Installing an interior doorknob

The key to a door that closes properly is precise measurements while installing the doorknob. Follow these steps to do so.

Difficulty level : 
Duration : 
2 hours

Mark the center of the hole

  • 1.1To determine where the knob will be, mark a line on the face of the door, 36" from the ground.
  • 1.2Tape the supplied template to the door. Align the center point with the marked line.
  • 1.3Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to determine which measurement is correct, then mark the doorknob center point with a punch tool.
  • 1.4Mark the correct center point for the latch assembly on the edge of the door, then remove the template.

Top tip

Most templates have two circles for the doorknob center point: 2 3/8 or 2¾ inches from the edge of the door.
If your door isn’t standard, make sure the knob’s axis is the right size (long enough).

Drill the hole for the knob

  • 2.1Fit an electric drill with a hole saw.
  • 2.2Place the pilot bit on the punch mark on the face of the door.
  • 2.3Making sure the drill is levelled, drill until the pilot bit emerges from the other side of the door.

Top tip

Do not finish drilling all the way through the door from the front. Otherwise, the hole saw will leave marks on the surface of the door. Move to the other side of the door and insert the pilot bit into the hole. Continue driller until the hole saw cuts completely through the door.

Drill the hole for the bolt

  • 3.1Steadying the door and holding the drill level, drill into the edge of the door at the center point of the latch assembly.
  • 3.2Continue drilling until the full width of the bit cuts through to the hole of the doorknob.

Mark the spot for the faceplate

  • 4.1Insert the latch into its hole in the door so the rounded side of the latch bolt faces in the direction that the door will close.
  • 4.2Holding the latch faceplate so its edges align with the door edge, outline the plate on the door and remove the latch.

Draw the outline of the mortise

  • 5.1Holding the chisel straight against the outline with the beveled side of the blade facing into the mortise, strike the handle with a hammer.
  • 5.2Repeat until the chisel reaches as deep as the thickness of the faceplate.
  • 5.3Deepen the scored lines all around the outline the same way.

Top tip

Making the mortise for the latch faceplate is a two-step operation. Start by deepening the scored outline with a wood chisel the same width as the faceplate. Then use the chisel to remove the waste.

Chisel out the mortise

  • 6.1Holding the chisel bevel-side down at an angle to the edge of the door, pare out the waste from the mortise outline.
  • 6.2Test-fit the faceplate often. Continue paring away waste until the faceplate is flush with the edge of the door.

Install the bolt

  • 7.1Insert the latch into its hole and fit the faceplate into its mortise.
  • 7.2Mark the screw holes, then remove the latch.
  • 7.3Drill a pilot hole at each marked point for the supplied screws.
  • 7.4Put the latch back into its hole and screw the faceplate to the door.

Install the doorknob

  • 8.1Fit the door’s drive bar and screw posts into their respective holes in the latch. For certain models, the latch must be lowered to align the bar and posts with their holes.
  • 8.2Slide the interior knob over the drive par and screw posts of the exterior knob.
  • 8.3Insert the screws supplied into their holes on the interior knob so that they fit into the screw posts.
  • 8.4Tighten the screws to fasten the knobs together.

Top tip

The exact procedure for fitting the doorknobs into the latch depends on the model. Check the manufacturer’s instructions if needed. If one of the knobs has a lock, be sure to install it on the right side of the door.

Suggested products

See all doorknobs

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