A tubular mortice latch is a type of door lock that was invented in the 1700s. It was originally used in only the homes of the wealthy for the most important rooms but is now standard in most homes. To truly understand the definition of a tubular mortice latch, let’s break down the phrase.
What is a Mortice Latch?
A mortice latch is a type of lock used on doors and windows to keep them closed when not in use. A mortice, itself, is a cavity or slot that is carved into stone or wood to receive an insert. And this is exactly how a mortice latch works.
Mortice latches are typically connected to the door handles. They can be unlatched when the door handles are turned, and then spring back into the cavity once pressure is tasked off the door knobs.
What are Tubular Latches?
The term ‘tubular latch’ is often used interchangeably with the term ‘mortice latch’. This is because some of the more commonly used mortice latches are tubular. The term “Tubular” comes from the shape of the latch bolt itself.
What is the Difference Between a Latch and a Lock?
The main difference between a latch and a lock is that a latch can be opened without needing to be unlocked. A latch keeps a door or window in place when not in use, but can be opened without needing. Whereas a lock will keep a door or window closed until it is unlocked by someone.
Types of Tubular latches
Economy Latch: The Economy latch is the most basic tubular latch. It’s a one-piece latch with a fixed faceplate and is commonly used in budget projects.
Standard Latch: A similar build to the economy latch but with higher-quality parts. They last longer than economy latches, though are still not recommended for the highest longevity.
Double Sprung: The term ‘ double sprung’ refers to a tubular latch that has a separate spring for the tongue, allowing the door to close gently with much less effort. The follower works on another spring, ensuring that levers and door knobs always return to the horizontal position.
Heavy Spring: This is the strongest tubular latch; it has the same features as a double-sprung latch but with a more powerful return spring. These tubular latches are recommended for heavy doors and unsprung door knobs.
How to Measure a Tubular Latch
When replacing your door lock, you’ll want to make sure that you have the right door latch sizes. The size of internal doors may differ from external doors so don’t assume that all your door latches measure the same.
Door handle latch sizes are usually advertised with the overall latch length (the case size). You’ll want to know the case size as well as the backset size. This is measured from the face plate to the spindle hole.
Take a look at our in-depth dive on measuring for a latch replacement here.
Tubular Mortice Latch Sizes
Choosing the right tubular latch size is important when replacing your latch. Tubular mortice latches typically come in five standard sizes, each latch size has a specific backset size to go along with it.
Latch Size | Backset Size
64mm | 45 mm
76mm | 56mm
102mm | 82mm
127mm | 107mm
152mm | 130mm
Learn More about Door latches and locks
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