Door closers are one of those essential mechanisms that, when working correctly, should be completely unnoticeable. The key is to buy one that is high quality, appropriately suited to your needs, and installed by a trusted professional.
In this article, we’ll talk about how to choose the right door closer for your space. And when you’re ready to upgrade or replace the one you’ve got, the pros here at Red Key LLC in Buffalo NY are ready to help!
What is a door closer?
Door closers are mechanisms that are installed on a door to close it in a controlled manner.
Because they are pneumatic or hydraulic, they can prevent the door from slamming shut. And,
they can also be used to prop the door open without a door stopper, freeing up floorspace.
Not all door closers are created equal. Some are linked to alarm systems in the case of a fire or
unauthorized entry. Others are designed for screen and storm doors. And there are even some
models that are housed within the door hinge.
Most common commercial door closers
You’ve probably seen door closers in just about any commercial space you’ve ever been in.
That’s because they are a safety feature required by law in most places of business.
For starters, there’s fire safety. Some door closers are linked to smoke- or fire-detectors that
trigger the door to close in the case of a fire. This prevents smoke and fire from spreading
quickly through a building.
Commercial door closers also prevent injury by protecting occupants from wind gusts or other
hazards that could cause the door to shut forcefully.
The types of commercial door closers are:
– Standard door closers (Grade 3.) In commercial settings with light to medium traffic, a
standard, top-mounted door closer is a good option. These models are sleek enough not
to draw too much attention, and they can be fitted onto both wood and lighter metal
doors. As Grade 3 door closers, they have been rated for upwards of 500,000 open-and-
– Heavy-duty door closers (Grade 2.) Heavier doors and commercial settings with medium
to high traffic should opt for a more durable option. Heavy-duty door closers are rated for
upwards of 1 million cycles.
– Extra heavy-duty door closers (Grade 1.) When you see the words “extra” or “ultra” in a
door closer description, these usually refer to the most durable options on the market.
They are suitable for fire doors and very high traffic settings, like hospitals and schools.
To qualify for the best grade rating, they must withstand upwards of 2 million cycles.
Most common residential door closers
Your needs in a residential setting are going to be different than they would be in a commercial
setting. Which is why there is more variability in door closers for homes and residences. Let’s
take a look at some of the most common ones:
– Standard door closer. A Grade 3 door closer can give you the convenience of a self-
closing door in any area of your home. This can be handy for when you come home with
an armload of groceries, or you’re tired of reminding your kids to close the door after
them. As a low-traffic area, you can stick with a Grade 3 door closer with good reviews
and an aesthetic to match your space.
– Screen and storm door closers. Doors that are mounted outside of your front or
backdoors can also benefit from door closers. Like other models, they keep your door
from slamming. They also do the important job of keeping your door closed in the case
of a storm.
– Hinge closers. These types of door closers are built into the hinges in your doors so that
there is no visible mechanism. They are spring loaded and easily installed. Unlike door
closers with an arm, a spring-loaded hinge’s only purpose is to slowly close the door
after each use. It will not prop the door open.
What are the best manufacturers of door closer?
As you can probably guess, there are many different kinds of door closers on the market. Here
are a few of the most popular manufacturers with high ratings:
– FortStrong Hardware. This brand is often placed on lists of the best door closers
available. They offer both residential and commercial door closers.
– LCN Closers. LCN is often regarded as top-of-the-line for door closers. They have some
of the best Grade 1 products on the market.
– Wright Products. This company is most well known for their screen door closers, but
they also offer a range of residential and commercial door closers.
You may find a door closer that is not from one of these three manufacturers, but still offers a
reliable product. As long as you take a look at the grade, and customer reviews, you’ll be able to
find a good door closer.
Other things to look for in a door closer
Beyond a door closer’s grade and manufacturer, there are a few other considerations that can
help you choose the best one. Keep these in mind when buying one for your home or office:
– Backcheck. If you want to prevent your door from being thrust open too forcefully, you’ll
want a door closer with backcheck. This is a feature that slows the door after it’s been
– Hold open. Many door closers are fitted with a function to keep the door open, but there
are a few different kinds to choose from. Some door closers use what’s called friction
style while others use a T handle. Friction hold open door closers can be set and
released by applying force on the door. In contrast, a T handle is manually engaged and
disengaged with a handle on the arm of the door closer. There are pros and cons to both
kinds, depending on user preference.
– Left- or right-handed mount. Many door closers are universal. In other words, they can
be mounted either on right-handed or left-handed doors. But, some are designed to be
mounted only on one side. Take a moment to review this product detail before you buy.
– Arm Installation Specifics. In addition to left- or right-handed positioning, you’ll also need
to think about where the arm will be installed on the door jamb. The most common
mount options are: a regular arm, parallel arm (or inside mount), or top jamb. If you’re
not yet sure, you can opt for a universal mount which can be installed a variety of ways.
Should you fix or replace your door closer?
If you have a door closer installed and it’s not working efficiently, you might wonder whether you
should fix it or replace it. Here are a few indications that it’s time for a new one:
– You’ve already repaired it multiple times. As we’ve mentioned, door closers are graded
in terms of how long they’re likely to last. A grade 3 door closer is likely to start
experiencing issues somewhere between 500,000 and 1 million uses. So, if you’ve had
the unit for a number of years, it might be time to replace it.
– It doesn’t include key features that you would like. Even if your door closer is still
functioning normally, maybe it doesn’t have some of the features that you would like,
such as a hold open or backcheck. If this is the case, an upgrade is a good option.
– The door closer is creating safety issues. In a high traffic area or commercial setting,
safety is a top concern. Does the door closer make your occupants or family members
vulnerable to injury because it’s not functioning well? If so, a new one, and possibly one
better suited to your setting, may be necessary.
If you’re not sure whether to repair or replace your existing door closer, give us a call. We know
the ins-and-outs of safety regulations here in Buffalo and can talk to you about the best option
for your needs.
How much does a door closer cost?
Because there are many different kinds of door closers, prices can vary. The hardware itself
typically ranges between $50 to $200, but the price can be higher for extra heavy-duty devices.
The cost of installation can also depend on a few different factors. While the average price of
door closer installation is between $100 to $200 in the Buffalo area, you may end up paying
more for hardware with alarm system capabilities or other more complicated installations.
Should you install a door closer on your own?
If you’re familiar with home improvement projects, you may be able to install a basic door closer
on your own. However, for commercial settings or door closers with more complicated features,
it’s best to call in a pro. We’ll be able to properly install the door closer for maximum efficiency
and compliance with safety codes. Relying on a professional can also prevent any damage to
your door during the installation process.
Give us a call at Red Key LLC in Buffalo NY for more information on pricing and your door