When it comes to installing or replacing door hardware, one term that you may come across is “backset.” But what exactly is a backset on a door?
In simple terms, the backset is the distance between the edge of the door and the center of the borehole where the lock or handle is installed. This measurement is important because it determines the size of the latch or bolt that is needed for the door hardware.
There are two common backset sizes for residential door locks in the United States: 2-3/8 inches and 2-3/4 inches. Measuring the backset is a simple process that can be done with a ruler or tape measure. Once you have determined the backset size, you can choose the appropriate hardware for your door.
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Understanding the backset of your door is essential for proper installation and functionality of door hardware. Whether you are replacing an old lock or installing new hardware, knowing the backset size will ensure that you choose the right hardware for your door.
What Is A Backset on A Door?
Definition of A Backset
The backset of a door refers to the distance from the edge of the door to the center of the bore hole for the door knob, lever, or deadbolt. The backset measurement should match the latch or bolt size of your door hardware.
Importance of Backset
The backset measurement is important because it determines the compatibility of your door lock with your door. If you intend to replace your old lock with a new one, you need to make sure that the backset of the new lock matches the backset of the old lock. Otherwise, the new lock may not fit into the hole in the door.
Moreover, the backset measurement affects the security of your door. If the backset is too small, the latch or bolt may not extend far enough into the doorjamb, making it easier for someone to force the door open. On the other hand, if the backset is too large, the latch or bolt may not align properly with the strike plate, making it difficult to lock or unlock the door.
Door Backset Sizes
When it comes to door hardware, the backset is an important measurement to consider. The backset is the distance from the edge of the door to the center of the borehole, where the handle or lock is mounted.
There are two standard backset sizes for doors in the US: 2-3/8 inches and 2-3/4 inches.
Residential doors typically have a 2-3/8 inch backset, while commercial doors usually have a 2-3/4 inch backset. However, it’s important to note that there are exceptions to this rule.
Some narrow stile aluminum storefront doors may have a different backset measurement, and older doors may have a 5 inch or 16 inch backset, although these are not commonly used anymore.
Measuring the Backset
When it comes to measuring the backset of your door, it’s important to get an accurate measurement to ensure that your lock or latch fits properly.
Here are the steps to measure the backset of your door:
- Locate the center of the bore hole
- Measure the backset.
- Determine the backset measurement.
- Match the backset measurement to your lock or latch.
Read our full guide on how to measure backset on a door.
Can Backset Be Adjusted?
If you need to adjust the backset of your door, you can do so with an adjustable latch. An adjustable latch allows you to change the distance from the edge of the door to the center of the bore hole, so that you can use a lock with a different backset size.
To adjust the backset, first remove the old latch and measure the distance from the edge of the door to the center of the bore hole. Then, adjust the new latch to the desired backset size and install it in the door.
Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully, as the installation process may vary depending on the type of latch you are using.
Types of Backsets – Residential & Commercial
As we know, the two common backsets for residential door locks. However, commercial doors may have different backsets, depending on the type of lock used.
Residential backsets are commonly used in homes and apartments. The most common residential backset sizes are 2-3/8 inches and 2-3/4 inches.
The backset size is usually determined by the type of lock you have. Deadbolts, for example, commonly use a 2-3/8 inch backset, while handlesets may use a 2-3/4 inch backset.
Commercial doors may have different backsets than residential doors, depending on the type of lock used. Commercial backsets are commonly used in businesses, schools, and other public buildings. The most common commercial backset sizes are 2-3/4 inches and 5 inches.
Commercial doors may require a larger backset to accommodate more massive locks, such as mortise locks or cylindrical locks. It is essential to choose a backset size that is compatible with your door and lock.
When choosing a commercial backset, it is crucial to consider the type of lock you will be using, as well as the thickness of the door. Commercial doors and door knobs may require a more substantial backset to accommodate thicker doors.
Understanding the backset of your door is crucial for proper installation and functionality of door hardware.
The backset is the distance between the edge of the door and the center of the borehole, where the lock or handle is installed. It determines the size of the latch or bolt needed for the door hardware and affects the security of your door.