Replacing broken or worn doorknobs and hardware doesn’t take a lot of time or skill; knobs come in a standard size, so finding the right fit for your door won’t be an issue. To do the job properly, you’ll need these tools and supplies:
- A Phillips screwdriver
- A regular screwdriver
- New hardware
Doorknob and hardware removal is pretty simple, and it should only take 5 to 15 minutes. Here’s how you do it:
- Remove the doorknob trim; it’s the ring-shaped piece behind the handle/in between the knobs. It’s on both sides of the door, held in by a total of four screws. Some new interior doors and knobs don’t have screws at all, and must be removed with a screwdriver. Be careful to push the screwdriver far under the ring, so you don’t damage the door itself.
- When you’ve removed the doorknob trim, you’ll see two screws holding the knob in place. Remove them one by one.
- Pull the knobs apart and away from the door.
- There are two screws holding the lock in position. Remove them and the bolt.
- If you need to remove the strike plate (the small piece that catches the lock or bolt when it’s released, now is the time to do so by removing the screws holding it in. NOTE: This step isn’t necessary in most hardware replacements.
Finding New Hardware
Finding a new knob is simpler when you know what you are looking for. Should you go with a set that has an external lock, an internal one, or none at all? Would you prefer a round handle or a lever knob, or one that matches your décor? Decide ahead of time, and keep the receipt in case you don’t like it.
Installing the New Knob
- Begin by inserting the new bolt. Push it into the correct hole and screw it into position. NOTE: the slanted part should always go the way the door closes; that way, you won’t be able to push the door open.
- Pick a side of the door and put the trim piece against it. Insert the doorknob, and repeat the process on the other side of the door, ensuring that the knobs are properly aligned and that the screws will hold them in place. Screw the knobs together, tightening each screw until the knobs are even and the fit is solid.
- Check your work and ensure that the knobs move freely, and that the door can’t be pulled or pushed open without the handle.
Expert Tips & Tricks
- New bolts and plates sometimes feel a bit loose after they’re installed. You can fix this by using long wood screws in place of the ones provided.
- Air space between the plate and the trim can be remedied by the insertion of a slim cardboard piece. Remove the plate, insert the cardboard and replace the plate.
- Lever doorknobs are easier for children and the elderly to use.
- When removing the old doorknob and lock, set it down in the order in which you’ve removed the pieces. This makes it easier to install the new set.