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I need to build some safety gates at the top of my stairs to keep little ones contained.

Because of the way that the landing is arranged, I am thinking about a sliding gate instead of a traditional gate on a hinge that swings open.

It would be similar in function to the gate built here except smaller and for use indoors.

example sliding gate

In other words, something like this that slides instead of swinging open on a hinge:

similar indoor gate

The only thing that I don't have a great solution to is how to latch the gate when closed. I don't want to use an eye-and-hook latch as in the aformentioned project because they don't look good and are hard to use with one hand.

Most other types of gate latches assume a gate that swings open, which obviously wouldn't help here.

Any suggestions for a way to keep a sliding gate like this securely closed?

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Could you just use a normal auto-closing latch (a la http://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-Black-Gate-Latch-15462/202042227?N=5yc1vZc2e2) and mount it so the gate slides the latch into place?

  • Yeah, I suppose I could mount the hardware on the outside face so that it would latch perpendicularly. It would be nice to see something that didn't look like it was designed to be mounted on an exterior fence, however. It would also be tough to get it to latch flush with the wall. This is interesting to think about, however. – Chris Scott Jul 2 '15 at 17:06

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