Everything You Need to Know to Pick Out an Entry Set

With different types, styles, materials, and more, picking out an entry set can seem like a daunting task. Don't fret! Here we will walk you through the selection process and help you choose a winning entry set for your door.

Entry Set Styles

Entry Set Styles
From left to right: Sectional (Emtek Baden), 3/4 Plate (Emtek Davos), Full Plate (Emtek Lusanne)

Sectional Entry Sets

Sectional entry sets have three small plates attaching to the front of the door. They are a good choice for smaller doors, dutch doors, and for when you'd like the hardware to be less prominent.

3/4 Entry Sets

3/4 Entry sets have two plates attaching to the door. These entry sets are a happy medium between sectional and full plate styles.

Full Plate Entry Sets

Full plate entry sets have a single large plate on the exterior side of the door. These entry sets have a stately appearance and are well suited for large or double doors.

Types of Entry Sets

Tubular Entry Sets

Tubular entry sets are found on most front doors. They are easy to install and more economically priced than mortise sets.

Mortise Entry Sets

Mortise sets are characterized by a large mortise box that is installed into the door. These sets boast added security and extra features such as locking automatically. They are typically about twice the price of tubular sets and require a professional for installation.

Electronic Entry Sets

Recently, electronic entry sets have entered the market bringing advanced features like keyless entry and remote locking. These sets are great for tech savvy buyers who don't like the hassle of keys. Currently, electronic locks are only available as tubular entry sets.

What About the Interior Side?

Almost all of our manufacturers allow you to choose from a large selection of knobs and levers for the interior side of the door. The difference is largely aesthetic and up to personal preference, but if you are on the fence between a knob and a lever, we recommend going with a lever as they are typically easier to use. If your hardware will be used by weak or arthritic hands, we highly suggest choosing a lever.

Lever vs Knob
Left: Lever (Emtek Helios), Right: Knob (Emtek Round)

Do you have oil rubbed bronze fixtures outside and satin nickel inside? Many manufacturers will allow you to change the interior finish and even the style to better suite the interior of your home. Please note, these custom changes may increase the lead time of your hardware.

Materials and Finishes

One of the most common questions we get asked is, "what is going to last?" The large majority of our manufacturers make their hardware from high quality materials like brass, bronze, and stainless steel. However, coastal environments like San Diego can be very harsh on hardware and finishes.

To our customers near to the coast, we usually recommend three options; stainless steel, solid bronze, or lifetime PVD finishes. Stainless steel is a very hardy material. However, contrary to popular belief it can rust or stain. Luckily, it is relatively easy to maintain and restore. Solid bronze will not rust, however it will change color. The change can vary significantly depending on the finish, location, and frequency of use. Most commonly, it will darken and/or turn to a beautiful turquoise color. This shift in color is called a patina and is typically viewed as desirable by those wanting a traditional or old world appearance. Lastly, PVD (aka lifetime) finishes go through a high-tech plating process to create an extra durable finish that resists the elements. The most notable of the PVD finishes are the Lifetime finishes by Baldwin Hardware. These top quality finishes are guaranteed not to tarnish for 100 years.

What You Need to Measure

Before ordering your hardware, we'll need to know the following measurements. This ensures your hardware will be a perfect fit!

Door Thickness

Measure the thickness of your door. Most exterior doors measure 1-3/4", but always check to verify. Old or custom doors are often different.


Measure the distance from the edge of the door to the center of the existing handleset or hole. Tubular sets typically have a backset of 2-3/8" or 2-3/4" and mortise sets are usually 2-1/2" or 2-3/4". If you have a new door that hasn't been pre-drilled, choose the backset that best centers your hardware within the stile (see below).

Center to Center

For tubular sets, you will need to measure from the center of the top hole to the center of the bottom hole. If there is an existing set in the door, you can measure using the latch and bolt on the edge of the door. 5-1/2" is the most common dimension for entry sets. If your center to center is different, we recommend using a sectional set.

Stile Width

The stile refers to the vertical molding on the door. Measuring its width ensures that your new hardware will fit within it.


Handing describes which way your door is hinged. To find a door's handing, stand on the outside of the door as if you are walking into the room. Face the door and note which side the hinges are on. For tubular entry sets, you only need to know which side the door is hinged on. For mortise entry sets, both the side it is hinged on and the direction of swing (in swinging or out) are required.

Top Picks

Emtek Nashville

The Nashville's classic design and subtle edge details make it an excellent choice for refined homes. This tubular entry set is available in eight elegant finishes.

Emtek Hamden

With its strong squared shape and stepped edges, the Hamden blurs the line between traditional and contemporary. Its sectional design makes it a good option for dutch doors too. The Hamden is available in nine finishes.

Baldwin Del Mar

At an entry level price point, the Del Mar is a fitting choice for nearly any traditional door. This tubular entry set is available in seven finishes.

Baldwin Evolved Minneapolis

Offering a number of advanced features, this electronic entry set is a top choice for those looking for high tech hardware. It is available in 17 fine finishes, including 3 lifetime finishes.

Ashley Norton Arched

Made from solid bronze, this mortise entry set is quality inside and out. Its distressed finish and stately design lends itself well to rustic and old world style homes. It comes in five finishes and is also available as a tubular set.

Rocky Mountain Hardware Metro

This contemporary mortise entry set offers a grand first impression for modern homes. It is handcrafted in the USA from solid bronze and is built to last. This top of the line entry set is available in ten stunning finishes.