Mixing and matching of Grade 1 commercial and lesser Grade residential door hardware is becoming a major trend in commercial (and even residential) projects. One reason for this trend, of course, is budgets. This has been the case in the multi-family market for some time. Put commercial locks on the main entrances and other doors where there will be a lot of communal use. But, once at the apartment or condo, where wear and tear on the hardware isn’t as severe, it’s entirely appropriate to install residential grade door hardware. The trend is moving beyond condominiums and apartments; enterprising locksmiths are suggesting it to corporate campuses, boardrooms, lobbies and the like.
This brings up the other reason for mix and match – decorative hardware. There is commercial and residential Grade decorative hardware whose form and finish can match throughout a building. The residential grade hardware is a smaller version of the commercial. Both the commercial and residential solutions go together providing a win-win situation for the building by saving money without worrying about quality and the locksmith increases sales.
Von Duprin trim has a choice of 14 different lever designs compatible with residential Grade decorative hardware. Some of these levers have “designer” names such as Accent, Asti, Merano and St. Annes.
In the past, finishes for commercial grade products were often limited to bright or satin chrome, stainless and dark bronze. Today, fancy finishes such as aged bronze, satin brass blackened, nickel and black are extremely popular to give buildings an upscale appearance.
Let’s look at one of these, Aged Bronze, more in depth. Aged bronze is a classic finish that provides the consistency and longevity architects and designers look for. Not only is it available among the most popular commercial Schlage products, but it also matches the Schlage residential Aged Bronze finish.
An Aged Bronze finish for locks, exit devices, closers, accessories and electronics offers a classic distinctive look that lasts long into the future without wear or weathering, ideal for commercial applications. In addition to providing a naturally aged, historic look with a soft bronze highlight and attractive rich coloring, the fancy finish maintains its original look over time. Aged Bronze is available on Schlage, Von Duprin, Ives, Glynn-Johnson and LCN brands of products.
It is a finish that has been growing in popularity. Aged Bronze is typically used in common areas or buildings where the owners or architects are looking to achieve a historic ambiance. It’s also great for customers who like the look of a living finish but don’t want it to continue to wear. Aged Bronze provides these customers with a finish that will continue to look and feel exactly the same throughout its life.
Levers and locks, exit and panic devices, push/pull levers and door accessories are all available with an optional antimicrobial coating that inhibits the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew on their surfaces. The antimicrobial clear coat is a durable BHMA compliant coating that provides long lasting protection to the door hardware and enhances its appearance.
The coating utilizes ionic silver (AG+), a single atom that is missing one orbital electron. The natural antimicrobial interacts with bonding sites on the microbe surface, slowing the growth of bacteria, mold and mildew. The silver ions are released at a slow and steady rate creating a safe, continuous, long-term protection from microbes. Silver has long been recognized for its antimicrobial properties and has been used to combat microbes for many years in many applications.
High traffic, public use buildings are ideally suited to antimicrobial coated door hardware simply because they may have hundreds of people going in and out every day. Adding door hardware with an antimicrobial coating can make a big difference by inhibiting the growth of bacteria on hardware surfaces. Applications where antimicrobial coated hardware is especially valuable include healthcare, education and food service.
In addition, the Schlage, Von Duprin, Ives, Glynn-Johnson and LCN brands have products that can be installed throughout the building. For instance, what about hinges and pivots to match the new door hardware? Someone is going to sell them. It might as well be you. Or pulls and push plates in a variety of models, sizes and finishes? Don’t forget about door stops, both the flexible and base versions. If an office building, do they need letter box plates on the doors? These types of products can increase sales. If you can help match the look with their other door hardware, you are one step closer to getting the deal. Promoting decorative hardware along with the traditional solutions can provide a competitive advantage.