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What is a Cremone Bolt: Installation + Instructions

One of my favorite projects to date is when we installed custom French double doors into a cased opening to create a private office space for my husband. I wanted these French doors to be super unique, luxurious, and feel vintage. I was able to create a truly unique statement by installing cremone bolts and a custom leaded pane transom window. In today’s post, I’ll break down how to use cremone bolts to give your interior doors or cabinet doors a truly custom look. I’ll also give step-by-step instructions on how we installed these cremone bolts and the resources that made this a fun and simple DIY!

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What is a Cremone Bolt?

Cremone bolts are a type of decorative hardware with a functional locking mechanism commonly used on French doors and cabinets. They consist of two vertical rods, one for the top and another for the bottom of the door, that can be simultaneously operated with a set of handles or knobs. When engaged, the rods extend into strike plates on the door frame or adjacent door, securing the doors firmly in place. 

Cremone bolts can be purchased with a variety of decorative covers and various finishes. They add a touch of elegance to interior spaces with their ornate design and smooth operation. Beyond their aesthetic appeal, cremone bolts provide enhanced security and stability, making them a popular choice for both decorative and functional purposes.

How to Use Cremone Bolts in Your Home

Cremone bolts are traditionally used on a pair of French doors or on a pair of casement windows. However, there are a lot of places you can incorporate cremone bolts throughout your home.

Some locations I’ve seen cremone bolts used in home design are:

  • French doors
  • Casement Windows
  • Kitchen Cabinets
  • Bookshelves
  • Bathroom Cabinets
  • China Cabinet

How to Select Cremone Bolts For Your Home

Many different retailers offer cremone bolts in various finishes and styles! Some of the most common are solid brass, stainless steel, cast iron, unlacquered brass, and more!

I shopped around quite a bit for these flush bolts before finally selecting my lovely cast iron cremone bolts from EuroArt. This retailer offers a broad variety of flush bolts for both french doors, cabinets and windows. I needed bolts tall enough for my 8 ft french doors so I had to find rods that were around 9 ft tall. These bolts from EuroArt are 9 ft in length and can be cut down to size. 

I also wanted the metal to be heavy-duty and substantial and all the reviews claimed that the metals used are fantastic! I originally selected the unlacquered brass rods but after careful consideration, I changed my mind to THIS cast iron cremone bolt. We have a lot of unlacquered brass in our house already and I felt the black metal contrast against the beige doors would be a bigger statement.

My Top Picks For Cremone Bolts:

Here are some more beautiful, European inspired cremone bolts:

  1. Stepney Brass Door Cremone Bolt – Polished Brass $224.00
  2. Beaded Brass Door Cremone Bolt– $239.00 + Mini Beaded Brass Cabinet Cremone Bolt- $69
  3. Corinthian Brass Door Cremone Bolt – $224.00
  4. Lever Handle Iron Door Cremone Bolt– $149.00
  5. Beaded door espagnolette bolt / cremone bolt upto 9 feet polished brass UNLACQUERED– $171.02
  6. Plain stepped door espagnolette bolt / Cremone bolt upto 9 feet black– $112.00
  7. Ornate door espagnolette bolt/cremone bolt upto 9 ft polished brass- $185.60
  8. Lattice door espagnolette bolt/cremone bolt upto 9 ft polished brass- $188.24
  9. Oval knob locking brass door Espagnolette bolt/Cremone bolt upto 8.5′-SN– $222.72
  10. Victorian lever door espagnolette bolt/cremone bolt upto 9 feet polished brass lacquered– $185.60

What you’ll need to install Cremone Bolts:

  • Cremone bolt set (includes top and bottom rods, guides, and handle set)
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Drill
  • Drill bits (appropriate for your door material)
  • Screwdriver
  • circle or oval phillips head screws (may be included in kit)
  • Chisel (if necessary)
  • Door strike pull plates (if not included in the bolt set)
  • Chalk Line (optional, but this was really helpful for us!)

How to Install Cremone Bolts: Step-By-Step Instructions

Installing cremone bolts on interior French doors can add a touch of elegance and functionality to your space. Here are step-by-step instructions to guide you through the installation process:

1. Measure and Mark:

Start by measuring the height of your French doors to determine the appropriate placement for the cremone bolts. Typically, they are installed on the exterior side of the door, near the top and bottom of the doors, aligned with each other. We held the rods up to the door to determine exactly where we wanted the rods to lay and decided to install them half way between the window pane edge and the edge of the door (right down the middle). Mark the desired locations with a pencil or to make it easier pop a chalk line directly down the door where the rod will lie.

2. Preparing the Doors:

If your doors don’t already have pre-drilled holes for the cremone bolts, use a drill and an appropriately sized drill bit to create the necessary holes at the marked locations. Ensure that the holes are level and straight. Note that some cremone bolt sets come with a template that you can use for hole placement.

3. Inserting the Guides:

Slide the guides provided in the bolt set into the top and bottom holes on one of the doors. These guides will ensure that the rods move smoothly and stay aligned when operating the bolts.

4. Installing the Bolts:

Insert the top and bottom rods into the holes on the same door where the guides are placed. Make sure the rods align properly with the guides and extend through the length of the door. Use a screwdriver to tighten the set screws on the rods to secure them in place.

5. Attaching Handles:

Install the handles onto the rods, ensuring they align with each other. Secure the handles in place using the provided screws, typically inserted through the back of the handles.

6. Testing and Adjustments:

Close the doors and operate the cremone bolts to ensure smooth movement and proper alignment. Make any necessary adjustments to the rods, guides, or handles if they are not functioning smoothly or aligning properly.

7. Installing Strike Plates:

If the cremone bolt set doesn’t include strike plates, you may need to install them on the door frame or adjacent door to receive the bolts. Position the strike plates at the corresponding locations on the frame, ensuring they align with the bolts when the doors are closed. Mark the screw hole locations, pre-drill the holes, and attach the strike plates using screws.

8. Finalizing the Installation:

Once everything is properly aligned and functioning, tighten all the screws securely. If any screw heads are visible, you can use wood putty to fill the holes and create a seamless appearance.

Following these steps should help you install cremone bolts on your interior French doors. Always refer to the specific instructions provided with your cremone bolt set, as installation details may vary depending on the manufacturer.

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FAQ About Cremone Bolts:

How do cremone bolts work?

Cremone bolts work by using a vertical rod mechanism to secure doors or cabinets in place. The bolts consist of two rods—one for the top and another for the bottom of the door—that are operated simultaneously with a set of handles or knobs. When the handles are turned or rotated, the rods move up or down, extending into corresponding strike plates on the door frame or adjacent door. This engagement provides a secure lock, holding the doors firmly in position.

Where do you use cremone bolts?

Cremone bolts are commonly used on French doors, which are characterized by multiple glass panels. They are installed vertically along the stile of each door panel and operate the locking mechanism. Cremone bolts can also be used on cabinets, where they provide both functionality and a decorative element. Additionally, they are sometimes employed on larger windows or casement windows to secure them in place.

How do you lock a cremone bolt?

To lock a cremone bolt, you typically turn the handles or knobs in a clockwise direction. This action causes the vertical rods to move upward, extending into the strike plates. The rods engage with the strike plates, securely locking the doors or cabinets. To unlock the cremone bolt, you turn the handles or knobs counterclockwise, retracting the rods from the strike plates and allowing the doors to open.

What is the history of the cremone bolt?

The history of the cremone bolt can be traced back to France in the 19th-century. It is believed that the bolt design was named after the French locksmith, Édouard Cremone. Cremone bolts gained popularity during the French Renaissance, as they offered both functionality and decorative appeal to the elegant French doors of that era. Over time, they became a favored choice for securing French doors and have since been incorporated into various architectural styles worldwide.

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5 Comments

  1. Thanks for posting, they look beautiful. I would love to do this for my home office. Just curious, any issues with getting out of the office from the other side once the doors are shut? I do not see a lot of options on the internet for 2 sided Cremone bolts.

  2. Hello, do these allow you to operate the door from the other side as well? I want these for our office french doors, but I need to be able to operate the door and latch from the inside as well. Obviously, I could just install them from the inside of the office, but they’re so pretty I want to show them off!

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