Types of Window Screen Hardware

Window screen hardware is simply a short hand way of saying, what attachments on the screen hold it to the window.  There are many different kinds of hardware, and we will discuss the most popular window screen hardware in this article.

Tension Springs

Tension Spring for a Window Screen

Tension Springs extend out from the window screen and creates tension by pushing the screen to hold it into a window track. Tension springs are one of the most common types of screen hardware. One advantage of tension springs is that when complete compressed, they do extend above the frame, so no allowance for space is required for tension springs. Tension springs are usually paired with lift tabs, so the screen can easily be removed with lift tabs.

Leaf Springs

Leaf Spring for a Window Screen

Leaf springs create tension, very similar to tension springs, however they are heavier duty than tension springs. One disadvantage is that some allowance needs to be made for lead springs because even when they are completely compressed they add 1/16' to the screen measurement. Leaf springs are one of the most common types of screen hardware and are usually paired with lift tabs.

Spring Plunger

Spring Plunger for a Window Screen

Spring plungers are sometimes called plunger bolts.  The metal tab of a spring plunger extends into a groove or hole in the window frame to hold the screen in place.  Pull on the small black plastic finger grip to retract the spring loaded metal tab to remove the window screens.

Slide Latch

Slide Latch for a Window Screen

Slide latches have a flat metal flange that slides out into a groove or slot in the window frame to hold the window screen into place.  The U-shaped handle of the slide latch provides an easy to grip handle for extending or retracting the slide latch.  Slide latches are not spring loaded.

Butterfly Latch

Butterfly Latch for a Window Screen

Butterfly latches are sometime called knife latches.  Butterfly latches when closed extend a small flange out from the window screen that fits into a groove or notch in the window frame.  When a butterfly latch is closed, it is virtually invisible, only the small handle is visible.  To remove the screen, pull the small tab handle to retract the butterfly latch.  Butterfly latches are not spring loaded. If the placement of the butterfly latch needs to be in a specific location, the measurement we need is from the bottom to the center of the slit in the window frame.

Rams Horn Clip

Rams Horn Clip for a Window Screen

Rams horn clips are usually at the top the window screen.  Rams horns clip firmly snap onto a lip on the window frame to hold screen in place.  The bottom of the window screen fits behind a smaller lip to hold the bottom of the window screen in place.

Acorn Turn Latch

Acorn Turn Latch for a Window Screen

Acorn turn latch are plastic latches that fit on the inside of the screen face (opposite the spline side).  One side has a tab for easy turning, the other side has a slight point that fits into a slot or behind a lip to hold the window screen in place on the window frame.

Friction Hanger and Wire Loop for Wood Windows

Friction Hanger for a Window Screen

Friction Hanger and wire loops are most commonly used on wood windows.  The set of all three items is called a 'Wood Hardware Kit'. The friction hanger acts a hinge for the top or the side of the screen, while the wire loop holds the other end of the screen to the window frame by slipping over the specially shaded nail head.

Lift Tab

Lift Tabs for a Window Screen

Lift Tabs  are usually located on the opposite side of the screen from a leaf spring or tension spring.  The lift tabs are used to slightly lift the screen so it can be easily removed.


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