Different countries have a standard door height for builders to adhere to. However, the standards are not standard among all localities, and the height can be lower in one state and higher in another. Also, they may be missing altogether in areas where doors are not used.
Invented in 1878, doorknobs and handles are now found on every door, both outdoors and indoors. It was Osbourn Dorsey who filed a patent for a door-closing device in the U.S., but its height was not a part of the documentation. This prompted this writeup for you to get more insights.
Typical Door Handle Height
The typical door handle height is not uniform all thanks to various factors. These aspects may include the door handle height code in a given country, type of handle, and its purpose. For instance, a store door may be shorter than a living room one, and the door handle height will be different too.
Also, even though each country may have its regulations, the International Building Code has a standard doorknob height. The code requires that the height of a doorknob above the floor is approximately between 34 and 48 inches. This height is measured from a finished floor.
The International Building Code also requires all projections into a hallway, doorway, or other means of access to have a handle that fits a wheelchair use. This allows for a wheelchair user to pass through a door without the handle obstructing their access.
Height of A Door
The height of a door will also determine the door handle height for specific applications. The International Building Code also specifies the height of the knob, especially for doors providing egress to water features. For a swimming pool egress, for example, the doorknob should be between 48 to 54 inches above the floor to keep it out of small children's reach.
When it comes to the doorknob hole, the specifications may be a bit varied with no direct regulations about it. However, for a properly fitting knob, what size hole for door knob should be a question well thought out. This will help to prevent drilling a deeper or shallower hole that will not fit the knob properly.
A 2-1/8-inch hole saw will be the ideal tool for drilling the hole for standard door knob dimensions. While drilling, make sure to have a proper backup, for example, a scrap piece of wood as a hole saw is usually aggressive. This will help you to avoid tearing or splintering of the veneer by the saw bit.
Some notable and varying codes include;
UK and Australia Standard Doorknob Height
The decision regarding the standard doorknob height in UK and Australia is based on several factors in addition to the International Building Code. Every builder or door handle installer must consider such factors as children’s safety and the purpose of the handle. Builders should also consider people using wheelchairs before installing new handles.
Generally, the knobs should be of a free moving slide action. Their position should be between 900mm – 1050mm (35.5 – 41.5 inches) above the floor.
The requirements of BS 8300 provide for a door knob to be between 800mm – 1050mm (31.5 – 41.5 inches) from a finished floor. BS 8300 simply covers what is known as the DDA compliance (Equality Act) and formerly the Disability Discrimination Act). The act requires that door handles are located at a comfortable height for everyone.
Door Handle Height in the U.S.A
Across the U.S., different bodies have a set of rules governing the standard door handle height. The regulations are contained in different sets of codes that concern the design and accessibility of a building. The Department of Defense, Department of Housing and Urban Development, the General Services Administration, and the U.S. Postal Service have varied regulations.
However, all these regulations are born of the American National Standards Institute. The institute has further implemented different acts that require door handle height to be at least 48 inches above a finished floor level. The acts include the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990), the Rehabilitation Act (1973), the Architectural Barriers Act (1968), and the Uniform Federal Accessibility Standards (1984).
United Nations Recommendations
The United Nations also concerns itself with door accessibility in relation to people with disabilities. Its Department of Economic and Social Affairs also has a design manual that also gives recommendations for door handle height. A section on manual doors indicates that a door handle should be between 0.9 – 1.0 meters (35.5 – 39.5 inches) to cater for wheelchair users too.
A door handle height may determine quite a number of factors including the accessibility of a building and the safety of children. As such, it is the responsibility of a builder to determine the right height for it depending on the door type and use. However, the builder should make sure they follow universal standards like the United Nations recommendations and the International Building Code on the standard door height.