Several people have asked me lately about the standard mounting height for two products – deadbolts and hospital latches.  I wrote a Decoded article about hardware mounting heights way back in 2012, and these locations have been consistent for several decades.  It looks like it may be time for a change.

Deadbolts: Most manufacturers and the Steel Door Institute (SDI) use a standard location that measures 48 inches from the bottom of the frame to the centerline of the strike.  This became the standard way back in the 1990’s, when it was lowered from 60 inches to comply with the accessibility standards.  But the standards require operable parts of door hardware to be between 34 and 48 inches above the floor or ground.  With the strike location at 48 inches AFF, the thumbturn and/or cylinder may be above the 48-inch maximum allowable height.

Hospital Latches: If I remember correctly, the standard mounting height for hospital latches used to be 45 inches above the floor.  With the paddles mounted in the “up” position, they would likely (depending on the design) be above the 48-inch height, and definitely above the allowable range in California (34-44 inches AFF).  One of our specwriters recently told me that the standard lock mounting height (around 40 inches AFF) was recently used for one of her projects, and the doctors and nurses found it inconvenient because it was too low.

My questions for you:

  • Have you run into problems on projects with mounting locations for deadbolts or hospital latches?
  • Have you seen a new standard mounting height being used?  Is 44 inches AFF too close to the standard lock location?
  • What is the best way to establish a new location and encourage manufacturers to use it?


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