to allow locking/unlocking with a smart phone and boast the ability to store 25 or more unique entry codes. These are also often available with keyed or completely keyless options as well as battery backups.
Entry sets come in three main styles for the exterior: sectional, three quarters, and full plate. In sectional entry sets, the deadbolt is a separate piece from the handle, and the handle itself has two points of contact with the door. With the three quarters entry set, the deadbolt it located within a plate/rosette that also contains the upper handle contact point and latch. The plate stops there and does not continue to the bottom of the handle, which has it’s own point of contact with the door. Full plate sets, as the name suggests, have a solid plate containing the deadbolt and full length of the handle. A single design usually comes in all three options, but often under different names, such as Emtek’s Baden, Davos, and Lausanne entry sets.
Interior style can easily be customized to the door’s surroundings as you’re able to choose from a variety of knobs and levers for the interior hardware. However, you’ll need to know your door’s handing when it comes to ordering the entry set, as well as a few measurements if you plan to use it on an existing door. Handing describes the direction your door swings when walking into a room. If you’re walking into the house and the door swings to your left and inside the house, that is considered a left hand swing. If your door swings to the outside of the house, this is called a reverse swing or outswing, so a door that swings outside and to your left when entering the home is a left hand outswing. The depiction below can serve as an excellent guide when determining handing in your home.
Measurements you will likely need to know include the thickness of the door, the backset of the bore holes, the center-to-center length, and potentially the stile width. The door thickness is as straightforward as it sounds, with most doors being 1-3/8” or 1-3/4” thick. The backset is simply how far the center of bore holes are from the edge of the door where the latch will be. Backset may depend on how wide the door’s stiles are (the vertical molding on the door when present), so knowing the width of the stile will help center the new entry set within it. Finally, the center-to-center length is measured from the center of top bore hole to the center of the bottom bore hole in tubular sets. This is especially important for three quarter or full plate entry sets.