You've completed your door installation and the final touch is installing the door knob or handle. Maybe you just want to replace a knob with a new one. When using a handle, be sure it is a universal handle for both left and right hand doors, or be sure to purchase the correct hand. If not, it will not fit properly. Nothing bugs me more than seeing a door handle installed upside down, because the wrong handle was purchased.

Start by inserting the backset (latch) into the door with the rounded edge facing the latch hole. You may need to tap it slightly with a hammer to get it to seat properly. The door may already have a mortise for a face plate on the latch. If it does, use the 3/4" screws to secure the latch to the door. Also, be sure to adjust the latch for the backset depth. Interior doors are normally 2-3/8" and exterior doors are normally 2-3/4" depth. Check the instructions that came with the knob on how to adjust the backset size. Most knobs now have adjustable backset to accommodate both sizes.

Once the latch is in and secured,  it's time to insert the knob through the backset and screw it together. Be sure to insert the stem from the handle correctly into the latch. This is vital to proper operation of the knob. Now that everything is aligned and the knob is fitted against the door, screw it together with the screws provided.  Be careful not to over tighten the screws as this can hamper the operation of the knob.

Close the door to see how tight the latch fits in the latch hole. If it fits loosely, place the latch plate slightly back in the hole. If it fits snugly, then move the latch all the way forward to the front of the hole. Minor adjustment may need to be made as you check the fit.


Visit our vidoes in the tech corner:  How to Remove a door knob, Removing an interior door

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