Picking the right lock
What color lock do I need?
The color of the lock is referred to as the finish. An important factor in determining finish is climate. Salty air, corrosive vapors, or constant high humidity may have a damaging effect on metal finishes. How long a finish will hold up will be influenced by the base metal and finishing process as well as the different methods of cleaning and care. For example, a non-clear coated finish should not be cleaned with soaps or solvents whereas a clear coated finish may be cleaned with a mild, non-abrasive soap and buffed lightly with a clean cloth. It’s best to check with the manufacturer to obtain the recommended cleaning instructions for your hardware. Finishes will vary slightly between manufacturers and you may even see finish differences between a lock and its cylinder, strike plate, or screws.
Lock Color Designations
There are numbers, the 600-Series, designated by the Builders Hardware Manufacturers Association (BHMA) for each of the finishes. Generally these numbers are the standard when referring to lock finishes. Some manufacturers still use the old U.S. equivalent code. The following descriptive list will contain the BHMA code, followed by the nearest U.S. equivalent code designation in parenthesis ().
Which Style Lock Will Match My Existing Hardware?
We will try to help you identify the style or design of your existing hardware in order to match the new hardware. Often, a survey is required. We have had some success in being able to identify hardware from digital photos sent by e-mail used in conjunction with information obtained over the phone. Many times there are letters and/or numbers written on the head of the key used to work the existing lock. These letters and/or numbers are good information to have when trying to identify the hardware. Occasionally, there may be a name written on the lock or on the faceplate of the latch or bolt on the edge of the door.