Maybe you’re building or recently purchased a new home. Or perhaps you’re renovating and have big plans for transforming your home. Either way, you’re probably going to eventually reach the point in which you have to make a decision on a key aspect of your home: the door hardware! See what I did there? :)

If you are new to door hardware, it can be pretty confusing! But, I am here today to clear a bit of that confusion by talking about two common types of locks found in American homes and breaking down what their main differences are between Mortise and Tubular locks.

Different Lock Bodies:

At first glance, the locks may not look all that different from each other. However, if you take a look on the edge of the door you will see the most apparent difference: the lock bodies.

Mortise locks have a single long and rectangular lock body whereas the Tubular locks have two separate cylindrical pieces that fit inside of bored holes.

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Left: Tubular. Image Credit: @thejennaogle | Right: Mortise. Image Credit @blankslatereno

Door Prep:

The different lock bodies mean that the doors need to be prepared differently prior to installation. Due to the rectangular hole that needs to be chiseled out for Mortise locks, a professional is typically needed to prep the door and install the lock. On the other hand, the average homeowner is likely able to install the Tubular lock themselves granted that their door is already prepped with the two bore holes.

Note: You may still want to consult a professional if you are unsure about how to install a Tubular lock!

Security and Price:

A few other significant differences to note are variances in security and price. Mortise locks are more secure due to two handy features, anti-saw inserts and the anti-pick security latch. These give your home greater protection against intruders.

Conversely, the Tubular locks do not include these features. Which is not to say that Tubular locks are not secure, however, they just don’t contain those extra means of protection. 

With the greater security, comes a higher price. Mortise locks are typically sold for a greater amount than Tubular locks.

Extra Features:

Additionally, some Mortise locks come with an emergency egress feature or locking thumb press. All this means is that the thumb press will automatically lock whenever the door closes unless you deactivate that feature using the buttons on the edge of the door. This feature is not available on tubular locks.

If you choose to go with one of these models, be careful not to lock yourself out!

No matter which model you decide to go with, it is important to make an informed decision when choosing new door hardware for your home. I hope to have shed some light on the Mortise vs. Tubular debate!

Check out the Mortise and Tubular entry sets from Emtek and see our FAQ and Glossary for more information on our products.