Hardware Needed to Install a Panic Door Hardware Needed to Install a Panic Door

Installing a panic door isn't difficult, but it is vital that the dynamics of panic door hardware are fully understood. A panic door is a recommended installation in residential and commercial buildings. A panic door isn't used like conventional doors. It is essentially an emergency door, accessed during times of emergency. This door needs to have a very stable configuration that can retain its strength and functionality for years.

Door Bar

The durability and overall strength of the panic door depends upon the quality of the bar hardware. The bar looks like a horizontally-laid piece of metal. Most of the bars are prepared from corrosion-free materials like steel. The bar should be able to combine strength with some degree of bending. This is needed since the bar should open immediately when the panic door is accessed during an emergency.

It is vital that you choose a bar in accordance with the width of the door. Most hardware stores offer panic door bars pre-cut for particular door dimensions. Conventionally, bars are sold in 4 foot long precut sizes. You can choose bars in various shapes. The most common ones are either cylindrical or slightly curved at the edges, like pipes.

If you need a smaller bar, the extra length can be sawed-off by the retailer. The panic bar is fastened upon the panic door using screws. Some panic bars are sold with thru-bolts; these are easier-to-tighten and recommended for DIY installation. The bolts have complementing end-caps that can be easily fastened.

Bar Supports

Bar supports are fastened to the frame of the panic door. These are present on either side of the door’s frame. Bar Supports form the resting surface upon which the panic door bar rests. The bar supports are available across a wide price range. Bar supports are the more customizable part of the panic door. They are sold in various finishes. Most of them have a U shape with varying levels of curvature. Bar supports are usually about 3-inches thick. The bar support is fastened to the door frame using fasteners that are explained below.


Please note that the entire panic door configuration can be futile if the door’s fasteners aren’t properly installed. Most of the fasteners are about 3 inches thick. Among contemporary panic doors, threaded fasteners are more common. Most of the panic doors are sold with pre-drilled holds wherein the fasteners have to be inserted.

The pre-drilled holes can be further enlarged with a drill and hole saw. The fasteners are usually secured with metal screws. The screws are corrosion-resistant and are sold along with the fasteners. However, among panic doors that have a mineral or particle core, thru-bolts are more recommended for a compact installation.

Optional Hardware: Door Trim and Cylinders

A panic door may or may not have an external trim. Those without trims are the exit-only types of doors and are the simplest panic doors in terms of installation ease. Others are retailed with a cylinder that is aligned along the front-end of the door and are usually accompanied with a trim.

The trim is made from metallic materials but it can be easily trimmed. The trim has its own set of fasteners that are smaller than the door fasteners explained above. The cylinder is a bit demanding to install. However, panic doors have marked slots wherein the cylinder has to be installed. The cylinder has a tailpiece that comfortably fits into the marked slots and is secured with accompanying screws. Besides this, some doors might have pull handles that can be purchased from any hardware store.

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