Articles and Buying Guides

How to Install a Doorknob and Lock

Doorknob and Lock

Whether you're looking to upgrade your home’s security, or you're tired of looking at an outdated doorknob, you can install a new set of hardware for a quick way to upgrade a functional piece of your home.

The good news is that installing a doorknob and lock doesn’t require a degree in engineering. In fact, modern doorknobs and locks are designed to be quickly and easily installed into place, without much hassle.

Once you have shopped for your new set, it’s time to get to work installing the hardware. Check out the following quick tips for how to install a standard doorknob and lock.

Tools and Materials Needed

Tools and Materials

The first thing to do when you start any do-it-yourself job is to gather the tools and materials. For the installation of a doorknob and lock, you’ll only need a couple of common items.

  • Screwdriver: Choose the right screwdriver based on the types of screws in place on your existing doorknob. Usually, a Phillips-head screwdriver will do the trick.
  • Tape measure: You will need to measure the existing space for the new set you purchase, and a tape measure will allow for accuracy.

Once you’ve gathered these tools, follow the next steps to install the entire kit.

1. Remove the Existing Doorknob and Lock

Removing lock

Before a new doorknob can be put into place, you’ll need to remove the existing set. Utilizing your screwdriver, remove the screws holding in your doorknobs and the latch plate in place. Once the screws have been removed, gently pull the knobs apart. After this, you can remove the latch and the exterior latch plate.

If you are also replacing the deadbolt, unscrew that piece as well. In many cases, the screws for your deadbolt will be behind a plate. To remove this plate, you’ll need to remove the thumb-turn latch first. Look for the shaft that connects the thumb-turn to the inside of the lock. A small pinhole should be located on this shaft. With a paper clip or other similar item, simply press the pinhole to release the lever. Once the lever is removed, utilize your screwdriver to carefully pry the cover plate off the deadbolt. This will expose the screws, allowing you to remove the entire deadbolt lock.

2. Measure the Hole

Measuring the hole

If you haven’t already purchased a replacement set, grab your tape measure and take down measurements of the leftover hole. Measure from the center of the big hole to the edge of the door. This is called the backset, and measuring it will help you choose the right replacement set. Be sure to take measurements for both the door handle and the deadbolt if you are replacing both at the same time.

3. Choose a Replacement Carefully

New doorknob

Not only will you want to choose your new doorknob based on the measurements you take, but you will also want to be careful that you notice which side of the door your locking mechanism is on before you purchase a new kit. Doorknobs are not reversible, so it matters whether your lock is on the inside or outside of the room in question.

4. Install the New Latch Plate and Latch

Installing the new latch plate

Once you open up your new doorknob and lock set, install the latch plate. Screw the latch plate into place with the appropriate screws. Next, you can install the latch itself.

5. Thread the Spindle Through the Latch

Thread spindle through the latch

Once your latch is in place, take the doorknob piece featuring a long metal spindle and thread it through the latch.

6. Line up the Second Knob

Line up second Knob

After the first doorknob is installed, you can attach the second knob to the back side of the spindle, carefully lining the knobs up.

7. Tighten Into Place

Tighten the screws

Once both knobs are in place, evenly tighten the screws back into place.

8. Install the Deadbolt If Needed


Finally, install your new deadbolt if needed. Follow the same steps as you did with the doorknob, installing the latch plate first. Pair the front and back of the deadbolt hardware together and affix with screws. Reverse the steps of removing the screw covering if one comes in your deadbolt kit. Place the thumb-turn lever on the deadbolt last.

Installing a new doorknob and lock set is the perfect way to upgrade the aesthetics and security of your home. With a few quick steps, you can tackle this DIY project.