As specialist architectural ironmongers, we know the architectural ironmongery world is full of jargon and fancy terms, some which you may never have come across which can often leave you feeling lost and confused. Indeed, the term ‘ironmongers’ or ‘architectural ironmongery’ can be mysterious to many -its meaning being: “specialists who manufacture and/or distribute… products and goods that are made of metals such as iron, steel, aluminium, brass and also plastics” So we’ve set out to explain some of the architectural ironmongery terms and phrases in our very own A-Z Jargon Buster.

A
Access control
Systems and products that enable an authority to control, monitor and restrict access to areas and resources in any given physical location.

B
Backset
The distance from the leading edge of a door to the centre-point at which the door handle is attached and/or the key/turn lock is positioned.

C
Cam action
A type of internal mechanical operation of a door closer that gives a smooth and low-force requirement when opening and closing a door.

D
Door furniture
A term used to describe the operating products on a door such as hinges, latches, locks, door handles, etc.

E
Escutcheon
Available in numerous shapes and sizes, these are used as a surround to the keyholes and cylinder locks on the door face for protection and decoration.

F
Flush pulls
Flush fitting door handles of all shapes and sizes that are let into the door face and used typically for sliding doors and where projecting handles are not permitted.

G
Galvanisation
A process to prevent and protect steel and iron from rusting and corroding by coating the metal with a protective layer of zinc which is a less corrosive material.

H
Hush latch
An item fitted to the strike plate in the door frame for use with standard mortice latch and locks giving a smoother, almost silent opening and closing effect.

I
Intumescent
A product that expands with heat which offers protection to the product/material underneath in the event of a fire.

J
Jamb mounted
A term typically used to describe the fitting position of a door closer, i.e. in the door jamb (side of the door, as opposed to a common overhead type, which would be at the top of the door).

K
Knob
A type of door handle that is generally twisted/turned or pulled to manually open and close a door, made in a variety of materials and sizes.

L
Latch
A device used to hold a door into its frame. Not to be confused with a lock, these are generally operated by a handle (lever or knob type) from either side of the door to enable the free opening of the door.

M
Mortice
Also known as the slot or hole that is cut to enable the fitting within the door rather than on the door of an item, such as a lock or latch. The cutting of the hole is known as morticing.

N
Night latch
Is a lock that can be either mortice or rim fitting. Residential dwellings often use a rim-style in addition to a deadlock for further security as well as convenience and safety. They are unlocked via a key from the outside, but a turn or handle from the inside so when the door is not deadlocked, opening or ‘escaping’ via this lock is possible at all times.

O
OEM
Stands for “Original Equipment Manufacturer”, which is a company that produces parts, products and equipment for use in products from another company.

P
Pocket door systems
Sliding doors that disappear into the wall when opened, typically used for architectural design effect but primarily to maximize space within a room(s).

Q
Quadrant stay
A quadrant stay is used to restrict the opening of casement windows, allowing the window to open only at a fixed distance.

R
Rose
Also known as Rosette, is a round or square plate used behind the door lever or knob to attach it to the door.

S
Specification
The process of compiling a schedule of products that involves clients/architects working with an architectural ironmonger to identify the needs and requirements of the project, ensuring safety, functionality, accessibility and security without compromising the aesthetics of the building.

T
Thumb-turn
A product used to lock and unlock a door without the need for a key, ideal in the event of a fire.

U
Universal
The ability for a product to be universally fitted, primarily referring to door closers that can be fitted to either the pull or push side of the door.

V
Ventilator
A plate for allowing air to flow between rooms and walls.

W
Weather bar
A wood or metal bar fitted to an external door to deflect and prevent water from entering through the door.

X
X-Ray door
These doors are specialist and lined with lead, which X-rays and gamma rays cannot pass through. They are an effective shield that limits exposure against the rays.

Y
Yellow passivated
An electroplated finish (thin coating) offering protection to a material, typically zinc-plated due to zincs affordability and excellent corrosion resistance.

Z
Z bracket
A bracket used to aid the fitting of a security door holding-magnet on inward opening doors.

You’ve reached the end of the jargon buster, it’s safe to say you are now an architectural ironmongery expert! Hopefully we have provided you with a basic understanding of some of the terms in the architectural world, we’re here to take the stresses away so please get in touch if you require any assistance with your ironmongery needs.