How to Determine Door Handing

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Door handing refers to the way a door opens. Determine the door hand by figuring out whether the door opens inward or outward, and to the left or to the right. You need to know the hand of the door in order to purchase and install the right door hardware.

  • Inspect the door and note how it opens. Handing is determined by the way a door opens from the outside, meaning the hallway or exterior of the building, or the exterior of a closet.

  • Check the hinges. If the door's hinges are on the right when you face it from the outside, that door opens to the right is a right-handed door. If the hinges are on the left, it's a left-handed door. The notation for this is "RH" for right-hand and "LH" for left-hand doors.

  • Open the door to determine if it opens inward or outward. You push an inward-opening door away from you as you walk through it. An outward-opening door is one you pull toward you. Since most doors open inward, an outward door is written as "LHR" for left-handed reverse or "RHR" for right-handed reverse.

  • Take this information with you to select hardware for your door. All handles, knobs and levers should be available to fit all styles of door. Ask a salesperson for help if you aren't able to determine the hand of the door hardware you're considering.

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