Door handles, handle sets and accessories, window handles and accessories
Guarantees for door and window handles and their accessories are only applicable where the following pre-conditions have been met:
- fittings appropriate for the relevant door function and conditions of use and load have been selected;
- installation has been performed professionally, following the instructions of the manufacturer and supplier;
- the fittings have been used appropriately and maintained properly
One must always remember that the guarantee of goods specified by law and the subjective opinions of the consumer about the function and quality of fittings tend to differ. Door and window handles are specifically meant for opening and closing doors and windows. If they are used for other purposes, the guarantee will not apply. In addition, all aspects of door and window equipment are unequivocally subject to a degree of wear and tear.
- Door handles and accessories
The function of door handles is to open and close doors. The door handle is just one component of an aggregate which comprises of a door frame and panels, hinges, locks and cylinders. All components must be mutually compatible. Thus, for example, opening and closing a door with door handle can only take place where the door has been unlocked. Only in separate cases - for example, in panic doors - special handles also serve to release the locking function.
- Pull handles
Pull handles must also be co-ordinated with the door frame and panels, hinges and other opening/closing elements, for example, the door closers. It is especially important to observe the safety distance specified by the manufacturer from the edge of the door to the handle mounting.
- Window handles and their accessories
Window handles are simply an element of the window. The choice of window handle is determined by the specific window locking device.
Door handles, pull handles and window handles are often used inappropriately which means that sooner or later various defects will appear and the product properties defined by the manufacturer are lost. The following are examples of typical types of misuse:
- door handles are used to hold onto for support, for example, on doors located at the top of a steep staircase;
- children use the doors like a carousel, holding onto the handle;
- the door handles and pull handles serve as a door stop where the wall is missing;
- door handles and pull handles are used as hangers for heavy items;
- door handles, together with panic locks are used on a daily basis, instead of in cases of emergency, contrary to the recommendations of the lock and hardware manufacturers.
The function of most door and window fittings is to open and close doors and windows. Ultimately, the wear and tear thereof depends on the material chosen and the mutual compliance with conditions of use. To ensure you choose the correct materials, we recommend you familiarise yourselves with the qualities of the following metals:
As a metal used for hardware, aluminium has stood up to the test of everyday use for decades. The metal is protected by a strong anodised coating, but harder materials may damage the aluminium. A typical example would be the marks left by rings on aluminium door handles. Scratches and abrasions may spoil the overall look of aluminium surfaces, but in no way impair the functionality of the hardware and are simply a typical sign of ageing. This property of aluminium should be considered when choosing hardware for doors with heavy daily use. Aluminium does not require special maintenance and stains can easily be removed with water and a soft cloth.
- Stainless steel
Stainless steel is commonly regarded as an indestructible metal. Its surface provides maximum protection against corrosion, it cannot easily be damaged, does not develop scratches and, thanks to the chrome and nickel alloy, it is easy to care for. For this reason, stainless steel fittings are particularly recommended for frequently used doors, for example, in public buildings, institutions, hospitals, sports facilities. Very rarely however, stainless steel can develop scratches and occasional rust patches, known as “flash rust” which is caused not from the metal itself, but by the environment (for example, in an unventilated swimming pool). These rust patches may be removed with the aid of standard cleaning agents and vigorous rubbing. Special care for stainless steel in normal conditions is not required. Stains may easily be removed with water and a soft cloth.
Brass is a more particular and sensitive material than aluminium and stainless steel. If aluminium is considered to be more or less a pure metal, then brass is a typical alloy, whose elements tend to corrode. Therefore, it must be remembered that when choosing hardware, unlacquered brass components, over a period of time, only retain their initial allure by being regularly cleaned. Once the coating of the lacquered brass fittings has been breached, unsightly corrosion sets in, which can only be rectified in the factory by a laborious stripping operation. Regular polishing of unlacquered brass is a fundamental part of caring for this metal. The alternative is waxed brass hardware which is polished during daily use. However, the parts which are not touched on a daily basis quickly form a brown or grey-green patina.
In conditions leading to manifestations of corrosion, for example, in a marine environment, we recommend the use of stainless steel hardware with a titanium brass-coloured coating. The hardness of the base metal guarantees the preservation of the brass-coloured coating against environmental factors. For those who prefer brass over all other metals however, we recommend:
- the use of waxed brass hardware, which can be maintained using standard cleaning agents;
- not to use varnished brass hardware in outdoor areas, where the effects of sunshine and changing weather conditions lead to manifestations of corrosion;
- not to use brass fittings on frequently used doors, unless particular attention is paid to polishing the surfaces.
Similarly to brass, bronze is not a natural product, but created by man centuries ago. Bronze is a copper and tin alloy. In contrast with pure copper, which is a relatively soft metal, bronze with its tin component has high resistance and hardness. The handle industry uses the alloy CuSn8, which is formed by 92% copper and 8% tin (material no. 2.1030). This metal typically has high resistance towards corrosion, higher tensile resistance and is very hard. Due to its high resistance to wear, bronze is recommended for heavily used items which are used every day. Bronze fittings are chemically treated in the first instance, imitating the metal’s natural ageing process. As a result, a typical patina is formed which imitates that which is produced naturally. Due to the metal’s properties and chemical processes there may be differences in the level of patina, which in no way impairs the functionality of the hardware. Variations in the patina tones arise depending on the climatic and manufacturing conditions they are exposed to. A natural patina is formed with frequent use of the handles, and these variations even out over time. During the final manufacturing process, to help delay the effects of external conditions on the metal, polished and aged bronze hardware is treated with wax, which is ecologically sound and can be cleaned with standard cleaning products.
We do not recommend the use of varnished bronze fittings, because:
- the varnish hinders the natural patina formation process and the metal loses its typical, unique aesthetic qualities;
- as soon as the varnish is damaged corrosion sets in and the bronze loses its gloss finish.