Advice & How TOs

Types of Door & Gate Latches

People put up a gate for mostly two main reasons: security and privacy. However, to some, gates are for more than just keeping people off. They act as a decorative item for the property. A gate gives your home the curb appeal. For this reason, you should choose well the decorative pieces to add to the gate, and a latch is one of them. Of course, a gate latch is more than just a decorative piece; it used to enhance the security of the gate.

Gate latches have been around in China and most parts of Europe since the 13th century. The earlier designs were made from wood and a thread tied to the latch through the door to raise the latch bar when opening the gate. The latches were commonly used on house doors. However, since then, latches have evolved into more modern design. They have become a must-have for most homeowners to enhance their decor even outside their homes.

You may get confused and frustrated when shopping for a gate latch because of the different types available out there. You have to pick the right material and style. You also have to know which pieces will work together with the style of your gate.

Gate latches can be one-sided or two-sided. A one-sided gate latch is that which can only be operated from one side. A two-sided latch means the gate can be opened from both sides (the part of the yard and outside the yard.)

Here are all the types of latches you need to know.

  1. Thumb Latch

A thumb latch is a two-sided latch that is operated from both sides. The outside part of the latch act is not only for opening the gate but also a decorative piece. The latch contains a plate and a presser. All you have to do is push the thumb presser down and the latch arm on the inside lifts to open the gate. Thumb latch is gravity-assisted, meaning when closing the gate, the latch arm falls on its own on the catch.

Thumb latch is suitable only for those with an in-swinging gate. If you want the thumb latch can also be made to fit the style of the gate’s woodwork. If you are also in a salty water environment, you can have the latch made from stainless steel because it does not rust.

Thumb latches vary in prices depending on the material and style used. The prices range from as low $7 to as high as $70 in most online shops.

  1. Ring Latch

Ring latches have gained prominence in most parts of the world, but they were a norm in most parts of England, especially in the countryside. Just like a thumb latch, ring latch is operated from both sides (the inside and the outside). The latch got the name ring latch because the outside part of the gate, the backplate of the latch has a ring on it. The ring is attached to the arm of the latch. When opening the gate from either side, the arm lifts up from the catch, so the gate opens and then falls back when the gate closes.

Depending on the ring latch manufacture, it can be either spring-loaded or dependent on gravity. The ring, its retainer, and the catch can be made from stainless steel or any other material. It all depends on your taste.

Ring latches can also be installed on the in-swinging gate or the out-swinging gate. If you have an out-swinging gate, you should place the ring latch on the outside part of the gate (street side), but for the in-swinging gate, the latch stays on the inside. If you have a hard time remembering this, know that the ring latch should stay on the side on which the gate will open.

Gate latches can be either lockable or unlockable; the choice depends on why you want it.

  1. Lever Latch

A lever latch is similar to a ring latch in style and functionality; the only difference is that instead of a ring, the latch has a lever. They can also be used for both swinging and out-swinging gate.

For the out-swinging gate, the lever latch will be on the outside part (street side), while for the in-swinging gate, the latch will be on the inside part of the gate that is the yard part.

Lever latches can be either lockable or unlockable. A latch can only be locked from the side in which the gate was installed. So if you installed it in the yard side of the gate, you will lock it from the same side. The same applies to the out-swinging gate.

You can get a lever latch from as low as $15 on Amazon or any other shops that deal with home products.

  1. Bolt Latch

If you are looking for a gate latch that has a classic and vintage style, then you should consider bolt latch. This type of latch will act as a conversation starter whenever you have visitors. Bolt change only opens from one side, so if you decide to put it on the street side, you will have to reach up and open the gate. If you can’t, then you’ll have to call the homeowner to open it for you. This explains why most people choose it because it enhances the home’s security.

Most millennial homeowners have shunned this type of latch because they consider it an out of fashion thing. However, its old nature is the best part of it, but if you want more, the latch can be customized with other features to give it a more modern look.

Just like the other latches, a bolt latch can be either lockable or unlockable. If you feel you need to enhance the security of your home starting from the gate, then you can have a technician add a room for a padlock.

You can gate a bolt latch for as little as $11 on Amazon or any other online shop.

  1. True Latch

A wooden gate can frustrate you due to its nature of sagging and dragging. If you don’t want any frustrations, then consider getting a true latch. A true latch is simple and inexpensive for people who still wish to have hardware for their gate but cannot afford the other latches.

You can get these latches from your local shops or from most online stores.

Final Thought

Gate latches have come so far since the 1700s. The most common type of latches in demand now are lever latch, ring latch, thumb latch, and bolt latch. Their installation and lock ability will depend on the type of your gate. If you have an in-swinging gate, the installation will be on the yard part of the gate and outside for the out-swinging gate.

When choosing a gate latch, you will also have to consider your budget, the more money you have, the better chance of having a unique latch.

That said, when choosing a gate latch, their several things you need to think of. For instance, why you need the latch. If you are planning the security of your home, then you need to get a latch with a catch that can be easily locked.

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