Installing a door knob is a simple home repair task that no homeowner or handyman should shy away from. The process is quick, intuitive, and can be accomplished using a few common tools. Those who recently purchased a new door should learn this process, because while the door is modified and ready to accept a knob, that last step is often left to the homeowner. Others may just need to replace a worn or outdated knob or upgrade to one that is more stylish. Regardless, the task is one that should be undertaken without hesitation, no matter the comfort level with home improvement tasks. Those looking to install a new door knob should select a style that suits their home, acquire the right tools, remove the existing knob if necessary, and follow a few easy steps to install it and complete the process.
Select the Right Knob for the Room
There are many different types of door knobs, and while they all ultimately serve the same function, there are a couple key features that distinguish them. The very first step in installing a door knob is selecting a knob that is functional, durable, and aesthetically pleasing. The two main aspects that guide the selection process are the style and features of the doorknob, both of which are relative to the room in which it will be used and the material. Three of the most commonly used door knob types are keyed entry, privacy, and dummy door knobs. These knobs are typically made of either metal or glass.
As the name implies, these knobs have a built-in locking mechanism on both sides that requires a dedicated key to operate. Keyed entry door knobs should be installed on any door that leads into the house and on garage doors as well.
Privacy knobs are most common in bathrooms. They have a locking mechanism that can only be accessed from the inside, so there is no way to enter from another room if the door is locked.
Dummy Door Knobs
Also known as passage door knobs, dummy knobs lack any type of locking mechanism. These are most common on closets, hallway doors, and pantries, or any other entryway that does not need to be secured. These types of knobs are the most prevalent in the interior of the home, so the user can stock up on them if necessary.
Door Knob Material
Most doorknobs are made of metal, with the most prevalent types being brass, nickel and stainless steel. Some owners prefer glass knobs, and this material is typically used for bathrooms. Prices vary depending on the style and are increased significantly if the knob is an antique. More expensive and glamorous options include crystal and porcelain. Owners should look for the option that fits their budget as well as the style and colors of the home.
Acquire the Right Tools for the Job
In order to install a door knob, the owner will need a screwdriver, hammer, and a door knob assembly kit. A chisel is needed only if the new strike plate included in the assembly kit does not fit the existing opening in the door.
Remove the Existing Door Knob
If the door already has a knob, the owner can follow a few simple steps to prepare it for a new one. The first step is to loosen and remove the screws that are holding it in place, starting with the faceplate. The faceplate is the small section located on the width of the door, perpendicular to the actual knob. Then, using the same screwdriver, loosen and remove the two screws on the knob plate. These are usually located on the interior side of the door. If this process seems too difficult or cumbersome to complete with a screwdriver, a handheld power drill can be used instead. At this point, the door knobs are loose enough to pull away from both sides of the door.
Then, use the screwdriver to leverage the bolt mechanism, also known as the pawl or latch, out of the small hole on the width of the door. The last piece is the strike plate, or the piece on the door frame that has two squared edges and a rounded edge that faces out toward the entryway. Remove this piece, and the space is clear for a new knob.
Install the New Door Knob
Once the bored holes are cleared out, the owner can size up and assemble the new knob. This process is easily completed if the owner follows a few steps. To properly install the knob, the owner needs to size up the strike plate to the door frame, insert the bolt mechanism and screw down the face plate, insert and lock the door knobs, and screw in the strike plate.
Fit the Strike Plate
The strike plate needs to be flush with the opening in the door frame or else the door will not shut properly. If the new strike plate is too large for the existing cavity, the owner can simply use the chisel and hammer to carve out a larger space. Experienced carpenters and handymen could also use an electric router to accomplish this, but this is not necessary. A helpful direction for those using a hammer and chisel is to hold the strike plate against the door and trace the outside with a pencil before removing any wood. This ensures that an accurate shape is carved out. When the owner is confident that the plate will fit securely, they can set it aside and secure the door knob.
Insert and Secure the Bolt Mechanism
The first step in installing the actual knob is to insert the bolt mechanism into the side of the door and screw in the adjoining faceplate. The owner should make sure that the curved side of the bolt's tongue (or the metal piece that juts out and fits into the strike plate) is facing the direction the door closes. Once the bolt is fitted inside the hole, the faceplate can be screwed in. It is imperative to make sure the faceplate is completely level and flush with the cavity when fastening the screws.
Insert and Lock the Door Handles
The door knob itself consists of two handles that are inserted on either side of the door. The way in which the door handles are installed depends on the type of knob that was purchased. If it is a privacy knob, the locking mechanism must be installed on the interior side of the door. Those installing keyed and dummy knobs should notice that one of the two handles has a protruding square mechanism that fits perfectly into a square hole in the bolt. This piece goes in first. Then, the owner can center the other handle over the exposed prongs and push it into place. If this process is done slowly and with attention to detail, the pieces will fit together perfectly, and the faceplate should then be screwed in and secured to hold it all together.
Secure the Strike Plate
After the knob is secure, the owner should close the door gently and monitor the positioning of the protruding lock mechanism. If the lock fits right into the center of the opening in the door frame the strike plate is ready to be screwed in and secured. This is the final step of the process. If the door closes and shuts properly, the job is finished. If not, the strike plate may need to be unscrewed and adjusted slightly to fit.
Using eBay to Facilitate the Installation
Homeowners and handymen everywhere can look to eBay for the tools and parts necessary to complete this project. Hardware and home improvement stores can also service most basic door knob needs, but eBay allows the buyer to sort through thousands of knobs and accessories without ever leaving the comfort of home. Those wishing to use eBay to facilitate this job should learn how to search, sort results, and research the seller before making a purchase.
Sort Listings and Find the Right Item
After arriving at the eBay homepage, locate the Search bar and type in the desired item. You can refine the search results using the filters provided, such as price, condition, seller location. After finding the desired item, for example, a brushed nickel, keyed entry door knob, click on the blue hyperlinked text next to the item. This will bring you to a page where you can purchase the item.
Know the Seller
A buyer should get to know the seller before making a purchase on eBay. One way to do this is to see if other customers have left positive feedback on the seller's profile. When you have found the desired product, take a look at the seller's ratings and feedback on the right hand side of the page. You can find out which sellers have earned a solid track record and whether or not they ship items out quickly.
Installing a door knob is a quick and easy process that can be accomplished with a few simple tools, a steady hand, and a little patience. To prepare for this project, the owner should choose a door knob that fits their budget and matches the style of the home and any existing hardware. Then owners should remove the existing knob and prepare the door for a replacement. Removing the existing knob, if there is one, is a breeze if the owner remembers to unscrew the plates first and slowly remove the handles. Then, the strike plate should be fit into the frame and the lock mechanism secured into the door. After screwing in the handles and ensuring a proper fit, the owner is ready to enjoy the new hardware. Not only that, but this relatively painless process can also deliver some newfound security, privacy, and potentially, a brand new look to an entryway.