20 Interior and Exterior Types of Door Knobs
Understanding the qualities of different types of door knobs will make you a more informed buyer. Technology and innovation are progressing for all types of door knobs. There are more door knob options and clever internal mechanisms that give you more options for your interior and exterior spaces. Door knobs are a practical way that you can keep your home safe, maintain privacy, and complement your home’s style.
Popular Types of Door Knobs
Door knobs vary by closure style, material, and style. Consider the qualities of each style as you evaluate which type of door knob would work best for you.
Types of Door Knobs by Operation
Types of Door Knobs by Style
Types of Door Knobs by Material
Types of Door Knobs by Operation
Door knobs are distinct in terms of closure styles. Homeowners should consider the arena where they will use particular door knobs as manufacturers design them for specific purposes.
Keyed Entrance Door Knobs
Keyed door knobs are one of the most popular types of door knobs. Homeowners can use these for exterior or interior spaces, but these are most common for exterior doors. Most manufacturers offer keyed door knobs in both single-cylinder and double-cylinder options. Single-cylinder varieties have a keyed lock on one side of the door and a thumb turn knob on the other.
Homeowners use this type of knob on exterior doors to provide security on the outside and ease of opening from the inside. Double-cylinder door knobs need a key to open on both sides of the door. These types of door knobs are not as popular with homeowners as the need for a key on the inside of the door is inconvenient.
Privacy Door Knobs
Privacy door knobs are interior door knobs that lock from the inside of the door but not the outside. These are useful to maintain privacy in rooms like bathrooms and bedrooms. These doors have easy to use mechanisms that have a latch or a simple key to operate.
Manufacturers create privacy door knobs in a variety of styles and finishes. These door knobs have a simpler structure, so they are less expensive than door knobs with extensive surrounding hardware.
Passage Door Knobs
A passage door knob is a type of interior door knob that does not have a lock mechanism. These are most useful on interior doors like hallways and closets that need closure but no key or lock. These are convenient interior door knobs because they are easy to install and cost-effective. Manufacturers create them in a variety of styles and finishes to complement your interior decor.
Dummy Door Knobs
A dummy door knob is an interior door knob that operates similar to a passage door knob because there is no locking mechanism. There is one key difference between dummy door knobs and passage door knobs. Passage door knobs operate like standard door knobs but without the lock.
Dummy door knobs do not turn but are there to provide a consistent look throughout the home. You can find single and double dummy door knobs. Dummy door knobs are cost-effective because they have a simple design. You can find them in a variety of finishes and styles.
Mortice Door Knobs
Mortice door knobs are a historic knob style. Rectangular locks are integral to the design of mortice door knobs, unlike modern door knobs where the lock is separate. This is a secure type of door knob because the lock is integrated into the door.
Mortice door knobs are more expensive because they are a specialty item. Mortice door knobs are much more difficult to install because of the complicated hardware. These are wonderful door knobs for historic home designs because they come in replicas of historic styles.
Keypad Door Knobs
Keypad door knobs lock with a keypad rather than a traditional key. Keypad door knobs are easy to install and convenient because they do not require you to keep up with keys. They are flexible, so you can change the code for others to open rather than passing a key back and forth. Security is another added benefit of keypad door knobs because you do not need to fear that someone will open your door with lost or stolen keys.
Biometric Door Knobs
Biometric door knobs contain some of the newest technology in security. Biometric door knobs use biometric data like fingerprints, facial recognition, and other unique characteristics to open. These door knobs are convenient because you do not need to carry around a key to open them, and you can program them to respond to other uses.
Some biometric door knobs feature advanced features like auto-locking, tamper-resistance, and remote access. It is understandable that these are some of the most expensive door knobs on the market because they use the latest technology.
Types of Door Knobs by Style
Many people overlook the importance of door knob style on the interior and exterior design of their home. Yet, door knobs and other hardware provide the finishing touch to a cohesive home style.
Traditional door knobs feature a classic and timeless look that works well with a variety of door designs. Traditional door knobs range styles from vintage to modern. You can find traditional interior and exterior door knobs in a variety of closure styles including keyed and non-key types. Traditional door knobs are the most popular style as they blend with different interior styles, so you can find them in a variety of finish options.
Contemporary door knobs feature a sleek and simple look with a minimal silhouette. Some contemporary door “knobs” feature levers rather than knobs. Some of the latest contemporary door knob finishes include matte black, a satin finish to hide fingerprints, and sparkling chrome.
Victorian door knobs are popular with historic homes and with interior design presenting a cottage style. You can use authentic Victorian door knobs, but it is more common to use reproduction knobs as these are easier to install and more secure. Victorian door knobs feature a variety of materials including metal, glass, and ceramic. Most historic Victorian knobs utilized brass, but reproductions are available in a variety of finishes.
Like the Art Deco style itself, Art Deco door knobs feature streamlined and geometric styling. These door knobs work well in contemporary and mid century modern homes. You can find Art Deco reproduction door knobs in many finishes from antique pewter to polished chrome.
Mid Century Modern
Mid century door knobs range in style from sleek and simple to space-age and geometric type door knobs. Brass was a common finish for mid century modern knobs with copper, chrome, and black finishes available.
Rustic door knobs are popular in farmhouse and cabin design styles. Rustic door knobs feature a variety of styles with unique features like twists, scrolls, dimpled finishes, and nature inspired-motifs. Artisans craft rustic door knobs with an aged and handcrafted look. They use heavy duty materials for rustic door knobs including iron, wood, and rustic bronze.
Types of Door Knobs by Material
Door knobs are available in many finishes due to the various needs and preferences of homeowners.
Brass Door Knobs
Brass door knobs are a historically popular choice for homeowners. Brass door knobs are durable and have a timeless appearance. Polished brass was once the only finish available. With modern tastes have come different varieties of brass finishes including satin and antiqued.
Black Door Knobs
Black matte door knobs have become a designer staple. This door knob finish works well with contemporary design, but it has a classic look that can blend with other styles. This door knob finish does not require maintenance and hides dirt and stains, but depending on the door knob, it may show fingerprints and smudges. Black matte door knobs are a relatively new variety, so some are more expensive than alternate finishes.
Chrome Door Knobs
Chrome door knobs are popular in contemporary and modern house designs. Many chrome door knobs have a simple yet modernist style. While chrome door knobs are making a comeback in the design world, their designs are limited. The high polish of chrome makes keeping these knobs free of smudges is difficult.
Aged Bronze Door Knobs
Aged and oil-rubbed bronze door knobs have a rich dark brown color. These door knobs are one of the best varieties if you are trying to create a rustic or farmhouse look inside your home. Aged and oil-rubbed door knobs are available in a wide variety of styles and price-points.
Glass Door Knobs
Glass door knobs are a retro style that remained popular with historic and traditional house styles. Glass door knobs are one of the most noticeable and unique door knob styles. These door knobs are also fragile and may not be suitable for all environments such as those with heavy traffic or small children.
Porcelain Door Knobs
Porcelain door knobs are another throwback style that is chic and charming. These door knobs have just a few style options, but they are still a good choice for retro styles like cottage and country.
Nickel Door Knobs
Nickel door knobs are a popular variety for contemporary and modern design styles. Nickel door knobs are available in many finishes such as satin, polished, and antiqued. Certain finishes work better for different needs. Satin finishes hide fingerprints and smudges better than polished nickel finishes.
How Can I Choose the Best Type of Door Knob for My Home?
There is such a wide variety of door knobs that it can be challenging to choose which is the best for your home. Consider these ideas to help you narrow the options to the best choice.
- Function – Think about the function of the door where you are using the knob. Exterior doors require knobs with security features. On some interior doors, you will want to be able to lock them when you desire.
- Style – Door knobs and hardware are an integral part of home design. Think about the look and shape of the door knobs to decide which ones will complement your style.
- Budget – The cost of door knobs vary widely. This is not always directly related to quality but more to do with custom manufacturing.
- Material and Finish – Certain door knob materials and finishes will be more appropriate for your needs than others. High-maintenance polished chrome knobs are more difficult to keep clean in high traffic areas than satin finishes.
- Brand – Many companies manufacture door knobs, from trusted names Kwikset and Schlage to boutique brands. Read and review the door knobs you like and review the return policies for each brand in case you are not happy with your purchase.