Lacquered brass hinges on interior doors with unlacquered knobs?

threeapplesMay 9, 2012

our door guy is suggesting we go with ball bearing hinges and uses emtek. Should I just go with the regular brass or will it look awful once the door hardware starts to get its patina? I think the Baldwin unlacquered hinges are double the emtek lackquered so this will really add up. Any thoughts? Our doors will be 9 ft, so we need the good hinge, but the finish is what I'm concerned with. thanks for any thoughts.

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We did the Baldwin, and yes it is much more expensive! I do think there will be a very very obvious difference. Our hardware is already turning (it came in much much less bright than polished brass just from being made and sitting in the box).

Our basement doors still have the bright brass hinges that came with the doors (french doors) on them. They look totally and obviously different than the unlacqured brass. They are going to be switched. Unlacquered brass, we found, is a very expensive decision!

We did use Deltana hinges and they were a little less. I don't think they are ball bearing though. Our builder said our doors would be totally fine with out them - he has done this for years. We have 8' doors on the first floor and 7' in the basement and upstairs.

I would definitely match the hinges to the knobs.

There is a way to unlacquer the hinges I am sure and Emtek may do it for you for a fee (I know they will for knobs). I just was concerned that this could be a real issue if they came in lacquered - we have had enough issues through our build with things ordered right and coming in wrong to know it could happen.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 12:45PM
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Just googled and Omnia has ball bearing hinges in unlacquered brass for 28.00 a piece and you might be able to find a better price. . .

The next question we found when dealing with hinges is do you want butt hinges or rounded hinges. The butt increases the installation cost quite significantly when you are talking about as many doors as we had because it has to be hand done (at least with our doors and where they came from) vs. cut on the machine.

We did the rounded hinge, although I do prefer the butt hinge!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 2:27PM
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What is the difference between the butt hinge and the round hinge and when you get a chance can both of you post pics of your door hardware?

Sounds like good advice Athensmom. Would love to see the unlaquered brass.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 9:11PM
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I was going to take a picture and post but the painters are there and most of the knobs are taped up.

The butt hinge has square corners. They cost roughly the same but have to be hand chiseled (at least in our experience) so the labor is more. The other hinges are what you usually see with a small radius on the edge of the hinge. The labor is less on these as they can be done by machine apparently.

We just used the Omnia Traditions knob in the medium size (they have 3 sizes, small, medium and larger (the larger is just the standard door knob that most of us have in their houses), with the medium rosette (likewise, they have small, medium and standard size rosettes). We did that because it looked more custom to me, and I thought the small knobs like Baldwin does were too small. I also thought the rosette was a good size - although this required the doors to be ordered unbored and bored on site (also probably cost us some money). My builder likes to order his doors unbored anyway because occasionally you have to switch the swing of a door (we did in several places after they were hung - one swing was blocking the tv in my husbands "golf room", and a couple of doors were swinging into small bathrooms and made them way too hard to maneuver in so we flipped one swing to the other side and had one open out instead of in). If they had been pre-bored we would have either had to fill the holes or order new doors.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 9:31PM
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Thanks, Athensmom. I also like the butt hinge better, but I'm not going to spend the extra money on it. These things add up and it's not incredibly important to me. I'll have to do some pricing and see what we can do in unlacquered to match the knobs and backplates. I decided on egg and dart knob and escutcheon from crown city hardware. I ordered one as a sample just to be sure, but that's what I'm leaning toward.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 9:47PM
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Lots of good advice on this thread.

Athensmom--what color hardware are you using on your kitchen cabinets? Just curious. Do you have any problem with mixing metals?

How about you Threeapples?

    Bookmark   May 9, 2012 at 10:11PM
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I am using chrome in the kitchen, and polished nickel in the master (although I did switch to polished nickel in there on the door hardware because there was a logical place to do it - can't see brass and nickel at the same time).

We don't have any doors in our kitchen really - swinging door to dining room is through the butler's pantry - but I don't have a problem with mixing metals if done well. Every magazine I look through has homes with either unlacquered brass or oil rubbed bronze hardware, and 99 percent of them use polished nickel in the kitchen. It looks great.

I have even noticed many (like Brooke Giannetti) use chrome or polished nickel faucets, and then do a different finish on sconces in the bathroom.

We did this in our basement - chrome faucet, oil rubbed bronze sconces, honed absolute black granite. I am not a fan of ORB faucets and I think choosing the right mirror will tie it all together.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 8:14AM
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Not really sure what you mean by "round hinges". Are you referring to a butt hinges with a radius or round corner?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 9:07AM
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Thanks Athensmom. Have you picked out your light fixtures yet for your kitchen? If so, may I ask what they are?

Your house is going to be beautiful. Can't wait to see the finished product.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 10:56AM
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I am doing bell jars, very simple (not etched) over my island. They are oil rubbed bronze on the hardware. My island is walnut topped so I thought that was the best choice. They should be hung next week! I ordered them at the Atlanta gift mart in January and they haven't been unpacked yet. Hope they are right!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 12:04PM
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Yes, butt hinges with a radius corner. I like the square butt but the labor added up! We did square butt on exterior doors before we realized how expensive it would be to do it on interior doors since the exterior doors and windows were ordered so much earlier.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 12:10PM
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red_lover, not sure about my kitchen yet. the doors (one is on range wall going into mudroom and the other is the pantry door) will have the unlacquered brass egg and dart. the stained casement window also has unlacquered brass. i've not chosen a faucet and, since the cabinets haven't gone into production yet, i've not chosen that hardware either. i will be posting on here about lighting and door pulls when the time comes i'm sure. i love this board especially and have really found it to be a help and an inspiration.

agreed, can't wait to see athensmom's kitchen!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 3:23PM
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Three apples--I am taking notes for my next house. I'll be anxious to see what you decide as well. The unlaquered brass is new to me.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 5:31PM
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Just as a D-I-Y FYI - denatured alcohol will remove the lacquer from brass...

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 5:37PM
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dseng, thanks!!!! i had no idea denatured alcohol would take the lacquer off. sounds really easy to me. wonder if i need to take the hinges off the doors or do it before they're installed if i went with the cheaper hinges that were not unlacquered.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 10:12PM
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I would buy something cheap at the hardware store that is lacquered brass and see if it works easily and well.

I read a lot about it and it may not be as easy as all that ;) There were varying views. We have 50 doors, so close to 200 hinges, and that is just interior doors. The idea of doing all that was overwhelming, particularly if it took 30 minutes a hinge. If there were a way to soak them and do them all at once, that would be different. It seems like a doable project if you are trying to do a doorknob or too but more than I could tackle with my busy life.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2012 at 7:13AM
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