Choosing the right door closer depends on so many factors that it can become overwhelming for a property owner or manager. Fitting the wrong type of door and hardware could end up being a costly mistake if in-depth research is not done first.
There are some factors which need to be investigated before making any firm decisions:
- Customer preference / aesthetics - consumers are frequently keen to achieve an aesthetically pleasing look, making it important to balance this need with functionality.
- Building specifications - there are regulations in place to ensure that the correct closers are chosen for fire doors.
- The location of the door - Interior and exterior doors will naturally have different requirements.
- The size and weight of the door - heavier doors will require stronger and more durable door closers.
- Mounting location - Closers can be mounted at the top of the door, onto the frame or set into the floor.
- Traffic frequency – High traffic areas require durable door closers that will be capable of withstanding frequent use.
- Closing speed requirements – The speed at which the door closes can usually be set to a preferred level. Doors which are used in loading areas, for example, would need to close far more slowly than regular personnel doors.
Selecting The Ideal Closer For Any Situation
Choosing the perfect door closer for the right situation begins with recognising and understanding the various different types and the pros and cons associated with each. Read on for a brief outline of how some of the available options work:
Overhead Door Closers
Overhead door closers are the most common type used and are generally found in most commercial properties, for both internal and external doors. There are three common types of overhead door closers including:
- Regular/Standard Arm - These are located on the exterior of the door and have two arms, one on the frame and one with a spring loaded box, attached to the pull-side of the door. When the arms are closed they project out from the door. This option is the most power-efficient option available although less aesthetically pleasing than many other options.
- Transom-Mounted Closers - Like Regular/Standard Arm closers, these have arms that project out from the door perpendicularly. The main difference is that the spring-loaded box is mounted on the face of the doorframe. The most common application is to aluminium or glass storefront doors, mainly because these doors often have narrow top rails. Top jamb closers are fairly power efficient.
- Parallel Arm – These have two arms that sit on top of the door when it is closed. They are attached to the door via a spring-loaded box. This sits at the top of the push-side of the door and powers the closing action. Parallel arm door closers are one of the most common types and frequently used in commercial properties and schools. They are slightly more attractive than other overhead options but are a little less power efficient than the other types.
These are very durable and work well on heavy traffic doors
- They are not visible like overhead closers and this makes them a more attractive option.
- Floor-spring closers are typically used on glass storefront doors. They are located within the floor and are concealed. A bar within the closer is fitted into the underside of the door, which controls the closing action.
- Floor-spring closers typically have an open setting which means that they can be left open.
These are fitted into recesses in the door and frame.
- These closers are typically used for interior doors that are fairly light.
- They are not visible when the door is closed and are therefore aesthetically appealing.
- They are available as hydraulic.
Given that there are a few options to choose from, the best approach is probably to do extensive research on your specific requirements. If you remain unsure about the best option for your particular circumstances, seek expert advice from a professional to ensure you make the correct choice.