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I can't decide which door knobs to get

(21 Posts)
fluttershyby Wed 22-Feb-17 10:19:52

Doing a complete refurbishment on a 1940s ex LA house.
The doors upstairs are still the originals and I have repainted them in white satinwood. The doorknobs in situ are a mix of plastic (white and blue) and what I think are original oval brown ones with a lock for bathroom and master bed. I'd like them all to match so need new ones.
The latches are all original and are in good working order so I want to keep them plus they are a approx 12 x 6cm box so changing to modern latches would be complicated as the existing hole in the door is big.
Anyway before you're getting bored of reading this. I can't decide on whether I should get glass, ceramic or cast iron knobs. How durable is glass? Can it shatter easily? I like the look of these
What have you got? Budget is up to £15 a knob.

sallylondon Wed 22-Feb-17 10:25:42

If you remove the original Bakelite(?) handles it is worth putting them on eBay. With the interest in mid century design, people will pay good money for reclaimed original features.

JoJoSM2 Wed 22-Feb-17 10:56:04

The glass knobs look funky. I doubt they would be likely to break from normal use. I'll test them for scratching in the shop, though.

fluttershyby Wed 22-Feb-17 11:30:38

I've googled Bakelite and it does look like them, however there is no branding on them just a 'made in England' on the latches. So not sure if they are. Maybe I'm sitting on a small fortune lol.
I did see the glass ones in Homebase but didn't do a scratch test. Might have to do another trip.
It did say on the packaging to use a doorstop to avoid banging them on the wall. This put me off as worried the dc might be over enthusiastic opening/closing doors once they reach door slamming age...

Bluntness100 Wed 22-Feb-17 11:40:32

Instead of getting rid of the originals, could uou not just buy some Bakelite ones to match them, thus keeping the original features and still matching them all up?

PigletJohn Wed 22-Feb-17 11:41:02

To make your choice more difficult, look here

I don't think you will get a bigger range or better value elsewhere.

Be aware that doorknobs have to be set an extra inch or two from the edge of the door than lever handles, or you will bang your knuckles on the frame. Most modern houses have very short latches that need to be changed if you want to go from levers to knobs (it is not very difficult)

fluttershyby Wed 22-Feb-17 16:40:18

To be honest I don't really like the originals and find the oval shape awkward to use.
Thanks piglet for the link, so many to choose from... the original holes are set further in hence going for knobs and not handles as I think it'll look funny with the handles so far in from the frame

Kiroro Wed 22-Feb-17 17:35:24

I am a fan of crinkle ceramic knobs

Ifonlyiweretaller Wed 22-Feb-17 18:17:23

I bought lovely round brushed steel knobs for our doors 8 year ago. However I wish I'd put handles on as they can be quite difficult to turn ( someone once got stuck in the loo because she couldn't turn the knob!) And as Pigletjohn said, one or two are too close to the edge which causes knuckle bruising on occasion!
As we re-decorate each room we are now changing them all to proper 'handles'.

PigletJohn Wed 22-Feb-17 19:22:22


Here is a latch that is longer, and suitable for knobs
The modern tubular mortice latch fits into a simple drilled hole.

And this 4" one is very suitable for Victorian or Edwardian panelled doors. You can get 5" and 6" ones which are even better, mimicking the knob spacing of the original horizontal sashlocks (which are also still available).

You need to look at the width of the door stiles so see if it will fit and look right.

PigletJohn Wed 22-Feb-17 19:23:07

This 4" one, I mean.

Ifonlyiweretaller Wed 22-Feb-17 19:48:57

Thanks John
Looks way too complicated for me though! It's more about being able to physically grasp the handles, and the older generation (one it appears I am fast approaching...) struggle with the knobs. Changing to handles negates the problem, although it comes at a cost!

SquinkiesRule Thu 23-Feb-17 16:58:53

I'd replace with old style bakelite if I could, you can get black, brown and mottled, here knobs and pull down handles

fluttershyby Thu 23-Feb-17 19:13:11

Thanks Squinkie but these are out of my price range.
Does anyone know what kind of latch these are? These are the original ones

EnidButton Fri 24-Feb-17 03:50:16

I love the look of the glass ones but they're a fire risk apparently. Lots of house fires are caused by the sun reflecting off glass doorknobs. I think the London Fire Brigade issued an awareness/warning thing about it last year.

fluttershyby Fri 24-Feb-17 08:42:17

I've not heard that before. Thanks for the warning

PigletJohn Fri 24-Feb-17 11:59:42

the one in the picture is a mortice latch with the older style of rectangular case. The hole might be for a Privacy bar, i.e. if you use it in a bathroom you can have a thumbturn to prevent the handle from opening it. If so, when you turn the square, you will see through the hole that there is a round internal hole that slides along and becomes a narrow slot. Legge still makes latches that way though the thumbturns are rarely seen.

If it is UK make it is probably a Legge or a Union.

To match it you need to measure the full case length from the end of the case to the fore-end plate, and the backset from the fore-end plate to the centre of the follower (the square hole that the spindle from the handle fits into). An older British design will probably have a case length in inches (three, three and a half, four inches etc) and a backset in quarter or half inches (two and a quarter, three and a half or something). Although they are still sold in those sizes, they will tend to be listed now in the metric equivalent, which is why you see strange dimensions like 78mm, 67mm, 63mm.

PigletJohn Fri 24-Feb-17 13:43:37

here we are

although yours might be a different size or make

the "LK" suffix means it has the privacy lock feature

PigletJohn Fri 24-Feb-17 13:48:37


I used to live in a house with oval knobs, which are easier to grip with wet (or possibly aged) hands than the round ones.

fluttershyby Fri 24-Feb-17 15:37:05

Thank you so much pigletjohn, I could kiss you. Have been googling to find the same style unsuccessfully. Off to measure...

SoleBizzz Fri 24-Feb-17 15:51:57

I have these.

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