Well this was my first time to remove and replace a door knob, and I’m so glad that I did it myself! There definitely were some mistakes made (lol), but in the end, I have added a new trade to the DIY repair-woman resume! So with that said, I took a TON of pictures so that I could show you step-by-step how you can change your door handle out also. It’s an easy tutorial to follow, and I can’t wait for you to try it out! Let’s do this! How To Install/Replace Door Knob (for beginners).
*To Shop door knobs like mine – scroll to the end of the post.
***NOTE*** This post contains affiliate links which means that I will receive a small compensation if you purchase from those links at no cost to you. Thanks so much for your support 🙂
How To Install/Replace A Door Knob (for beginners)
Since this was my first time to change out and install a door knob, I wanted to give you some tips on things that I learned along the way.
Hopefully, this will save you time, and also make sure that you don’t make some of the same mistakes that I made – lol!!
Let’s start with off with some door knob information – so that you can make sure you have the correct door knob for your door/room.
Door Knob Info:
- Check if you need passage, privacy, or dummy door knob.
- Measure the backset (next section under parts diagram).
1) Passage vs. Privacy vs. Dummy:
So, what do these terms mean anyway?
- Passage and Dummy door knobs – do not lock.
- Privacy door knobs – do lock.
- Passage and Privacy door knobs have handles – that actually turn.
- Dummy door knobs – do not turn (you just simply push the door(s) open).
- Passage and Privacy Door knobs – use a strike plate and door latch system on side of the door to keep door(s) closed.
- Dummy door knobs – use a magnetic or ball-catch system on top of door to keep door(s) closed.
Single Dummy vs. Double Dummy:
- Single dummy door knob is used for a door that you need to – push and pull it open from ONE side – outside of the room (think pantry and reach-in closet).
- Double dummy door knobs are used for a door(s) where you need to – push and pull it open form BOTH sides of a room (think walk-in closet or French doors).
Ok, let’s get to it! How To Add or Replace Door Knob (parts diagram & terms).
Parts Diagram & Terms
I don’t want to get too technical with door knob terms, and I am definitely NOT a door knob expert (lol).
But I did want to give you a parts diagram for visual reference.
- And note – one door knob “parts” or “glossary of terms” – does not fit all.
- This diagram will just give you something to refer back to if some of the instructions/wording gets confusing.
Door Knob Parts Diagram:
Backset – is the measurement from edge of the door to center of the bore hole.
- This is important when ordering/purchasing your door knob.
- Your door knob will be either 2 3/8″ or 2 3/4″.
- Most common door latches are 2 3/8″.
- 2 3/8″ is what our backset is on our door.
Backset Measurement on a Ruler:
And here is where 3/8″ is on a ruler – again just wanted to give a little visual reference!
- 3/8″ sits between 1/4″ and 1/2″
- so it is smaller than 3/4″
Ok, let’s get to it! How To Install/Replace A Door Knob (for beginners).
How To Install/Replace A Door Knob (for beginners)
Ok, now that you know what type of door knob you need, and have looked at the diagram (you will be tested on it at the end – just kidding!), it’s time to get down to business!
So here are the supplies and 8 steps needed to install/replace a door knob.
- Screwdriver (Phillips)
- Door Knob(s)
- Protective Floor Covering
- Lay Down Protective Floor Covering
- Remove Old Door Knob
- Look At Directions Closely/Check Supplies
- *** Attach Door Latch – most important step
- Attach Spindle
- Add Mounting Plate + Outside Door Knob
- Attach Inside Door Knob
- Replace Strike Plate
*** Take a look at step #4 – attaching door latch – before you begin. It will just help you get familiar with the door knob, save you time, and prevent making a mistake. 😉
Ok, let’s get to it! How To Install/Replace A Door Knob (step-by-step tutorial).
Step #1: Lay Down Protective Floor Covering
The first thing you will want to do is lay down protective flooring.
- I used 2 bathroom rugs and placed them on either side of the door.
- But you could always use a couple of towels also (something thicker).
This is an important step in case the door knob falls off (see next pic) – when removing the old one or adding the new one.
So the reason I am changing out our door knob is because my hubby accidentally knocked the other one off, it fell (broke), and it also chipped the tile.
End Result: laying down protective flooring is important, because door knobs are heavy and CAN do damage!
Step #2: Remove Old Door Knob
The next thing you will do is remove the old door knob (if you have one).
- If you’re just installing a new knob, skip to step #3.
Inside Door Knob:
#1) Take your Phillips screwdriver and turn it LEFT (counter-clockwise) to loosen both screws.
TIP: Remember to have one hand around the knob as you loosen it, so that it doesn’t fall off.
#2) Then gently pull the inside door knob off the spindle.
#3) Next, you’ll pull the outside door knob off the spindle.
Disclaimer: I am showing #1) with the new knob already on, since my old knob was broken – sorry!
Remove Old Spindle:
I don’t know if some door knobs come with the spindle already attached to one of the knobs, but my spindle was separate (on both old and new knobs).
So, you will just pull the spindle out (either inside or outside the door – depending on your knob).
Remove Old Door Latch:
Now, it’s time to remove the door latch.
Just take your screwdriver to loosen screws on the latch plate, then simply pull the door latch all the way out.
Yay!! Now that you have removed your old door knob, it’s time to add your new door knob!
Step #3: Look At Directions Closely/Check Supplies
Make for sure that you get familiar with the directions and parts/supplies that will go with your NEW knob.
- And now that I have completed the install, I will be able to share my mistakes as well – so that you don’t make them!!
Step #4: Attach New Door Latch
If you remember anything from this post- this would be it!
- I’ll show you how to do this step correctly first, then show you what I’m talking about.
You will add the door latch plate to the door latch, and then turn screws (to the RIGHT) – into the side of the door.
Biggest Mistake Made:
I followed the directions and completed the entire door knob installation, only to realize that something wasn’t working right – ugh!!
*** THE BEVELED PART OF THE DOOR LATCH GOES TOWARDS THE DOOR JAMB ***
The biggest mistake that I made was partly because the directions “missed” an important OPTION – to the new door latch!!!
- The directions were for a door that opened to the inside (of the room).
- Our bathroom door opens to the outside (of the room).
I contacted the company, and they immediately sent me a video – to show me how to change it.
WOW!! That was incredible customer service from Kobelle.
So long story short – I already had switched this door knob out with another door in our home that opens to the inside before the video came in!! But oh well – lesson learned!
TIP: Check out how your door knob (latch) works to make sure it is reversible – BEFORE you begin the installation.
- Some door knobs have latches that you simply twist to reverse.
Step #5: Attach Spindle
Now it’s time to attach the spindle to the door latch.
On this door knob, the spindle has a niched ring on it.
- You will insert it from the outside part of the door and slide into the latch (half of it will be on inside part with the groove on it).
- Find your rubber ring.
- Slide rubber ring onto the spindle (inside part).
- Rubber ring will fit onto the niched part of the spindle (in the groove inside part).
This rubber ring will keep the spindle secure – so that it won’t just slip out onto the other side.
Step #6: Add Mounting Plate + Outside Door Knob
Hang in there – you are almost at the finish line!
This step is kind of broken down into 3 parts:
- Add connectors to outside door knob
- Line up mounting plate with lock hole
- Attach outside knob with mounting plate
You have 2 different door knobs – an outside knob and an inside knob.
Add Mounting Plate:
Once you flip over your door knobs, you’ll notice that they look a little different.
Pick up the one that has the 2 screw grooves in it and attach the metal connectors to it.
Line up mounting plate with lock hole:
On this part, you are just lining up the lock hole so that you know where the mounting plates needs to go.
- It is in the middle of the 3 holes.
Now, just be aware of where the other 2 holes on the mounting plate that have the 2 open cylinder holes in them.
This is where the 2 metal connectors will go – from part #1 above on the outside door knob.
Attach outside knob with mounting plate:
This part will be a little tricky – LOL!!
- Basically you are putting the 2 parts together now.
Just take the outside door knob and slide those 2 connectors (that you are holding in one hand) into the 2 open holes on the mounting plate (that you are holding with the other hand).
Now, just attach these together with the 2 longer screws provided.
TIP: It’s a good idea to check the knob by turning it to make for sure that it’s working properly.
This is what it should look like with the outside knob securely in place.
Step #7: Attach Inside Door Knob
Now, it’s time to attach the inside door knob to the mounting plate.
- Flip your second knob over, you’ll see some grooves on the outer rim of the knob (they will fit into the grooves on the mounting plate).
- The way to double check yourself with these grooves, is to line up the hole on the side rim of the interior knob – with the metal ridge on the mounting plate.
Attach screw to secure and lock:
Simply place your door knob onto the mounting plate, and turn until it fits snuggly into place.
Once it is snug, grab your Allen wrench (L-shaped tool) and small screw, and secure it to the side rim of the knob handle.
Then take your pin lock, and secure it into the hole that is on the top rim of the knob handle.
TIP: Go ahead and check your lock WITH THE DOOR OPEN FIRST – to make for sure that it is working (push in to lock, then turn handle to unlock it).
I tried mine about 5 times before I actually checked it with the door closed – lol!!
Plus, you might want to make sure to check when someone else is home with you. 😉
Step #8: Replace Strike Plate
This is the easiest step – & thank goodness it’s the last one!!
You will simply remove the old strike plate, and replace it with the new one.
- (If it’s very similar to the old one, you don’t have to change it).
I definitely could have left my old strike plate in, and it would still have worked.
But since I wanted to do this post correctly, I decided to complete ALL OF IT!
YOU ARE DONE!!
I hope that you found some helpful tips so that the process wasn’t TOO painful for you!
Now, you’re a pro and can add it to your own handy-woman resume! BAM!
SHOP Door knobs:
Colors: Satin Nickel, Oil-Rubbed Bronze, Brass, Chrome
- Here – passage or dummy (privacy out of stock)
- Similar Here – privacy or privacy
- Similar here – passage or passage
Have a Great Week!!
Love & Hugs 🙂