Many homes have windows with sashes that tilt in for easy cleaning. Tilt-in sashes have latches located on the top corners of the window sash, which keep the sash in place when installed in the frame.
There are many different kinds of tilt latches to choose from and it can be a little overwhelming at first. To make things easier, they’re typically separated into three unique classifications: Surface-mounted latches install directly to the top of the sash using screws or by sliding directly into an opening in the frame. Corner latches wrap around the sash frame and are installed by using at least one screw to connect that corner bracket to the sash. Lastly, Internal latches are housed inside of the sash frame and operated using a sash release lever. Each type of latch will require specific information to choose the best available replacement. This guide below will walk you through it every step of the way!
Both styles of surface-mounted latches are commonly used on tilt windows. The screw-on variety can also replace damaged internal latches that are no longer available.
Surface-mounted latches can install one of two ways:
If the original latches use screws for installation, SWISCO’s team of experts will need a photo, as well as the exact distance between the center of the mounting holes. Also, make sure to include the offset of your edge where the latch protrudes from the nearest installation hole as shown in our diagram.
If your latches plug into place, It’s important to provide a photo of the top and bottom of an undamaged latch that’s been removed from the sash. Also, dimensions including the length, width, and height of the latch are needed to compare to any available replacement options.
Some latches also use a locking tab on the bottom to keep the tilt latch in place. If your part has this tab, the offset from the base of the locking tooth will also be needed to locate the appropriate replacement.
Corner latches can be tricky because it’s not always clear if they wrap around the corner of the frame unless you tilt the window in and check the side that is not visible while the sash is fixed in place.
If you’re unsure which of our corner latches might work for you, submit a photo of the complete latch and dimensions; including the offset of the installation hole from the opposite end of the latch, the size of the locking tooth, and the width of the corner bracket for our experts to research a replacement.
The most difficult latches to identify are often internal latches. This is because the defining characteristics of the latch are not visible while it’s installed inside the sash frame. Luckily, SWISCO offers a video that will walk you through the process of removing your internal tilt latches.
Latch actuators or finger-release levers are mounted to the surface of the sash frame to operate internal tilt latches.
The exact length of the under-mounted prongs that engage with the latch, as well as the spacing of the prongs, are essential measurements when looking for a potential replacement. Keep in mind that the overall size of the top, visible portion of the latch is not as important, which is why the lever needs to be uninstalled to identify a replacement.
As always, SWISCO’s team of experts will gladly walk you through the identification process once your photos and measurements are posted to the online discussion board.