Door Handing:

Door handing or swing is not the big mystery most people think it is.  Follow either of these two simple methods, and you are assured of the correct handing every time.  If you are handing a door for a full mortise lock, please see the mortise lock information section.

The outside in method:

  1. Face the outside of the door.  The outside is the exterior or hall side of any door.  If you are inside a room looking out, you are on the wrong side of the door. 
  2. Determine which side, right or left, the hinges are on.  If the hinges are on the right, it is a right hand door.  If the hinges are on the left, it is a left hand door. 

The butt to butt method:

  1. With the door open, stand with your backside against the hinge side jamb. 
  2. If the door swings to your right, it is a right hand door.  If it swings to the left, it is a left hand door. 
  3. Caution – this method does not work with out-swinging closet doors that require single dummy sets.  In that case, pretend the door is swinging into the closet.  In other words, the door handing will be the opposite of the way the door swings.

(click to enlarge)

Full Mortise Locks:

Full mortise locks are known for durability, security and distinctive styling.  They are best suited for wooden doors, and highly recommended for large, heavy entry doors.  Steel or fiberglass doors require special factory preparation to accept full mortise locks. 

Installing a full mortise lock requires special tools and techniques and is best handled by a professional familiar with mortise locks.  We specialize in mortise lock installation.

You will need the following information in order to order a mortise lock:

  1. Door handing: 

    a. Determine the door swing from the exterior of the door.  If the hinges are on the left, it is a left hand door.  If the hinges are on the right it is a right hand door.

    b. Determine if the door swings in to the building or out to the exterior.  If it swings in, stop.  Specify the handing determined in step “a”.

    c. If the doors swing out, specify “reverse bevel” after the handing specification.  For example, a door with hinges on the right that swings out, requires a right hand reverse bevelmortise lock.

  2. Door thickness: Measure the thickness of the door at the lock stile.  Common sizes include 1-2/4” and 2-1/4” but we need to know to order the correct components for your mortise lock.

  3. Stile dimensions and details:

    a. Determine the width of the lock stile.  This is the vertical member that makes up the lock side of the door.

    b. Note if there are any details, trim or carvings that project from the surface of the door that could interfere with the door hardware trim.  Measure their location from the edge of the door.  This information will help up determine the best back set to use with your mortise lock.





Nomenclature of Door and Frame
(click to enlarge)
To Top of Page