Door knobs may be small, but they hold some incredible power when it comes to opening and shutting a door. Without a door knob, there would be either a hole in the door to allow people to open and close it, or the door would be a swinging-type door, where you push it and it opens, but you can’t control it enough to close it. There does come a time when it is important to change out a door knob. Whether that be when the door knob is out of date, broken, or just needs repaired, follow this step by step guide on how to install a door knob (but keep in mind that all door knobs are slightly different, so why this may work for some door knobs, it may not work for all).
Step 1: Remove the old doorknob
You will only need a Phillips screwdriver for this task. Start by removing the two screws that hold down one side of the old knob into place. For some knobs you will need to remove screws from the other side, too.
Step 2: Pull Knobs Apart
Both knobs should come off along with the plate that covers the hole in the door. A square steel peg that connects the two knobs and slides into a square hole in the latch will most often come out with the knobs.
Step 3: Pull Out the Latch
If the latch stays in, simple slide it out. Some latches will slide out the edge of the door with just a little bit of persuasion. With most, you will have to remove the two screws that attach to the edge of the door.
Step 4: Take off the Strike Plate
Remove the two screws that hold the strike plate into the door frame.
Step 5: Bring Out the Tape Measure
Measure the distance from the center of the big hole in the surface of the door to the edge of the door. This distance, known as backset, typically equals 2-3/8 inches or 2-3/4 inches. Many replacement doorknobs will work with either backset, but be sure your new knob is designed to work with your measurement.
Step 6: Installation
Start the installation by determining the style of the latch plate you need. Depending on the mortise on your door, you might have to swap out the latch’s standard rectangular plate for a round one included in the package. If needed, pry off the standard one with a straight-bladed screwdriver. Then, place the new round plate on the latch.
Step 7: Insert the New Latch
Slide the latch into the edge of the door. If it has a rectangular plate, you’ll need to attach it with the two provided screws.
Step 8: Time for the New Knob
One half of your new door knob will have the square steel peg. Insert that half into the door first, placing the square peg through the latch mechanism.
Step 9: Line Up and Push
Align the other half of the door knob with the square pin and the screw holes.
Step 10: Attach the Knob
Attach the new knob with the two screws included with the knob set. If the new door knob does not cover the screw holes, mortises, or any impressions left by the old hardware, it’s time to break out the wood putty. First, sand down any surface imperfections and fill the screw holes and excess mortise areas with a hardening-type wood putty. You can try touching up the affected areas with stain, clear finish, or paint.
Step 11: Attach the New Plate
Attach the new strike plate to the door frame with the two screws provided If you need to enlarge the mortise for the latch plate or the strike pate, make sure you have a sharp chisel and fresh blade for your box cutter. To enlarge the mortise, first define its outer edges with a box cutter. Then position the chisel to remove the excess material.