Entry Door Styles and Types of Hardware

Check out the many types of entry doors and hardware to choose the right one for your home entrance.

When it comes to front doors, there is a very wide range of options available in prehung easy-to-install styles. Color, material and lite options are the major characteristics you'll sift through at your local home improvement store. Lites are offered in many combinations, shapes and styles, and can be placed centrally, at the top or on either side of the door opening. Keep in mind that you also will need to make sure the door you select fits inside your current door opening, swings the desired way and is prepared with the hardware on the correct side.

Most doors are available with different options involving sidelites and decorative glass. Among the many options are energy efficient insulated glass and stained glass with genuine brass caming. A door may comprise one large lite or have a grille that separates the glass into several lites. Sidelites are available on one or both sides of a door.

15 Lite Entry Door Provides Maximum Lght

15 Lite Entry Door Provides Maximum Lght

Photo by: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

If you want maximum exposure in your entryway, the 15-lite entry door provides your home with the most natural light that can be achieved without using a glass door.

4 Paneled Entry Door with Half Circle Lite

4 Paneled Entry Door with Half Circle Lite

Photo by: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Providing more privacy than the 15-lite door, the 4-paneled with a half-circle light offers some natural light exposure in your entryway.

6 Paneled Door is Offers Maximum Security

6 Paneled Door is Offers Maximum Security

Photo by: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

The popular 6-paneled door is the standard entry door on offer at most home improvement centers. This door provides maximum privacy for the homeowner.

2 Paneled Entry Door with Window

2 Paneled Entry Door with Window

Photo by: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

The 2-paneled door with a window allows you the view and the natural light, but with some privacy. The example shown here features a stylish window.

Custom Doors Fit Unique Home Configuration

Custom Doors Fit Unique Home Configuration

Photo by: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

This is an example of a custom-made door with a patterned center lite. It is a left-hand door, because the hinges are on the left and the door swings into the house.

Custom Door with Oval Lite Makes Impression

Custom Door with Oval Lite Makes Impression

Photo by: DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement ©2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

DK - Do It Yourself Home Improvement, 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

A popular option, the oval lite is a stylish way to make an impression. The door shown here is a right-hand door; the hinges are on the right and the door swings inward.

Entry door hardware is more than just doorknobs and locksets. Most door hardware manufacturers offer entire coordinated product lines of hardware for the doorbell, letterbox, door knocker and even exterior lights. Finishes range from polished brass to oil-rubbed bronze, and styles range from Victorian to Arts and Crafts, to sleek modern examples. Select the style of doorknob and lockset that enhances the look of your chosen door, and the rest of your house façade. If you are replacing entry hardware on an existing door, make sure you take careful measurements before you order the new set.

Single-cylinder deadbolts are operated with a key from the outside of a home and a thumb turn from the inside. A double-cylinder deadbolt is operated with a key from both outside and inside the door. This offers a more foolproof security option against the burglar who relies on gaining access to a home by breaking through the door glass and turning the thumb turn to open the door. Always keep a key near a double-cylinder deadbolt, in case of fire or other emergency.

While you may have a doorbell and not have a practical need for a door knocker, you may still want to select a door knocker as an accessory to enhance the style of your entry door. Door knockers lend a traditional appearance to any style of door and are available in a wide selection of finishes. Some of the most common types of door knockers available are featured below.

RX-DK-DIY163003_trad-door-knock_s3x4

RX-DK-DIY163003_trad-door-knock_s3x4

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

This door knocker is the most commonly seen in the U.S. It is usually paired with a traditionally styled door.

RX-DK-DIY163004_5-door-knock_s3x4

RX-DK-DIY163004_5-door-knock_s3x4

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

The S door knocker gets its name from the shape. Unlike the traditional knocker it has a vertical handle.

RX-DK-DIY163005_imperial-style_s3x4

RX-DK-DIY163005_imperial-style_s3x4

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

The knocker shown here is a variation on the traditional knocker. It has a more stately appearance. Shown with a nickel finish.

RX-DK-DIY163006_ring-door-knock

RX-DK-DIY163006_ring-door-knock

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

The ring door knocker is another popular style and gets its name from its shape. It is shown here in satin brass.

RX-DK-DIY163008_doorbell

RX-DK-DIY163008_doorbell

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Doorbell hardware surrounds the face of the doorbell button. Often screwed in place.

Oval doorbell
Features a brass lifetime finish that warrants against defects in material.

Door catch
Compensates for swelling, shrinking, drafts and weights.

Letterbox plates were traditionally standard on most U.S. homes but the letterbox has now largely fallen out of favor and use. However, it is still another way to customize and accessorize the look of your entry door.

RX-DK-DIY163013_arts-and-crafts

RX-DK-DIY163013_arts-and-crafts

©2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Mortise locks are locking latch mechanisms that require a rectangular hole in the door edge. Some have a second round hole above for key operation.

Arts and Crafts
The Arts and Crafts style, seen here, is popular in many parts of the country. This mortise lock features a pattern reminiscent of the style. It is shown with an oil-rubbed bronze finish.

Traditional
Many homeowners opt for a more traditional look with hardware, as it typically has great appeal.

iStock-0926899_Front-Door-Autumn-Decorations_s3x4

iStock-0926899_Front-Door-Autumn-Decorations_s3x4

Front door autumn decorations with pumpkins, corn stalks, and wreath.

Front door autumn decorations with pumpkins, corn stalks, and wreath.

Get Social With Us

We love to DIY. You love to DIY. Let's get together.

Discover Made + Remade

See the latest DIY projects, catch up on trends and meet more cool people who love to create.

Make It. Fix It. Learn It. Find It.