What is Door Handing? Left Hand vs Right Hand

Confused as to whether you should order your door hardware with a left hand or right hand swing? Don't worry, you are not alone. Understanding door handings is easier than you might think. In this blog post, we will delve into the difference between left hand and right hand doors, helping you make a successful hardware selection.


Handing is Always Determined From the Outside

To ascertain the correct handing, always stand on the outside looking at the door. Use these guidelines to understand what is "outside":

  • The outside of an exterior door is the street or entrance side
  • The outside of a room door is the hall side
  • The outside of a closet door is the room or hall side
  • The outside of a single communicating door is the side from which the hinges are not visible when the door is closed


Left Hand Swing

A left hand swing, often abbreviated as LH, is a door that swings away from you when you push it open with your left hand. To visualize this, imagine you are standing in front of the door, its hinges are on the left side, and you push the door open, causing it to swing away from you. This is a left hand in-swing door. Conversely, imagine the door, still with hinges on the left side swings outwards, or towards you. Yup you guessed it, this is a left hand out-swing door.


Right Hand Swing

Now picture a right hand door - RH - swinging away from you when pushed open, with hinges on the right side. That's right, this is a right hand in-swing door. If the same door, with hinges still on the right side, now swings towards you, it is a right hand out-swing door.


This diagram will help it all make sense:

It might feel like grasping the concept of door handing is like unlocking a secret code. But armed with your new found knowledge to distinguish left-hand from right-hand swinging doors, you have the confidence to select and install your door hardware.