Door Handle Height – Today’s Standard

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Are you looking to install a new door? Whether it’s your front door or the door to a room, you must take the door handle height into consideration. It can be difficult to figure this out. Worry not, for this guide brings you everything you need to know about the right door handle height.

If there is a hole drilled already, it is not much of a bother. However, if there is none, or you want to take the DIY route, there are door handle height standards that you must know. A lot of it also depends on the height and type of your door.

A door that is installed well lasts reliably for a long time. If that is what you want to ensure, read on to make sure you follow the right steps.

Standards for Door Handle Height

Door Handle

No matter what type of door you install, the handle of the door needs to be installed following certain standards. This is especially required when the door does not have a pre-installed hole.

The door handle height should be measured upwards from the floor.  By floor, it indicates the complete and finished floor. You must not measure from the subfloor. You must be especially careful with this measurement if you have thick flooring.

For example, if you have hardwood flooring. This type of flooring adds to the measurement by almost ¾ of an inch. Due to this, it can make a significant difference in where your door handle should be placed.

There are several standards you can follow. Federal, local, and even international door handle height standards have been established. The following are some important ones.

International Building Code Standards

The International Building Code or IBC have some regulations regarding door handle height. In Section 1003.3 of their regulations, it is mentioned that any projection into a hallway or similar means of access higher than 34 inches must be 4 inches from the wall. All types of doors are to follow this, including push-handle doors.

Rest assured, this standard has been fixed considering all types of buildings and rooms. It also complies with wheelchair requirements, according to the ADA (American with Disabilities Act). Even if a person is in a wheelchair, they can easily access and pass through such a door without the handle in their way.

Federal Standards

There are several sets of codes that go on to make the Federal standards for door handle height. In short, it states that the door handle must be 48 inches above the floor level. This has been decided to take into consideration building design, accessibility, and also, disabilities.

According to this standard, the door handle must also be easy to operate. It must not require a tight grasp or twisting of the wrist when you are to open it with a single hand. All handles like lever-type, push-type, and more are acceptable under this standard.

The United Nations Standards

The United Nations also recommends standards for door handle height. This is mainly with regard to the comfort of people with disabilities. Their regulation states that the handle should be at least 0.9 to 1.0 meters from the floor. It has been listed as a recommendation. Nevertheless, it reflects several existing international codes.

Americans with Disabilities Act Standards

Door Handle Height

When building your door, you must also take into consideration the requirements for people with disabilities. The Americans with Disabilities Act has set some standards keeping this in mind. However, they are not vastly different from regular standards.

The standard states that all operable parts of a door, including handles, latches, pulls, must be put 34 inches to 48 inches above the floor level. It also mentions that the door handle should be comfortably operable with one hand without tight grasping, twisting, or pinching of the wrist. Overall, no more than five pounds of force should be required.


These door handle height standards are not without exceptions. Individual measures and situations can provide exceptions to them. Therefore, you must take into consideration your case in particular, to get an accurate installation. Ignoring this might just leave you with an imaccurate hole in your new door.

Security Locks and Measures

All of the above standards are not applicable when you are installing additional locks to your door. They can be installed at any height as per your convenience. This is because these security measures are not considered the norm. Usually, they are installed three-quarters from the floor.

Barn Doors

Barn doors are sliding doors that are increasingly becoming popular. They are mostly the same size as regular interior doors. Regular pulls and handles work fine with them. Extra-large doors may need larger handles. However, most people prefer to get special handles.

The ideal height for your barn door handle should be between 34 inches to 48 inches from the floor. Make sure to center your handle at this height. Do not put the bottom of your handle on the upper limit. That will place it too high.

If you, however, have small children in your house, you can place it higher. This is to prevent them from roughly sliding the door. It can hurt them as well as damage the door.

Large Doors

Large Doors

The overall size of your door is also a factor you must consider. The exception to the standard door handle height is especially applicable to doors that are eighty-inches in height. In this case, the standard 36-inch mark might be inaccurate.

It is recommended in such cases to go with a 40-inch mark. Additionally, you must also center your handle vertically on the door. Most mobile home-owners follow this suggestion. It gives a seamless look to your door.

Door handle height Endnotes

Whether you are renovating or moving into a brand-new house, knowing about door handle height standards is very important. As we have seen, they have been made in consideration of several factors. Therefore, following them is helpful.

Nevertheless, you must also remember individual concerns. A comprehensive idea of all of them is the best way to get accurate results.

Bonus video: Tommy’s Trade Secrets – How To Fit An Interior Door Handle

Thank you for reading!

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