Grandeur vs Emtek Exterior Door Hardware

We have a couple different exterior door hardware sets seen throughout our home and outdoor areas. As we’ve been updating our interior doors in the hall recently, my most asked source question these past few months have been door hardware inquires. Today, I wanted to compare the two exterior sets we have and which direction we’ll be moving toward as we continue along with our renovation. I’m breaking down the functionality, aesthetic, ease of install, durability, finish, and price of each. Let’s compare the Carré exterior door set by Grandeur (seen on our front doors) with Emtek’s Melrose exterior door set (seen on our living room / patio doors)

Grandeur vs Emtek Exterior Hardware -

Much like millwork, doors & hardware make a big impact in terms of functionality & aesthetics in a home. We’ve slowly been swapping our hollow core doors for solid core doors- with a classic panel style. They look so much better! As we update the doors, we are also adding new hardware. Ideally, I’d like to keep the hardware brand consistent throughout our entire house as we move forward. As an interior designer, and in an effort to practice what I preach, I wanted to compare which exterior set I prefer and recommend (the one we’ll keep using from here on out). First, here’s how we ended up with two varying styles in the first place…

Grandeur vs Emtek Exterior Hardware -

Current Exterior Hardware In My Home

Typically, I’d recommend sticking with the same brand hardware throughout your entire home for a cohesive look. I do like to mix up the hardware shape & size, but I’m all for sticking with the same finish, brand, or overall style. Some sort of common design thread to provide consistency within spaces throughout a house is good. That said- how exactly did I end up with two different exterior handle sets here at home?

The short answer… The One Room Challenge I participated in, a few years ago. To be a featured designer in the One Room Challenge, I was contractually obligated to choose products from the “approved design sponsor” list (one reason I stopped participating). Given the hurried timeframe, sponsor list, and my need for hardware- I found one approved hardware source…. Emtek. I’d heard great things about their door hardware from designer friends, and visually- their beautiful Melrose set fit my aesthetic. That’s the door hardware you’re accustomed to seeing in my formal living room

I hadn’t purchased door hardware for other exterior doors at that point, but we had begun replacing a few interior doors- using Grandeur’s Carré interior line, which I loved and already knew was great quality, having used their hardware in our previous home. Moving forward with our formal living room construction and The One Room Challenge, I figured I’d give Emtek a chance for this project. Shortly after, we replaced our front doors and ended up using the Carré entry set… hence, how we ended up with two different exterior brands and finished here at home.

Grandeur vs Emtek Exterior Hardware -

This is what I was looking for in an entry hardware set, and both brands met my criteria. Both sets were also installed in 2019, which has given me a good sense of how they’re each aging.

Exterior Hardware Criteria

When selecting exterior (and interior) hardware, I’m always looking for the following:

  • High quality, heavy hardware
  • Timeless aesthetic
  • Functional (easy to lock, etc)
  • A nice classic finish- brass can be really tricky
  • Durable, age or patina nicely over time
  • Made & assembled here in the US
Grandeur vs Emtek Exterior Hardware -

Emtek Exterior Hardware

First, I wanted to review the Emtek exterior door hardware. These actually appear twice in our exterior spaces… on the living room / patio doors, as well as on our shed. This is my first time installing or having Emtek hardware in any of our homes, so it has been an interesting comparison.

Grandeur vs Emtek Exterior Hardware -

I really love the weight, size, and stacked backplate style of this set. It’s good quality, heavy hardware. The price is also on the lower end for a nice entry hardware set. Good door hardware isn’t cheap, if you hadn’t already noticed. This is what they look like from the exterior…

Grandeur vs Emtek Exterior Hardware -

Emmett installed this hardware pretty easily, but had to do some additional routing. The heavy elongated exterior plates help add weight to the door, so if you have solid core doors- this is a fantastic way to make them feel higher-end. This is what they look like from the interior…

Grandeur vs Emtek Exterior Hardware -

As you can tell, a few years in- this hardware is starting to show wear. Nothing too terrible, but I’ve noticed scratching, etching, and some of the finish beginning to chip- which is most concerning. Here’s a better look at the patina.. see the scratching? To be fair- these are probably our most used doors in the house. I don’t mind the patina, but the tiny chips are worrisome.

Grandeur vs Emtek Exterior Hardware -

Emtek Melrose Entry Door Hardware in Antique Brass

  • Style – Transitional / Modern
  • Price – $430
  • Material – Brass
  • Finish – Antique Brass
  • Height – 18.5″ tall
  • Ease of Installation – Medium Difficulty
  • Made / Assembled – in Los Angeles, CA
  • Durability – 7/10
  • Functionality – 10/10
Grandeur vs Emtek Exterior Hardware -

Grandeur Exterior Hardware

Next, let’s chat about the Grandeur Carré exterior door hardware. If you’ve heard of Nostalgic Warehouse, they’re cut from the same cloth (same parent company). I’d highly recommend both of these brands, based on my personal experience… having had them in all of our homes. I first discovered them when searching for historic looking hardware for our home that was built in the early 1900’s. The only Grandeur exterior set we have as of now- is on our front entry doors, most recently seen in my fall home tour.

Grandeur vs Emtek Exterior Hardware -

Much like the Emtek set, this set is similar in size. It’s half an inch taller, measuring 19″. It’s also very heavy and is made of solid brass. From the exterior, this is what the set looks like…

Grandeur vs Emtek Exterior Hardware -

It definitely has a more traditional shape and I love the softer handle profile. This set feels very elegant and is a nice contrast to our very visually sharp paneled doors.

Grandeur vs Emtek Exterior Hardware -

Super close up… you can tell these are aging and wearing really well, with minimal scratching and zero chipping. Granted, the front doors are probably used a bit less than our patio doors, but they’re holding up beautifully. From the interior, the set looks like this..

Grandeur vs Emtek Exterior Hardware -

Grandeur Carré Entry Door Hardware in Vintage Brass

  • Style – Traditional
  • Price – $525
  • Material – Brass (solid core)
  • Finish – Vintage Brass
  • Height – 19″ tall
  • Ease of Installation – Easy
  • Made / Assembled – in Denver, CO
  • Durability – 9/10
  • Functionality – 10/10
Grandeur vs Emtek Exterior Hardware -

Comparison & My Hardware Preference

Both hardware sets are very comparable… in price, aesthetic, size, weight, and finish. For me, it boils down to the brass color, style, and durability. I prefer the Grandeur vintage brass finish to Emtek’s antique brass finish. I think it looks less yellow and has a more convincing aged patina- which makes it feel higher-end and timeless.

In regards to aesthetic, I think the selection totally depends on the home. Given we have a colonial home and a more traditional aesthetic, the Grandeur hardware stylistically is a better fit. It feels classic and helps to soften our very symmetrical, boxy house.

Grandeur vs Emtek Exterior Hardware -

Lastly, the durability is quite different in the two sets, and given the price of nice door hardware, I expect it to last. The Grandeur set is holding up far better than both of our Emtek sets combined. My goal is always to invest in permanent fixtures for our home that will withstand the test of time, and I feel like the Grandeur hardware has better longevity.

As we continue to replace both interior and exterior doors, we’ll continue using this style from Grandeur, pictured below. It’s elegant, holds up, looks gorgeous with our new door style, and has been convenient to install. For me, it’s worth the price. I’d rather save on something else.

Grandeur vs Emtek Exterior Hardware -


You go-to brass hardware picks for interior doors?

I saved them in this blog post!

Do you have more information on your front doors? Where are they from?

Our front doors were custom order from Lowe’s. Check out this blog post for all the details and a peek at the installation process.

Why spend that much on door hardware?

I’m always willing to spend more money on home fixtures that make a big impact and will be a lasting part of the home- they set the stage for everything else… I’d rather save on decor & furnishings and splurge on things like hardware, lighting, tile, or stone.

Do you have a favorite brass entry hardware pick from Nostalgic Warehouse?

We used their brass hammered knobs in our previous home and they were gorgeous! I loved that style.

What’s with the door tassels?

I just enjoy adding emphasis to our gorgeous doors and hardware. Those little moments feel special to me and it’s just another decorative touch. I like textiles & tassels, so I’m always scattering them throughout our house, ha.

Are you planning to trade out the Emtek hardware?

While I don’t have plans to replace our Emtek hardware at the moment, someday- I’d certainly like to make the swap, so the hardware throughout our home is all consistent.

Grandeur vs Emtek Exterior Hardware -

I know this was a lengthy post, but I’ve had a lot of hardware questions lately and thought this side-by-side comparison may be useful… especially since it’s a bigger investment. As always, let me know if you have any questions in the comment section below! I hope this post was a helpful one, if you find yourself searching for exterior hardware. The interior designer in me is very pleased with the aesthetic and timeless brass finish of our Carré hardware, while Emmett has been happy with the ease of install and durability.

I’m going to drop some more brass exterior hardware sets below, if you’d like to compare prices (hover) or see some alternative options. Have an amazing weekend ahead, friends! Emmett & I are planning to work on the entryway and basement, then I’m going to see Taylor Tomlinson with my girlfriends for a night out… a little work and a little fun is my favorite kind of weekend. Have a good one!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. I never thought I could love hardware but I recently needed to replace my front door and hardware. I had seen your previous hardware posts (and your room renos over the years!) and purchased the New York Handle set by Nostalgic. Could not love it more – it looks fantastic!
    As always, I love these detail posts!!

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      I love hearing this, Monica! They truly have the best hardware and it’s worth the investment (in my experience). I could not love them more as a company, either- the nicest people. The New York set is super classic… that’s the one we had at our last house. Hope you’re having a great weekend!

  2. Good morning- a little postponed response from me. The hardware rabbit hole is a deep one, ha! I enjoyed this side by side comparison, although I must admit, I’d have never known your hardware was mismatched had you not said something. I’ve always enjoyed the look of your door sets; you’re actually the first example I’ve seen of utilizing larger backplates for interiors-and I’m not mad about it. As for the hardware in question, I definitely see the difference in wear with the close-up visual, and I agree with your preference. It’s unfortunate that the finish is chipping on your patio door set! As a side note, I’ve always found it to be unfortunate that the One Room Challenge is setup that way- it seems to me like a wonderful opportunity for designers and DIYers to introduce brands that others may not be familiar with. Anyway, I value the fact that your recommendations are always rooted in quality and timeless appeal. I saved quite a few exterior options for myself- we’re extremely unhappy with the functionality of our front door set, and as it’s worn over time, the problems seem to be exacerbating. Thank you for steering me (and everyone else) in the right direction. I hope a renovating weekend means you and Cash are on the upswing! Happy pizza Friday!! 🍕😊

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Hi Lauren! The hardware rabbit hole is definitely deep, ha. I’m glad you didn’t notice my mismatched hardware. I think they’re far enough away from each other, it’s not a big deal. Just having a preference, I’d love for them to match someday. I feel like for the price, I didn’t expect to see chipping after a few years. Ideally, they would get decades of use. I was so excited to be a featured designer years ago having participated a couple times on my own, and it wasn’t exactly what I expected it to be. I think a lot of is fueled by monetary gain, which I understand since it’s a business, but it didn’t feel as authentic and was limiting, in terms of design, budget, aesthetic, etc. I’d rather work with who I want, use the things I love, and remove the pressure of a very quick deadline. Sorry to hear about your exterior hardware. Door hardware is so expensive and it’s frustrating when it stops holding up. Hope you and the fam are having an amazing weekend! Poor Cash is feeling bad again, so we’re headed back to the vet this coming week. xox

  3. Good morning! A helpful and interesting comparison. When I replaced our front door lockset a few years ago, I really struggled to find attractive, classic options in my budget. You mention that brass tones are tricky, and that’s especially true in the more “basic” brands. Can you say shiny gold?🤮 TBH, I couldn’t justify the expense of the Emtek set I coveted, so I opted for a brushed nickel one from a common big box company. It’s sturdy and holding up remarkably well after several years. I would have been so disappointed to see chipping on an Emtek set that cost three times as much! Trustworthy recommendations really are key!
    It’s funny you mention the One Room Challenge. I used to love those…until I noticed that the sponsored brands (which I thought was great for participants, btw) seemed to limit variety. One year, in particular, I noted the exact same light fixture used by three different people. I understand that lots of designers use similar products, but we don’t usually see them all together. When I’m seeking inspiration, I want unique ideas. I know nothing about brand sponsorships, but that homogeneity ruined it for me. Anyway. Birdwalk.
    Your weekend sounds lovely! Laughter is healing! (I had to google Taylor Tomlinson…) I’m visiting the Boise Art Museum and trying out a vegan restaurant with my girlfriends. Happy Pizza Friday and cheers to a beautiful fall weekend!💜

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Hi Peggi! Hope you’re having an amazing weekend! You’re right about the shiny gold options… that’s all I could find at our local big box stores. I think brushed nickel is the best bet in that regard! So great to hear that it has held up really well. Yeah- I have some feelings about the ORC, having participated a few times. I was excited to finally be a featured designer, but it felt a little disingenuous or monotonous. We’re excited to watch Taylor’s set tonight… comedy with girlfriends is just what I’ve been needing. Here’s to an evening of laughing! Hope you had a fantastic time at the Art Museum and ate plenty of amazing vegan food with your friends! That sounds like my kind of night.

  4. Happy Friday Sarah! These informative posts are incredibly helpful for me. I love the hardware you have chosen for your home. Oddly enough the exterior front door hardware in this older home are two different finishes. It’s peculiar, brass on the outside and inside is a dark polished finish of some sort. They both were new when we moved here but they don’t match, I suspect the previous owner acquired from a Habitat restore or something as it doesn’t seem to make sense. We have slowly been fixing/replacing all the design oddities/poor choices but the list is vast 😩 Your hardware recommendations is greatly appreciated as this will need to be rectified here at some point. We recently had a contractor replace a number of door jams and trim due to style inconsistencies throughout the house, as well as replacement because of poor diy installation. We are making our way through this house but it’s kind of a slow process. Andrew and I counted the number of contractors we had to hire in the four years we’ve lived here and we are up to 12 already. We are nowhere near done 🫣 We underestimated the number of projects required to get this house to our standard. So needless to say your blog has been a wealth of ideas and inspiration. Thank you!
    Anyway sounds like you have a wonderful weekend planned. Enjoy! Tomorrow I’m heading to a pottery wheel class with my daughter and Sunday we will be cooking and feasting for Thanksgiving 😋 Cheers to a fabulous weekend ahead 🥂 🍕 🦃

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Thanks, Colleen! Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend. I’m so glad these type of posts are helpful. Those things are never fun to update, but it makes such a big difference. You two have done so much to your home! I CAN believe you’ve already hired 12 contractors. We joke that our house will be a work in progress until the day we move out, ha. How was your pottery class?! That sounds like so much fun. I hope you and your daughter had an amazing time. Happy Thanksgiving!! Enjoy your food and time outside with family :) xo

  5. We have Emtek door hardware in matte black on both exterior and interior doors throughout our home. Our house architecture is modern/contemporary so I knew I wanted black hardware, and Emtek came highly recommended by our architects. What I’ll say is while I love the interior door hardware both aesthetically and functionally, we’ve had multiple warranty replacements on the exterior keypad locks due to malfunctions in the lock mechanism. I would totally buy Emtek again but only for non-digital products.

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Thanks so much for sharing! That’s really good to know about the warranty replacements and keypad mechanism.

  6. Great post, because I’ve had all these questions before as we remodel our old home and try to match everything. We have some original old (and painted) hardware, and found the Nostolgic Warehouse New York set to match perfectly as we replace all to all new solid interior doors. My one complaints is that they screw in directly to the door (and can’t easily be changed if it didn’t get perfectly plumb), instead of each side screwing in to each other (like I am familiar with Schlage and Kwikset). How are the Grandeur and Emtek installed? I am sure it is a little more lengthy given the size of the set. Also, what are the keyways for the exterior doors? (I am familiar with Schalge and Kwikset keyways, which are different). We key everything to Schlage keyways, so that makes a difference to us, maybe not everyone. Love this post and all the details, I think both look beautiful and especially love the oval knobs!

  7. Thank you! Both sets are beautiful. Do you find the Emtek French Antique to be close enough in color to the Grandeur Vintage Brass to use in the same room?

    1. Sarah Gibson says:

      Thank you, Bess! I don’t think I’d use the two together in the same room. The Emtek has a much more yellow undertone (warmer). Their finishes aren’t close at all in person.