Hardware for Aluminum Storefront Doors
Aluminum and glass storefront doors usually have the characteristic that they have much more glass than aluminum. The aluminum tubing that comprises the stiles is usually only 1-3/4 to 3-1/2 inches wide, limiting the kinds of hardware applicable. Some aluminum storefront doors come with 5 inch stiles allowing more hardware choices.
Almost all aluminum doors are 1-3/4 inches thick, however, other thicknesses do appear. Be sure to measure the thickness of the door before ordering any hardware.
Manufacturers usually offer to ship aluminum and glass storefront doors blank, with a pre-installed Adams Rite deadbolt or deadlatch and paddle (see right), or with a pre-installed exit device.
The Adams Rite 4900 is their new, improved automatic locking deadlatch offering increased security and durability over their old model, the 4710. Egress through the 4900 is accomplished by the 4591 paddle. In many instances, however, the paddle does not provide the door coverage required by life safety regulations and may be rejected by the local Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ). In structures with an occupancy rated over a certain number of people an exit device with a push pad spanning one-half to two-thirds the overall width of the door may be required.
The Adams Rite MS1850S is the most common deadbolt shipped with new aluminum storefront doors. It is often called a 'flip bolt' because the deadbolt flips up out of the lock body into a slot cut into the door frame or into the inactive leaf of a pair of doors. The MS1850S is designed to be a double keyed, or keyed on both sides, deadbolt, locking people in as well as out. For obvious reasons, this function can be problematic when inspection time comes and the Fire Marshal sees that people could be locked in. As a means of answering this complaint, Adams Rite now offers the 4550 lever handle (see below) for the MS1850S deadbolt.
To order an Adams Rite latch or deadbolt, you need to know:
- Backset in inches
- Faceplate - beveled, radius faced, or flat
Available backsets are:
- 7/8" (rare)
Locks are field reversible, but faceplates are not, so if your faceplate is beveled, specify right hand or left hand.
Standard finishes are:
- 628 Anodized Aluminum
- 313 Anodized Dark Bronze
- 335 Anodized Black
There are many accessories available that add functionality to the MS1850. For example, the 4015 threshold and 4016 or 4085 header bolt transform the MS1850 from a single point lock to a two- or three-point locking device. Versions of the MS1850 are used as cylinder operated flush bolts, bottom rail deadocks, and roll-down gate locks.
Specify handing and finish when ordering.
Adams Rite offers a wide variety of exit devices for aluminum storefront doors, including rim, surface vertical rod, concealed vertical rod, and mortise exit devices. Adams Rite is one of the few companies that make a narrow stile surface vertical rod exit device. Some door manufacturers use or have used Adams Rite exit devices as original equipment on their products.
Doromatic offers a variety of rim and concealed vertical rod exit devices for narrow stile aluminum doors. Doromatic exit devices have been used as original equipment by some door manufacturers.
Jackson offers rim and concealed vertical rod exit devices for narrow stile aluminum doors. Jackson exit devices have been used as original equipment by some door manufacturers.
Corbin, Sargent, Von Duprin and Yale all offer exit devices usable on aluminum storefront doors. Some manufacturers offer devices that will fit on narrow stile doors, some only make devices that will fit on medium or wide stile doors.
To order, you need to know:
- Door width
- Door height
- Single door or pair of doors
All door closer manufacturers make surface mounted door closers specifically for narrow stile aluminum storefront door applications. They also all make adapter plates for installation of their non-specific surface closers in narrow stile aluminum door applications.
For more information see Door Closer Basics
Many door closer manufacturers make concealed overhead closers for use on aluminum storefront applications. The ones I encounter most often are:
- Dorma RTS88 series
- Jackson 100 and 300 series
- LCN 2030 series
To order, you need to know:
- Door width
- Interior or exterior door
- Degree of swing and/or hold open
- Hold open or non-hold open
- Double acting or single acting door
- Finish for cover plates and arms if necessary
More by this Author
Electrification options for aluminum, narrow stile storefront doors.
Learn the basic principals of the master key system so that you can communicate intelligently with your security professional.
- EDITOR'S CHOICE176
The theory and practice of door closer adjustment, with steps and detailed instructions to adjust the swing of your hydraulic door closer.