04 April, 2008

Interior Design Fittings and Fixtures - Locks

An often forgotten area of decoration is a practical one, door hardware, and even more forgotten is door stops, these protect your walls from the door handle bashing through it. Ensure that the doorstop is long enough to stop the door before the handle reaches the wall!

There are many different types of locks, used for different purposes and situations.

Door Locks

Cylinder Night Latch

This is the most common type of door lock. It is essentially a spring-loaded latch opened by key from the outside and lever from the inside.

There are four parts; the staple that the latch slides into is attached to the door frame. The lock body that houses the latch is attached to the door; the cylinder and outer ring are also attached to the lock body through the door. This latch is surface mounted.

Deadlocking Night Latch

This is the same as the cylinder night latch with the exception that it can be key locked from the inside as well as the outside.

This helps if you are away from the house and it is broken into. The deadlock (if locked) stops the latch from being manually operated from the inside. This latch is surface mounted.

Parts of a lock - strike plate, lock bolt and latch bolt.

Mortise Lock

The mortise lock is very secure because it is built into the door i.e. it sits in a slot (mortise) cut into the door as does its striking plate which is in the door frame. It is a dead lock system, in that it needs a key to open it if locked. There is no spring-loaded lever. There are also no handles or latch system.

Mortise Sash Lock

This is similar to the mortise lock but has the advantage of a latch and handles built into it. During the day when the door is being used frequently it can be opened by turning the handles or lever, but when security is required then the locking mechanism can be turned by the key and the door remains closed and secure until unlocked.

Profile Cylinder Mortise Lock

This is very similar to the mortise lock but the locking mechanism is the smaller cylinder type of lock and has a smaller easier to use and carry key.

Window Locks

Casement Stay Locks

- Surface Mounted Lock for Casement. (Can be seen and be obtrusive).

There are two parts to these locks, one that is mounted to the casement and the other to the frame. A key usually moves the bolt into the staple.

- Concealed Lock for Casement. (A better aesthetic value as it is hidden).

This type of lock is like a barrel bolt, called a mortise rack bolt. The barrel slots into a hole drilled in the edge of the casement and turning a key moves the bolt into a hole drilled in the frame.

Sash Window Screw Lock

These are steel bolts that slide through a hole in the top rail of the inner sash through to the bottom rail of the outer sash. This prevents the inner and lower window from sliding up and the top outer window from sliding down. As a designer they have a good aesthetic value, as they can't be seen.

Two Part Surface Locks for Sash Windows

These fit on the two horizontal rails (i.e. one on each rail) and when in line, lock together with a key bolt. These are seen, as they are surface mounted.

Sliding Door Locks

These take the form of a bolt that slides into the frame and stops the sliding door or window from sliding along. The body of the lock is attached to the sliding part of the window or door and the bolt pushes or slides into the frame or reveal. A key is usually used to release the bolt.


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