Door Latches and Catches Explained

What is a Latch Lock?

Latches are pieces of hardware that join two surfaces together, but also simultaneously allow for their separation. Latches, or latch locks, typically involve two pieces of hardware installed on two mounting surfaces, which join when a close is required.

How to Fit a Latch Lock

Latches usually involve a clip being installed on the inside or the door, and a receiver on the inside of the cupboard. When the cupboard is shut, the clip will snap into place in the receiver, creating a latch. The clip is usually slightly tapered so that the join is tough, but not tough enough that the cupboard door can’t be opened again when pulled with intention.

How to Open a Latch Lock

Some latches are magnetic and rely on the door being pressed inward slightly when closed to release the latch, whereas standard latches will usually open with a slight pull on the door. This pull doesn’t usually cause any strain but should be enough that the latch remains closed without enough force being exerted on it.

How Does a Touch Latch Work?

Touch latches are another style of latch that work similarly to magnetic latches, except this style uses a spring design to keep the join, whereas traditional magnet catches just rely on the attraction to seal. These door and cupboard accessories include a magnet at the end of a spring-loaded plunger. This holds the cupboard door closed, and when pressed on, the spring-loaded plunger opens, allowing the user to open the door.

How to Fit a Magnetic Catch

Fitting a magnetic catch is a pretty simple job. All you need to do is screw the receiving steel plate into your unit, and the magnets onto the inside of your cupboard or door, making sure both align when fitted. If you've done this correctly, once the door or cupboard closes, the magnets should attach to the steel plate and form a join.

How to Fit a Roller Catch

Roller catches consist of a spring-loaded roller and a catch with a slight indent. When the door is pushed, the roller clocks shut into the indent, and when pulled, rolls out of it, allowing the door to open again.

You will only need a few tools to install a roller catch: a drill, screws (usually supplied with the catch), a pencil, tape, a spirit level and your catch hardware.

  1. Mark on the side of your door where you want your catch to be installed and use your spirit level to make sure this is level.
  2. Drill a hole in the door to hold the body of the catch, and drill pilot holes for the screws to fix the catch to the door.
  3. Do the same on the door or cupboard frame to mark out and prepare the pilot holes for the catch keep, ensuring it is level and matches in alignment with the catch on the door.
  4. Fix both your catch to the door, and your catch plate to your other surface by screwing the hardware in.
  5. Push the door gently to check the catch and keep line up. If not, you may have to adjust your catch.

How to Adjust a Door Roller Catch

Most roller door catches are supplied not only with the fixing screws to attach the hardware to the doors, but also with adjustment screws.

Find the correct screwdriver to fit the holes in the adjustment screws and make small turns either clockwise or anticlockwise to increase or reduce the projection of the roller. This increases and reduces the tension of the roller on the catch, and directly correlates to the amount of force required to open and close the door. Once you have found the ideal spot, you can simply use the door as normal.

If you require any help deciding on the right latch or catch for your project, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team of experts!