Free cookie consent management tool by TermsFeed Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) | BHMA

Frequently Asked Questions

Please click the headers below for more information

Exactly what is "builders hardware"?

Builders hardware -- sometimes referred to as architectural hardware, building hardware or finish hardware -- consists of products that are mounted onto the moving parts of buildings (doors, windows, drawers, etc.) in order to move, fasten or protect them. Examples of builders hardware include locks, latches, cabinet hardware, hinges, door hardware, door closers, exit devices, power doors, sliding doors and folding doors. View BHMA® Guide to Builders Hardware Terminology.

What are BHMA® Product Sections?

BHMA® Product Sections serve as a method for categorizing hardware items by type. Product Sections are used for the BHMA® universal product numbering system, as well as a means of organizing BHMA® member committees and activities. BHMA® Product Sections, and types of hardware they encompass, are listed below.

Section Product


Butts, hinges & related items


Cabinet hardware and cabinet hinges


Door controls (including checking floor hinges & overhead concealed closers)


Sliding & folding door hardware


Rim, night latches, dead locks, padlocks, key blanks, key control systems & miscellaneous locking devices


Locks & lock trim (including cylindrical tubular locks)


Exit devices


Architectural door trim, push & kick plates, door pulls, weatherstripping, etc.


Auxiliary hardware


High security locks


Postal specialties


Power doors and components


Integrated Door Assemblies

How can I determine the grade of a particular builders hardware product?

Many builders hardware items are available as Grade 1, 2 or 3 (Grade 1 is the highest).

The grade of a particular hardware item can be ascertained by looking at its BHMA® product number.

Grading criteria are product-specific, and are set forth in the applicable ANSI/BHMA standard(s) covering that product.

What are different grades?

Every BHMA® product can be identified by a five digit identification number preceded by a prefix letter. (The illustration which follows is purely an example. Products are different by nature, therefore product categories each have numbering systems that may be slightly different. You must refer to the actual standard.)

For example, a product number for a cabinet hardware item might be listed as B 5 2 1 3 1

The prefix letter denotes the BHMA® Product Section that produces the hardware.

The first numeral designates the base material for the product. BHMA® standards use the default number '0' to allow the manufacturer to use an optional material that meets the performance requirements of the applicable standard.

The second number identifies the type of product.

The third and fourth numerals identify the function of the specific item.

The fifth number indicates the performance grade or other descriptions of the product. See applicable standard.

Every ANSI/BHMA standard contains an explanation of the BHMA® product numbering code applicable for that particular category of hardware. Using the example above, a specifier would refer to the ANSI/BHMA Standard A156.9 for cabinet hardware, and ascertain that for product B 5 2 1 3 1...

B = Product Section for cabinet hardware hinges


5 = Stainless steel

2 = Cabinet knob

13 = Back mounted

1 = Grade One

Thus the product is a Grade 1, back-mounted stainless steel cabinet knob.

How can I obtain a list of your members?

A list of BHMA® member companies can be found under Members & Other Links on the home page of this web site.

Does BHMA® collect industry statistics?

No. BHMA® does not currently collect or maintain industry statistics on sales and imports. 

How often are BHMA® standards updated?

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) requires the standards to be updated every five years, although many BHMA® standards are updated more frequently. The revision date for a standard is often shown as a two-digit numerical suffix to the standard number. For example, A156.10-99 means that ANSI/BHMA Standard A156.10 was last reviewed in 1999.

View the full list of BHMA® standards with notes on development or revision status.  

Is BHMA® developing any new standards?

Yes. BHMA® currently has 40+ ANSI/BHMA standards and is in the process of developing new standards for Ligature, Resistant Hardware and Multipoint Locks.  Industry standards for residental hardware products are also being developed.

View the full list with notes on development or revision status.   

Is BHMA® sponsored certification restricted to products manufactured by BHMA members?


Any manufacturer may submit an applicable hardware item for certification.

The BHMA® Certification Mark logo means that the product has been independently tested and certified as conforming to the criteria of its ANSI/BHMA standard.

Is there a list of BHMA Certified® products?

Yes. BHMA® publishes an annual directory of all BHMA Certified® hardware products. You can browse or download the Certified Product Directory. Bound copies of the certified product directory can be obtained by phoning 1-800-699-9277.

How can a product be identified as BHMA Certified®?

Certified builders hardware products should carry the BHMA® certification logo, either on the product itself or the packaging. If you are uncertain whether the product is truly BHMA® third -party certified, refer to the BHMA Certified® Products Directory, available on-line.

Search BHMA Certified® Products

For complete listings of BHMA Certified® Products, view the BHMA Certified® Products Directory (CPD). The listings in this directory are performance-oriented standards having cycle, operational, strength, security, and finish test requirements.

Search Now

Get Certified

Participate in the BHMA® Certification Program by voluntarily submitting a hardware product to independent laboratory testing to confirm that it fully meets the criteria of the appropriate ANSI/BHMA® standard.  This industry-wide certification program does not call for a manufacturer to be a BHMA® member in order to certify its products.

Learn More