The Basics of Door Locks - Switching to igloohome

By igloohome | March 30, 2016

Door locks come in numerous designs, shapes and sizes. The features of each lock also differ depending on the need for the lock.

To boost your confidence on making the switch from your existing lock to the igloohome smart lock, we will:

  1. Provide an overview of the most common types of door locks in Singapore

  2. Share how the switch to our igloohome deadbolt is done

Interested in hearing more about igloohome or becoming a distributor? We also offer special discounts for bulk purchases.  Setup a chat with our team by submitting your details here or Learn about our reseller program.

Common Types of Main Door Locks

Lock Type 1 - Mortise Lock


Photo credit: Hardwyn

The main door lock installed in most HDB flats and condominiums in Singapore is the mortise lock. The photo above shows what you are probably used to seeing.

The mortise lock requires a rectangular pocket (also known as the mortise) to be cut into the door so that the lock can be fitted into it.

This is what the lock looks like if it has not been installed into the door.


Photo credit: Home Depot

The mortise lock usually comes with a sprung latch on top (the triangular portion that retracts). It is often connected to a handle, so when you pull down on the handle, the latch retracts. Once you release the handle, the latch springs back into place. This latch holds the door in place after it is closed. (For easier understanding, you may want to refer to the first photo again.)

Below the sprung latch is the locking bolt (the rectangular piece that protrudes). When the door is locked with a key, the locking bolt protrudes to secure the door in its locked position. Even if you pull down on the handle, the locking bolt stays in place and the door remains closed.

In Singapore, one popular type of door set up (especially in new BTO flats and condominiums)  is a long handle bar and a mortise lock with a rounded latch. As the latch is rounded instead of triangular, the door can be pulled open from either the inside or the outside.


Long handle bar


Mortise lock with rounded latch

Lock Type 2 - Deadbolt

This lock works in a way that is similar to the locking bolt in the mortise lock (explained above). It is called a 'dead' bolt because there are no springs to operate the bolt. In other words, it does not automatically return to its original position (unlike the latch). The deadbolt can only be operated manually with a key, or a thumb turn from the inside.


Photo credit: Copper Creek Hardware

Since there is no spring in the deadbolt, the door would not automatically 'catch' close after you shut it. You have to hold the door close when you lock the door.

As such, while it is possible to use the deadbolt on its own, most people who use deadbolts on their main doors tend to install a separate handle/knob with a latch (photo below - deadbolt above, knob below). This ensures that when you shut the door without locking it, it stays shut.


Photo credit: Gater's Locksmith

Unlike the mortise lock which requires a rectangular pocket to be cut into the door, the deadbolt requires 2 cylindrical holes to be cut into the door (bored cylindrical mounting).


Photo credit: Gater's Locksmith

Lock Type 3 - Deadlatch

This type of lock works in a way that is similar to the latch in the mortise lock (explained above). As it is spring-loaded, the door is held in place once it is shut. However, unlike the mortise lock that requires an additional step of turning the bolt to lock the door, the deadlatch self-locks the door once the door is shut.


Photo credit: Kangeroo Point Locksmith

This type of lock is often attached on the door (rim mounting) instead of sitting inside the door like the mortice lock. A circular hole still needs to be cut into the door so that the keyhole can be accessed on the other side of the door.

Switching to the igloohome Smart Lock

Now that we have briefly introduced the most common types of main door locks, we take a look at our igloohome Deadbolt range and our igloohome Mortise Range to show you how you can make the switch from your existing lock to our smart locks.

smart digital lock

The igloohome deadbolt range comes without a handle, which makes it a great add-on if you already have an existing handle. The bolt tongue protrudes or retracts when the lock is locked or unlocked. It requires 2 holes to be cut into the door. The is similar to that of the deadbolt mentioned above - bored cylindrical mounting.

smart digital lock

The igloohome Mortise range is our premium Smart Lock which comes with a handle, and will replace the current lock and handle of your door (for most cases). It works the same as the standard mortise as shown in the previous section and comes with a sprung latch to keep the door closed, and is locked with a bolt at the bottom. Both our Mortises also requires 2 holes to be cut into the door.

Making The Switch to igloohome

Installing the Deadbolt

If you have an existing mortise lock

Install the igloohome deadbolt above the existing lock. You will continue to use your existing handle, but our bolt will provide the locking mechanism. You can still use the existing locking mechanism on your mortise lock as a second layer of security when you are travelling.

If you have an existing deadbolt lock

Replace the existing deadbolt with the igloohome deadbolt at the same location - do note that this is subject to installation assessment (done after purchase), but it is usually a straightforward process to swap out the existing deadbolt with ours.

Here's an illustration as an example:

smart digital lock

smart digital lock

Replacing the existing mortise lock with the igloohome deadbolt at the same location is highly discouraged, as the entire rectangular pocket of the mortise lock needs to be patched back. This may compromise security.

Installing the Mortise

If you have an existing mortise lock with handlebar

To install the igloohome Mortise, it will be a direct replacement of your current Mortise set for most cases. Do take note that the lock mechanism will be directly replaced by our Mortise system as well. The Mortise is currently not compatible with doors with long handle bars as well. We would advise you to use the Deadbolt 2S instead.

smart digital lock

If you have an existing mortise (no handle bar) or deadbolt lock

If you want to install the igloohome Mortise on your door, it will most likely be a replacement as well and your current deadbolt and handle will be removed to make way for the igloohome Mortise. Please take note that there may be some small holes left from the deadbolt which our installers will use wood filler to cover.

smart digital lock

If You Have An Existing Latch

Please contact us at, and provide photos of your door (front, side, back) for our assessment.

If You Have A New Door

Install a door handle before purchase of the igloohome Deadbolt 2S. Then, install our deadbolt above the door handle.

For the igloohome Mortise, a blank door will be fine.

When you purchase our lock, we will request that you send us photos of your door so that we can assess your door and existing lock-set up. We will then highlight to you if there are any areas of concern. Otherwise, installation should proceed without a hitch!

Our igloohome Deadbolt 2S Metal Grey is available here, igloohome Mortise is available here.

You can also check out our informative video on the basics of door locks for more information.

If the URL above is not functional you can watch it here.