The Value of Glass Door Hardware

The Value of Glass Door Hardware

September 18, 2020

Are glass doorknobs worth it? If you seek a beautiful and classic look for your Colorado home’s interior, they are most definitely worth it! Glass door hardware is often among the first items to sell out at architectural salvage stores, and it’s a favorite due to the colors and multifaceted appearance. If you are curious about glass doorknobs and where to install them, keep reading this overview to learn more.

History of glass doorknobs

Glass door hardware was a standard issue in new homes as little as 80 years ago. It started becoming popular in 1826, when the glass molding technology became more accessible. During World War I, bronze, cast brass and iron were needed for airplanes and ammunition, so glass became the primary source material for home fixtures, since sand could still be found anywhere.

Companies like Yale & Towne Manufacturing and Barrows Lock Company mass produced glass doorknobs made of molded and machine-cut glass. Crystals were designed to suit a variety of tastes and match different homes.

Most knobs were clear, with six, eight or 12 facets, and you could look inside them and see star, bullet and pin-prick designs molded into the bases. Colored glass knobs were less common and offered in robin’s egg and cobalt blues, emerald, amber and violet. One popular Art Deco style in the 1920s included crystal gloves with bubbles inside, and this design continues to work well with modern interiors.

Glass knobs continued to be popular through the 1940s, but the cleaner lines in metals became the preference by the 1950s. That was when the utilitarian steel orbs we see in homes today started to take over.

Where to find them

Fortunately, salvaged glass doorknobs are relatively easy to find. You will find them in many architectural salvage yards and secondhand stores. They are popular and tend to sell quickly, but there is always another supply right behind them.

However, it’s important to know how to fit them to your interior. If you wish to replace a single knob in a set, bring a mate with you so you can match it better. You will also want to bring the spindle, since doorknobs made after 1900 have threads that fit square threaded spindles rather than the traditional round ones.

If you buy knobs by the pair, measure the door’s thickness to ensure the span between knobs offers a snug fit. You do not want to risk the spindles being too short, and usually they are too long. If you face that issue, you can cut it down with a hacksaw. Do not buy pairs missing spindles or set screws. Also, if the knobs turn inside their metal shanks, they cannot be fixed and are effectively useless. Avoid those as well.

Vintage knobs offer the best quality, as they were built to last. You can go for a “vintage” look buying glass knobs at a local hardware store, but the materials are inferior to their older counterparts. If you wish to buy new, find a higher-end hardware store that sells only the best products or look into custom-made options.

Custom Door Hardware offers high-end and custom glass door hardware for your home’s interior. Serving Colorado as a specialized supplier, you can find your glass doorknobs here and learn that they are indeed worth the search and effort. Call or visit today to learn more.

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