What’s the best closer to use with a half-leaf door?

In the interest of knowledge sharing, we like to share the questions we are often asked so that everyone can benefit from the ‘know how’ that we share on a daily basis. We are often asked which is the best closer to use with a half-leaf door and the answer is, Rutland has lots of closers that can be used on half leaf doors!

What are half-leaf doors?

Half-leaf doors, are smaller doors to the side of a main door, which allow for the widening of doorways when a large item needs to pass through. In offices, this could be to facilitate the occasional movement of large furniture, such as desks and cabinets, or in hospitals it might be to enable patient trolleys to pass. Half-leaf doors can vary in size, with a width sometimes as small as 150mm. 

Half-leaf doors are still fire doors

Half-leaf doors must perform just as well as main doors in preventing the spread of fire, but in many cases, their ability to do this is compromised because they are left open permanently. This is obviously dangerous. The obvious solution is to fit self-closers, but because people think that door closers are generally designed with full-size doors in mind, they often incorrectly assume that closers cannot work with half-leaf doors.

Closers for half-leaf doors


In fact, it is perfectly possible to fit closers to half-leaf doors. The skill is in knowing, given the variety of sizes of half-leaf door that exist, which specific closer is best in each situation. The space available for closing mechanisms and the power required to close different sizes of door are the key factors to consider.

Power-adjustable closers can be dialled down to the necessary strength


The width of a door is a key factor in the amount of pressure required to close it, so half-leaf doors require less powerful closers to close them. This is where power-adjustable closers come into their own, as the power setting can be dialled down to exert the lower pressure needed to close the door securely. As long as the door has a closer rated at EN3 or above, fire safety regulations will be satisfied.

Conventionally and transom mounted overhead closers


The size of a half-leaf door also affects how closers can be mounted. Conventional installation of a scissor arm, slide arm, or concealed arm closer may be possible if the slave door is wide enough. If the closer body is wider than the slave door itself, though, it can be transom mounted. 

In this instance, the body of the closer is fixed to the door frame and the closer arm shoe fixed to the door. In the case of scissor arm closers, the body can be mounted so that it extends to the width of the architrave beyond the hinge side of the door, while with slide arm and concealed arm closers the closer can extend over the top of the adjacent main door without affecting its operation.

Floor spring closers


Floor spring closers are also an option as the closing mechanism is located in the body of the floor and all that needs to be fitted within the door is a relatively short pivot, which is unlikely to be a problem in even the narrowest of slave doors.

Electromagnetic closers


In many instances electromagnetic closer offer the perfect balance of convenience and fire safety. When fitted to the main and half leaf door, both doors will be held open usually – perfect in the busy hospital scenario – but close automatically if a fire alarm is activated, thus providing the all-important barrier to help prevent a fire spreading. The viability of an electromagnetic closer comes down to the width available and the power required to close the slave door. A slide arm can span the slave door 

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