360 Yardware: 360 Degrees of Outdoor Decor including gate hardwaer, mailboes, garage door hardware, doorbell buttons, wooden garden gates, shutter hardware, and house numbers

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The Do's and Don'ts of Gate Latches
from 360 Yardware

   

     Other topics to check out in our Gate Latch Information series....

Gate Latch Overview | Categories of Gate Latches  | Securing Your Gate |
Gate Latch Material | Types of Gate Latches | Chart of Gate Latch Options

We frequently update this page. If you have a question, please contact us -- we'll happily add more information here, if needed.

 

 
     
 

Can I Use Regular Door Hardware for My Wooden Gate?

     In our humble opinion, NO! Don't do it! Door hardware is fundamentally different than gate hardware. We recommend that you never use regular door hardware with an outdoor wooden gate.

     Door hardware comes with an internal latch and strike plate, just like your front door. In order for these doorknobs or leversets to function, the edge of the door needs to be very close to the doorjamb. The latch extends only so far to engage in the strike. Your front door does not swell and shrink slightly with the seasons the way that an outdoor wooden gate does.

     Seasonally, wood "moves" slightly, expanding and contracting a bit. Let's say you use regular door hardware on your gate that's installed in June when it's dry and sunny. You install the gate quite close to the jamb (~1/8" to 1/4" away). It opens and closes just fine. When January rolls around and you've had wet, cold weather for several months, your gate might swell slightly and wedge itself up against the jamb so you have to pull really hard to get it open. Over time this can take a toll on not only the gate latch, but also the gate and the hinges the gate is hung on. In the reverse situation--where you install the gate when it's
"swollen" slightly--when the season dries out and the gate shrinks a bit, your regular door hardware might not even engage because the gate is too far from the jamb for the latch to engage in the strike.

     Door hardware is also usually only available for standard door thicknesses of ~1-3/8" and many gates are quite a bit thicker than that.

     Gate latches, on the other hand, are produced to be installed externally to accommodate seasonal wood movement. We recommend that gates are installed with between 3/8" and 1/2" clearance between the edge of the gate and the jamb (standard door sets are recommended to be installed no more than 1/4"). This will allow for seasonal movement without ever compromising the integrity of the gate or latch. Latches use an external latch-bar to engage with the jamb.

     The only instance of something being recommended for internal installation in a wooden garden gate is a deadbolt. When a deadbolt is thrown (turned), the bolt is long enough to allow space for seasonal movement of the gate.

     We know that there are people who have used standard door hardware and everything is fine. Depending on your location, it might work out well for you. But from our perspective the risk is not worth it.

 

Can I Install The Gate Latch Myself?

     Sure. To install a gate latch properly, one needs to be very detail oriented. Since an incorrect measurement or placement of the latch will leave holes in your beautiful new wooden garden gate, we'd recommend you do the installation personally only if you're very handy and have the appropriate tools.

     Each gate latch is installed slightly differently, depending on its design. In general, thumb latches are the easiest to install. If you've spent the money to buy a beautiful wooden garden gate and you've chosen a great gate latch to adorn it, don't skimp on installation. Measure twice, drill once!

     Oftentimes you can order a gate and hardware from the same company. If you do, ask if the gate builder will bore for your hardware so you or your installer don't have to.

 

 

What Is A Gate Stop and Why Would I Use One?

     Every wooden gate needs a gate stop. Your gate builder can provide one with your new garden gate, or if you already have a gate installed you can purchase a stand-alone gate stop.

    What does a gate stop do? It creates a boundary beyond which your gate can't travel. If you or the wind were to slam the gate closed, that force could push the gate further than it should go. The result of this is extreme force on your hinges and on your latch-arm. The latch-arm could bend or break; the hinges could be pulled out of the post. With a gate stop your gate cannot go any further than the stop. They are easy to install and inexpensive and will really save your gate and hardware from damage.

     See 360 Yardware's collection of Gate Stops.

 

 

 

 
 

Download our new Architectural Gate Hardware catalog, which includes
all of our gate latches (modern, contemporary, rustic, traditional and antique)
plus outdoor gate hinges, gate stops, cane bolts, and gate locks.
The catalog includes gate latches for double gates and single gate hardware packages
where we take the thought out of putting together a hardware ensemble.

At 360 Yardware, we offer "360 Degrees of Outdoor Decor." We wanted to describe more than
just "Outdoor Decor." We chose the term yardware to describe anything a person would need to enhance
the outside of their home. From the front curb to the front walkway; the entryway to the side yard;
and ultimately to the backyard and back patio, we offer items both small and large to change the
look of your home.

We invite you to browse through our store and find something that speaks to you, that will spice
up your home and make you excited to get outdoors!

Gate Hardware ~ Mailboxes ~ Garage Door & Carriage House Door Hardware
Doorbell Buttons ~ Shutter Hardware ~ House Numbers

 

Gate Hardware
We have everything you need to replace your old Fence and Gate Hardware.
If you have a Wooden Gate or need a Replacement Latch, we offer Gate Latches, Deadbolt Latches, Gate Hinges, Hinge Fronts, and other Decorative Gate Hardware. We've also combined many of our products into gate hardware sets and value packages.

We've created a section of information about Double Gate Hardware and Gate Latches for Double Gates with everything you'll need to understand the factors that go into a quality double gate installation.

Gate Latches
Our Wooden Gate Latches selection offers something for everyone. If Antique Gate Closures are your style, we carry Cast Iron Hardware and Iron Gate Latches that look like historic and more traditional gate latches. Even better, there are now Aluminum Gate Latches--in the same styles as the antique gate latches--which are rust-resistant and perfect for coastal areas. We also offer a line of cast Bronze Gate Latches: durable, substantial, and that will age gracefully with no rusting over time. A few of the latches we offer are versatile in their styling, so they can be used at homes with traditional, antique, contemporary, or Spanish aesthetics.

We are thrilled to introduce the Moda Contemporary Gate Latch in 316 Stainless Steel. The Moda Latch is a modern lever latch in brushed stainless steel with FSC-certified sustainable tigerwood handle. The 316 Stainless Steel offers the utmost in corrosion protection. We offer a single gate package and a double gate package. For larger photographs, please check our information page: Moda.

Our goal is to help you fill your decorative gate hardware needs. To this end, we've put together gate latch sets for double wooden gates, plus single gate hardware sets including hinges, latches, and optional accessories.

We have created a Gate Latch Information Series to help you understand all there is to know about wooden gate latches and to help you choose the right product for your situation. Topics include: