Have a door closer on your house, office, or place of business has numerous benefits. They save doors, remove loud slams, and prevent injuries from fast-closing, heavy doorways. However, you shouldn’t choose a random door without researching what kind it is. With so many types to choose from, you’d be shorting yourself if you didn’t pick the right one.

So, what door closer types are there? There are four main types:

  1. Overhead door closers
  2. Concealed closers
  3. Surface-mount closers
  4. Floor-spring closers

Each kind has multiple types that you can choose from as well. For example, overhead door closers come as a regular arm, top jam, and parallel arm-style. Throughout this post, you’ll also learn about which one you should choose as well as the pros and cons of every type of door closer.

Different Types of Door Closers

As mentioned above, door closers come in a variety of types for you to try out. Before you choose the kind that you want, you should figure out what’s compatible with your doorway. Not only do you have to consider if it’ll even work, but also if it’s up to the building code. You can call your city’s phone line to find out what the building requirements are.

Let’s break down each of the most popular door closers below:

  • Overhead door closers are out of the way, which makes them a great choice for classrooms and busy offices. If you don’t want to worry about bumping into the device, they’re perfect for the purpose. However, they’re rather large, and you definitely can’t hide them from plain sight.
  • Concealed door closers offer a hidden design that doesn’t get in the way. Unfortunately, they don’t work so well with heavy doors. You’ll have to install it on the inside of the doorway, which is why it’s considered concealed from outside perspectives. They’re ideal for houses and offices with lightweight doors.
  • Surface-mounted closers are installed on the doorframe and they often extend a bit onto the door itself. Rather than drilling holes in the wall, you’ll get an automatic door closer that matches the paint of the door. You can leave it in its silver metal color, or choose to color code for your office, home, or business.
  • Floor-spring closers come in last, but they’re definitely not the worst to choose. In fact, they’re usually found in upper-class establishments such as offices in the city and fashionable clothing stores. They’re mounted to the bottom of glass doors (sometimes other materials) that slide in and out of the spring closer.

Note: Overhead door closers also come in three different styles: Parallel arm, regular arm, and top jam. Each of them works the way, but they have the bulk of the metal arm resting in slightly different areas. Choosing between these types is more of a personal preference for appearance rather than functionality.

Which Door Closer Should You Choose?

The door closer that you choose should be based on the following ideas:

  • Local building codes
  • Functionality and door material
  • Cosmetic appearance
  • Budget

If you’re able to go through all four ideas, you’ll likely come to a conclusion as to which door closer you should purchase. For instance, local building codes should narrow down your search a bit. You should also consider if you need a door closer for a heavy door, or if the weight isn’t an issue.

Here are multiple considerations to help you choose the right door closer for you:

  • Are you installing the door closer on a doorway with busy traffic? If so, you might want to consider something that won’t be in the way. Floor-spring closers and overhead closers are both optimal because they stay out of the path. They’re also easy to lock in place, preventing foot traffic from stopping.
  • How heavy is the door? You can’t use certain door closers on heavy doors because they don’t have the durability and strength to withstand constant pressure. On the other hand, there’s no point in going overboard to buy a top-notch, heavyweight door closer if you can’t get the full use out of it.
  • As mentioned throughout this post, always consult building codes prior to making a choice. All of the door closers mentioned in this article are designed to be save and modernized, but that doesn’t mean that your doorway matches them. Once you get the go-ahead, you’ll be able to start installing the closer.
  • What’s your budget? Unfortunately, floor-spring closers are far from cheap. They have all sorts of features, including an auto-lock and the ability to stay completely concealed under sliding glass doors. Most other closers can’t even work with glass, but that might not be an issue for you.
  • Does appearance matter to you and your business or family members? Depending on where you’re installing the door closer, you might want to consider what it’ll look like. Top closers can be bulky, so they might not look the best inside of a house. On the other hand, concealed closers offer a better appearance.

As you can see, there are plenty of considerations to think about before you pick the first door closer that you come across. You can spend tons of money on a fancy floor-spring closer, or you can buy an overhead door closer and deal with the not-so-appealing appearance.

Common Mistakes

One of the worst mistakes that people make when choosing a door closer is that they only think about the appearance. Although it’s the last factor in the previous section, functionality and building codes should be much higher on your list of priorities. Let’s review a handful of common mistakes that people make.

  • Buying an inexpensive door closer to save money can be a huge issue. If you’re not looking at all of the options, you might end up breaking the door. Closers that aren’t meant to deal with heavyweight doors can bend and snap, ripping chunks out of your door.
  • Make sure that the door closer fits your door. Some closers are too short, while others are awkwardly long. You don’t want to have to use a closer that doesn’t fully open or close the door. On the other hand, a long door closer would simply look terrible. Always take measurements beforehand.
  • Ignoring the grade is a serious issue that always causes problems. There’s a grade on each door closer that tells you what it’s designed for. You can find an overhead door closer with a Grade 2, and another of the same type as a Grade 3. The grade determines the weight, length, and many other features of the door closer.
  • Finally, don’t forget to consult your business. If you work for a company that requires you to install door closers, always figure out their requirements before you make the purchase. Companies are often subject to stricter building codes since they have more people moving in and out of each doorway.


When you’re trying to buy a new doorway closer, it’s important that you review this guide to find the different types. Along with types, grades, and other features, all of them need to be combined to figure out the best one for you. Trying to save money by buying the cheapest closer will have terrible results.

Here’s a quick recap of the article:

  • There are four different types of door closers.
  • Not all of them are concealed, but the bulky closers are usually heavy-duty.
  • Floor-spring closers work for glass doors.
  • Review the grade prior to purchasing.
  • Don’t forget to ask about building codes.

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