New door styles demand the hardware to match. Kerry Blackford, Head of Product at ERA looks at the products, finishes and technologies available to door manufacturers that will complement the latest door trends.
Gone are the days when every homeowner wants a white PVCu door with a gold handle, letterplate and Urn knocker. The market has evolved, with consumers expecting more choice to enhance their property’s kerb appeal, follow the latest trends and make a (sometimes Instagram-friendly) statement about their home and individual style. The wide range of door colours now available reflects this need for choice and by offering a broader range of hardware products and finishes to match, door manufacturers can establish a point of differentiation and adapt to the needs of the market.
Property styling has evolved, with many owners of older, traditional homes now investing time and money to recreate period styles and character features. Door designs, hardware and finishes have developed to meet this demand, producing a more traditional aged appearance but with all the performance, quality and durability of modern materials. This can be seen in the popularity of Fab&Fix’s heritage-inspired Hardex finishes, including the new Forged Black and Aged Hardex Pewter options, which replicate the look of traditional forged iron hardware.
For new-build and more contemporary houses and apartments, style expectations have changed too. Modern hardware finishes remain popular, but there is some movement away from high-gloss Chrome to matte, industrial-inspired finishes like Fab&Fix’s Hardex Graphite. Popular European-inspired door styles often feature different glazing positions and hardware manufacturers have developed furniture options to suit. Stainless steel bar handles in a brushed finish contribute to a contemporary design aesthetic, especially as part of a suite of hardware in matching finishes that create a sleek, coordinated look.
The wider development of smart home technology is also influencing hardware choices. Customers’ homes are increasingly connected, with apps and smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home now being used to control appliances and make daily life easier. This demand for internet-connected technology extends to security and access control, creating some exciting new sales opportunities for door manufacturers in the years ahead.
Smart technology can be incorporated within doors as part of a wider connected security ecosystem that starts at the entrance to a customer’s home, whether it’s through video doorbells or smart door locks. With more and more homeowners now comfortable and familiar with the Internet of Things (IoT), it is the ideal time to start reframing customer conversations and educating homeowners on how integrated technology can create connected doors that are part of a smart home.
Changes in door materials and sizes have implications for hardware too. There has been a shift towards aluminium styles with smaller sightlines to create a sleeker appearance that blends into a property and this has created a requirement for different hardware and glazing solutions. For higher-end homes with wider openings, improvements in hinge capabilities are needed to accommodate larger and heavier composite doors. Plus, the return of sliding doors after the dominance of bi-folds in recent years is creating demand for better PAS 24 compatible multi-point locking solutions; like the ERA twelve-point patio door multi point locking system, with anti-slam features, a unique interlocking dogbolt, and bi-directional locking for ultimate PAS 24 security.
As homeowners adopt more smart technology and continue to demand more choice, door manufacturers can benefit by partnering with hardware specialists which are continually introducing new innovations and ideas to the market. ERA has already introduced three new Hardex finishes to its Fab&Fix range in 2021, and with some exciting new products in the pipeline for the second half of the year, door manufacturers can rely on ERA to keep pace with market trends and help them maximise sales opportunities.