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Door Locks & Latches

Choosing a latch or lock to work with your door handles, door knobs, turn and release sets etc can be daunting.  Especially if the latch or lock is to replace one that is already existing.  In this case you would need to know what size to buy if you wanted to simply slot it in to replace the old one.

Latches can be known by slightly different names which can be confusing.  Some people call them tubular latches, some call them bolt-through latches and some people call them mortice latches.  These are all the same.  Just remember that a latch is the component that is fitted into the door and then the door handle or door knob on the door works the latch when the door handle is pushed down or when the door knob is turned.

Some tubular mortice latches are quite basic and do not have bolt through holes.  These holes are in the case of the latch and mean that, if your door handle or door knob has bolt through fixings or back-to-back fixings (these are different terms for the same thing, again), then these fixings can pass through the holes to the other side of the door.  This type of fixing is extremely secure and is usually used for door handles on a rose.  The alternative to these fixings is to use ordinary screws for face fixing the door handles or door knobs to the door.  Over time this type of fixing can become loose, however.

The two most common sizes of mortice latches are 63/64mm and 75/76mm.  These are also known as 2 1/2" and 3".  Generally, 63/64mm mortice latches are used with door handles on a backplate and 75/76mm mortice latches are used with door handles on a rose.  This is really only because door handles on a rose look better with a mortice latch that sets the door handle slightly further away from the edge of the door.  Any size, however, will work with door handles on backplate, door handles on rose and door knobs.  

Door knobs can be unsprung or half sprung (meaning one of the door knobs of a pair is sprung and the other isn't).  So, door knobs will require a suitable mortice latch which is not too strong so that the door knob can't be turned, but is strong enough to turn the door knobs with ease.  Here at Handles4doors, we recommend the Carlisle Brass Delamain brand of latches which is well suited to door knobs.  Another consideration, when choosing mortice latches is to position the door knob far enough away from the edge of the door so that your knuckles do not knock against the door frame when the door is opened.  So, for door knobs, we would recommend a minimum latch size (this is the overall case size) of 100mm or 4".  Some door knobs will work on a 3" latch, however it is best to check this thoroughly before deciding to use this smaller size.

You may hear the term 'backset' from your carpenter or joiner, or see this on some of our product descriptions.  This is simply the measurement from the middle of the spindle hole in the mortice latch to the edge of the door.  So, if you are standing in front of a closed door then you need to measure horizontally from the edge of the door to the middle of the spindle hole.  This will tell you what the backset measurement is.

If you have brand new doors then the size of the mortice latch is really a matter of choice.  You may wish the door handle or door knob to be in the centre of the door stile, or offset a little.  If the door is flush or there is no decoration around the edge of the door then you can choose whichever size you think will look best.  Just remember that a 63/64mm latch has a backset measurement of 44mm, a 75/76mm latch has a backset measurement of 57mm and that these are the two most common sizes used in the UK today. 

 

 BATHROOM MORTICE LOCKS

A bathroom door would require a bathroom mortice lock for privacy.  This would be operated by a turn knob incorporated in the backplate of a door handle, or by a turn and release set.  A turn and release set would be used with a door handle on rose or a door knob and would be fitted below the door handle or door knob.  This separate component would be fitted below the door handle on rose or the door knob.  A bathroom mortice lock comes in the same standard sizes as a mortice latch and a mortice lock, so the size required can be worked out in the same way if you have existing holes in the door.  A bathroom lock comprises a latch bolt and a dead bolt in the same case.  The latch bolt is operated by the door handle or door knob and the dead bolt would be operated by the turn knob. 

For door handles on a rose or door knobs a separate bathroom dead bolt is often a better choice.  The turn and release set would operate the bathroom dead bolt and the door handle or door knob would operate a mortice latch.  So, instead of a bathroom mortice lock you would choose a mortice latch and a bathroom dead bolt.  This would allow you to position the turn and release set on the door as far away from the door handle or door knob as you wish.  The disadvantage of using a bathroom mortice lock is that the spindle holes for the door handle or door knob and the turn and release knob would be a very small distance away from each other (around a little finger's width).  This gives a very cramped appearance on the door.

 

3 LEVER MORTICE LOCKS

A 3-lever mortice lock is a low security lock and may be used on an internal door that may lead to a home office, bedroom or room that required locking more for privacy than security.  3-lever mortice locks come in the same standard sizes as mortice latches.  If you wish to keep the appearance of a door handle or door knob on a door the same, then you may wish to choose the same size mortice latches and mortice locks.

 

5 LEVER MORTICE LOCKS

A 5-lever mortice lock is a higher security lock that may be insurance rated and would be suitable for an external door or an internal door leading to a garage.  These mortice locks are chunkier and more substantial than 3-lever locks and come in all the UK standard sizes.  

British Standard locks are insurance approved to meet the BS3621 standard.  Bearing the Kitemark these locks are generally accepted by most insurance companies and are recommended for all final exit doors.

 

EURO CYLINDER LOCKS

Eurocylinder locks form an integral part of many types of door locks, including multi-point locks used on UPVC doors and even some mortice locks used on wooden doors. The Euro cylinders we stock at Handles4doors come in all manner of shapes and sizes.

There are two main types of Euro cylinder lock: single cylinder and double cylinder. Each has their own unique characteristics and properties.

  • Single Cylinder – Single cylinder locks only offer key access from a single side.
  • Double Cylinder – Double cylinder locks give key access for both sides of a door.

Then there is a cylinder and turn which incorporates key access from the outside and a turn knob on the inside for privacy.  Sometimes this is required for bedrooms or home offices to make it easy to lock and unlock from the inside of the room.  

Each door manufacturing company makes their doors to different specificationss. This means there’s a huge variety of cylinder lengths for you to choose from. To make sure you’re buying the right cylinder for your door, we recommend you take careful measurements beforehand.

To get the most accurate measurements, use a ruler instead of a tape measure. 

The Euro cylinder locks available from us here at Handles4doors are manufactured by leading manufacturers. You can be assured that all of these products will be of the highest durability, quality and, most importantly, affordability.

 

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