First off, lets describe what a privacy function does and how each type works.
What is a privacy function?
A privacy function is generally used in a bathroom or toilet where a lock is needed but not a key. It can also be used in other situations such as bedrooms. A privacy function has a panic feature, whereby access can be gained from outside, if a person becomes unable to unlock the door from the inside. An example could be a child or elderly person.
Integrated privacy is where the privacy function is housed within the rose of the handle and the button to activate it, is accessible on the outside of the rose. See diagram below.
A separate privacy is where the privacy function is separate to the handle, NOT integrated within the handle.
Pros & Cons – Separate Privacy vs Integrated Privacy
|Pros & Cons|
|Feature||Integrated privacy||Separate privacy|
|Security||Less secure||Much more secure|
|Better aesthetics||Professional designers prefer separate because of aesthetics||Professional designers prefer separate because of aesthetics|
|Cost||Cheaper to install||More expensive to install|
|Longevity||Doesn’t last as long||Last’s longer due to design|
|Installation time||Quick to install||Takes a bit more time to install|
|Warranty||Generally, much less||Mostly a life time warranty|
|ROI||Not as good as separate||Much better ROI|
|Branding||Mostly associated with entry level products||Used in high end and designer situations where aesthetics and quality are paramount|
|Accessibility||Not as easy to access||Excellent access & usability. Much better for disabled, children and the elderly|
As in most consumer decisions, the choice comes down to a few things;
- Longevity – how long do you want the product to last?
- Aesthetics – what do you want the end product to look like?
- Installation – are you doing it yourself or employing a professional?
- Cost – what is your budget and what price do you put on quality
- Design – do you want your door hardware quality to adorn the rest of your beautiful décor?
- Security – what price do you put on security & indeed comfort of use
There is no question, that the better option, if your budget allows it, is a separate privacy. The pictures below shows an example of how it can look in real life. Whilst an integrated privacy can save you time and money in the short term, the longer story is what, we as consumers, always remember! The joy of a great price is often soon forgotten, whilst the memory of poor quality can haunt us for much longer. You can read more about this here.
Having said that, there is nothing at all wrong with integrated privacy where time & budget are the main factor. However, separate privacy will always give a much better return on investment in the long run and add that extra pizzazz which is the hallmark of any beautifully fitted out residence or building.