An Overview: Aluminum Stile Glass Storefront Doors

Aluminum storefront doors can be equipped with door hardware including exit devices, mortise locks, pushbutton locks, push bars, pull handles, levers and paddles. Most common is probably the pivot bolt deadbolt.


Aluminum stile glass storefront doors in both single and double-door configurations are a common sight at strip malls, restaurants, multi-tenant manufacturing complexes, office buildings, etc. The door’s framework is extruded aluminum in varying widths with a large glass panel. Aluminum is very efficient, as it can require little or no maintenance. The glass panel provides visibility from the exterior and the interior, offering a more welcoming appearance.

These aluminum stile glass storefront doors for most applications are very flexible and can easily be converted or retrofitted to satisfy the customers ‘needs.

Storefront doors are available in three different widths of aluminum stiles: narrow, medium and wide. Rough sizes are 2” narrow, 3-1/2” medium and 5” wide. These measurements are for the outer extrusion only; it does not include the portion of the stile that retains the glass.

Regardless of the different widths, aluminum stile lock hardware can be used in most doors. The stile depth is available in different sizes; however, the most common is 1-3/4”. If the door is less than 1-3/4” deep, specialty hardware may be required.

The aluminum stile glass storefront doors can be installed into the jambs in center, flush or partial recess configurations. Depending upon the application, doors can be mounted using hinges, continuous hinges or pivots. Pivots are normally used if there is a concealed door closer in the header or floor, which provides a “cleaner” appearance. Center hung pivots are installed for double-swing doors.

Surface-mounted door closers can be installed onto aluminum stile glass storefront doors. The upper rail is normally larger enough to accommodate the closer body with the arm mounted onto the header in either the Regular Arm or Parallel Arm configurations.

Aluminum storefront doors can be equipped with a variety of door hardware including exit devices, mortised locks, pushbutton locks, push bars, pull handles, levers and paddles. Push bars and pull handles are normally installed for non-latching (passage) applications where the locks if applicable are locked only during non-business hours. Push bars are mounted at 37-1/2” above the finished floor. Pull handles are mounted 42” above the finished floor. Locks using a mortise cylinder have the centerline of the cylinder mounted at 34” above the finished floor.

Access control can be via mechanical key mortised or surface lock mechanism, electrified deadlatch, a mechanical pushbutton lock or electromechanical pushbutton lock. Mechanical locks mechanisms include deadlatch, pivot bolt deadbolt or hookbolts, and exit device latches.

The most common lock mechanism is probably the pivot bolt deadbolt, having been around for more than 50 years. The standard pivot bolt deadbolt is 5/8” x 1-3/8” x 2-7/8” with a 1-3/8” throw. Today’s models are usually made of laminated steel. The long pivoting throw compensates for the occasional large gap between the door and the jamb or second door. For double-door applications, key operated and radiused faced flush bolts are available to secure the inactive door.

Pivot bolt deadbolts are normally “unlocked during business hours.” An exit indicator can provide notification of the door’s condition. A cutout in the hookbolt provides the locking function for sliding doors. Pivot bolt deadbolt and the hookbolt lock bodies are operated by one or two mortise cylinders, thumbturn, lever or paddle handle.

Aluminum stile glass door mortised locks are available in three standard backsets: 31/32”, 1-1/8” and 1-1/2”. The hookbolt and pivot bolt deadbolt bodies are non-handed. However, beveled faceplates are handed. Non-handed faceplates are flat or radiused. Deadlatch models are handed, and not field reversible. Mortise lock cylinders can be from 1” to about 1-3/8” depending upon the type of cylinder guard being used.

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