Summer Slamming Doors

This is an example of the sort of post that documents an issue that might require more internal discussion.

This is about magnetic door stops. This is where we can go off on our experience with holding strength. Videos and pics...

But perhaps, if we are really talking about solutions, this is about control exterior (and interior) doors so they don’t injure people or wake them up in the middle of the night with a loud bang.

Lots of modern houses show themselves open completely to the elements with entire sides of the building ready to welcome in the wind (and birds and bats I imagine). Anyway, client called that they were worried that their doors would hurt someone when the wind picks up and throws doors slamming into their frames. Forget plaster, just the possibility of getting caught by one of these things worried him.

He wanted help securing the doors and thought about magnetic stops.

Now this is the same house where he claimed one of the windows was blown clean off the house and landed, smashing on the patio below. The casement stay question probably needs to be a different post. Just to say, this might be a breezy spot.

Both mechanical connections (hooks) and magnetic (non-electromagnetic) connections to offer.

I think the question about which is going to work best is going to depend on a few things outside of aesthetics, which definitely entered into the final decisions here.

The client felt that if his teenage kids would need to bend down to hook or unhook anything that these doors would never get hooked or unhooked. So, an automatically secured and unsecured option was preferable. So, magnetic, right?

Well, it really depends. My feeling is that holding force on a magnetic stop needs to be quite strong on an exterior door where a heavy door can act like a sail if the wind catches it. I’m sure it there’s a way to figure out the force for a certain mass and area and wind speed but no one will ever make that calculation. Or at least not to spec a door stop.

The offerings we looked at :

Halliday+Baillie :

We actually did an experiment in-house a long time ago which tested the hold force of the single and double magnetic doorstops and found the double was not double. See here. Thanks to David and Ed I think for this study.

So probably good for lighter doors and probably more for interior purposes. Still, H+B has the HB760 which addresses one of the questions that needs to be asked when specifying a doorstop for an exterior door : “how much is the step down?” If the door is outswing and you are stepping down even one step, you need a stop that is tall enough. The H+B works for step downs of 5 inches max, and that is only when you use the elevating base.

All Magnetic stops require some sort of steel “keeper” (in the lingo of H+B) on the door itself.

Other floor-mounted and wall-mounted magnetic solutions from Chant offer two different positions for the magnet. One that hugs the keeper and one that is tangential to the keeper. This allows the user to choose a lighter touch (“I don’t want to have to yank hard on the door to dislodge it from the stop”) or a more secure (“I just hit myself with the door”).

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Chant also has some of the mechanical type door stops, both wall-mounted and floor-mounted. These rely on hooking the door to the stop and then releasing the hook when you want the door to close. The height of these is 160mm or about 6-1/4”. These automatically drops the “hook” when the door comes toward its open position. The teenager will still need to bend down to release it though I imagine they’ll figure out how to get their toe to come up between stop and door to unhook the stop.

Anyone have photos of the Chant pedestal we had come through?

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The classic hybrid idea is best illustrated by the Sun Valley combo hook and rubber doorstop :

Sun Valley Bronze DS-5HE

Sun Valley Bronze DS-5HE

Sun Valley Bronze DS-2HE

Sun Valley Bronze DS-2HE


JNF has an interesting one which is both magnetic and rubber (actually more like delrin). Door Stop with Magnetic Retainer IN.13.186

Seems pretty strong.

Another, more traditional, by JNF which was quite weak in it’s holding power. Definitely for interior use.

And similar PB30 (UB40’s younger brother) by Formani as part of the Piet Boon One collection. Total height about 6 inches :

Definitely weak for exterior use. Decent mounting for stone or concrete.

Definitely weak for exterior use. Decent mounting for stone or concrete.

Always worth looking at how the stop will be installed, especially when going into stone. The first door slamming into your stop can do a number on your stop and the door.bThe Chant pedestal option was quite impressive a (photos?). A little wind is not going to knock that thing off its, um, pedestal.

Then there’s the FixFax magnetic version that sits flush to the floor. Expensive but strong and hides itself.

REVIEW :
What to consider when specifying a door stop that holds the door in its open position :

  • Magnet Strength. Is any strength strong enough for your wind situation. Should you consider a mechanical hold back.

  • How high does the thing need to be to engage the door?

  • Do you want a combination rubber and hook style?

  • How will this best be mounted?

  • Even doors with closers need stops and/or holds.

  • Is it ugly? Finish considerations especially on exterior applications.

Any other considerations?

or other solutions?

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