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What Color is my Door Lock? What is the Hardware Finish on my Building?

Updated: Aug 26, 2022

Are you responsible for your building’s management? Have you needed to make upgrades but not really sure what color the finish is on door locks and hardware throughout your building? Or perhaps you are looking to replace broken push bars and want to ensure that they match the rest of the building?

You are not alone. We receive calls multiple times a week from Property Managers and Facility Managers asking us questions like ‘What is the Hardware Finish on my Building?’ and ‘What color is my door lock?’

Today we are going to answer the question: What color is my Door Lock? What is the Hardware Finish on my Building?

At Loc-Doc Security, Our Mission is to help you protect your people and your property. We continue to share information like this to help you be informed so you can know the best solutions for the security of your property.

Whether you’re looking to outfit an entire building or just wanting to match what is existing in your building, knowing the finish for your door hardware is important! It’s the final touch that can bring your building’s design and aesthetic together while still meeting all the functional needs that you desire.

While looks are important in a commercial building, we will cover some other factors that can be important when deciding on door hardware.

First, let’s answer the question: What is Hardware Finish?

To put it simply, Hardware finish is the color that is applied to the hardware (locks, handles, cabinet knobs, hinges, crash bars, kick plates, basically anything added to the door) after it’s been manufactured that gives it color or texture.

The Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA) has established a system for classifying building hardware finishes using a 3 digit code. This standard helps architects, builders, locksmiths, and even customers understand the exact color they are ordering. For example, if you were looking to order Silver finishes, that color is broad enough to include Stainless Steel (630), Brushed Chrome (626), or Satin Nickel (619). Knowing the exact finish and color, you could order by the designated number and ensure you receive the correct color and texture.

Here are 3 tips to consider when selecting Hardware Finish for your Building: Tip 1: Understand Your Location’s Climate

If you’re located in a Sunbelt State where there are high temperatures and constant sun, you may need to consider finishes with UV protection or even a finish that is resistant to heat. Strong UV rays can cause damage and degrade locks over time so selecting the right finish with a clear coat protectant can help keep your building looking fresh even with constant sun exposure. Or if you live in a coastal area, you might find that salt or moisture plays into the consideration of which finish you select. Utilising stainless steel in coastal buildings is common since it is one of the most corrosion-resistant metals. Whichever area you live in, the right finish can help protect the metal from weather related damage, prevent tarnish, and minimize corrosion.

Tip 2: Consider Where It’s Going Whether you’re a Hospital, University, or a Commercial Office Building, your needs will be drastically different. Commercial Facilities are commonly found with Satin Chrome which offers a contemporary feel that blends well with most styles. The brushed look doesn’t show fingerprints and is very durable. Satin Chrome is also resistant to corrosion and has an extra level of hardness from the chrome plating. This is particularly beneficial for school systems, colleges, and universities. In a hospital setting with a high volume of people, you would need a hardware finish that could withstand the constant demands like Satin Stainless Steel or even an antimicrobial coating for door hardware that can help reduce the spread of bacteria and other microbes. Daily traffic of a facility can be a consideration however keep in mind the history or age of a building. Some historic buildings like museums, colleges, and even multi family properties prefer a vintage design that blends with the feel of the building. Tip 3: Evaluate the Durability When you’re considering a hardware finish, the aesthetics and look can be considerably high. One thing to keep in mind is if the finish is durable in order to keep that original aesthetic. What happens in a year or two when the finish is worn or corroded? Will you be willing or even able to financially support another upgrade? Keep in mind the differences in the performance between finishes that you’re considering. You will want something that will last and still meet with your design aspirations. Finally, the most beneficial thing when matching or selecting hardware finishes, is to see an actual sample. Although you can browse colors online, the actual finish can vary substantially from your computer screen versus in person. The most accurate way to match an existing hardware finish is to use a metal sample to compare. We recommend utilizing a ring with common finishes labeled with a BHMA code while we are comparing hardware colors. This is to ensure that we match the finish exactly and uphold the design aesthetic for your property. If you need help choosing a finish that meets your design needs and holds up over time, meet with one of our professionals for a free consultation at a time convenient for you!

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