How to properly install door knobs and levers.


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How to properly install door knobs and levers.

By monica.reedy

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

How to install a door lever

Here are all the steps you need to follow to properly install a door knob or lever in just a few minutes.



Updating your interior door knobs and levers is the perfect project to take on when every detail matters for your home. Coordinating a new style and finish with your lighting, plumbing and other décor is an easy way to give your home a finishing touch. And with the right durability and security, it also can help you protect what matters most. Fortunately, door hardware installation is one of the simplest DIY projects.


Before we get to the step-by-step guide, be sure your door is properly drilled and aligned with this door prep checklist.


Next, gather your door hardware installation tools. It’s simple – all you need is a tape measure and a screwdriver. Keep in mind that an electric drill is not recommended for installation as it can easily strip the screws and damage your hardware.

Woman installing door handle.

Door lock installation checklist

Now you're ready to get started installing your door knobs or levers. The first step is to ensure you have all the parts. Here's a checklist to help. If there are any terms you don’t understand, check out these definitions for parts of a door lock.

Parts of a door lock

 Outside housing: The "exterior" portion of your hardware with the spindle extending from the back

 Inside housing: The "interior" portion of your knob or lever. For privacy knobs and levers, you'll want to be sure the push-button lock is on the inside

 Latch: The spring-operated bolt with a beveled face to permit a latching action when the door closes

 Round drive-in faceplate: An optional faceplate that may replace the rectangular faceplate already attached to the latch if your door calls for it

 Strike plate: The metal plate that will be affixed to the door frame

 Short screws: Used to secure the latch and faceplate to the door

 Tapered long screws: Used to secure the inside housing to the outside housing

 Pin tool: Used only for installing lever door handles that are curved and may need to change handing


Door Knob and Lever Installation instructions

1You'll begin by preparing the latch.
door knob latchbolt

The latch comes with a pre-attached rectangular faceplate. If you’re using the rectangular faceplate, continue to Step 2 now.


If you need to replace it with a round drive-in faceplate, follow steps a-c below. You'll need a flat head screwdriver, hammer and block of wood with this setup.

a. Remove faceplate by gently prying it away from the rest of the latch component with a flat head screwdriver.


b. Twist and remove remaining support plate.


c. Install round drive-in faceplate with just a snap.


2Now we install the latch. If you're using the standard rectangular faceplate, slide the latch into place with the bevel facing the doorjamb and secure with the two short screws.
How to install a door knob

If you’re using the drive-in faceplate, slide the latch into the latch bore with the bevel facing the doorjamb. Gently tap it in to place, using a block of wood to protect the latch, until the faceplate is flush with the door edge.


Installing round faceplate latch

3Next, you'll install the strike plate on the doorjamb using the two short wood screws.
Door strike plate

4Begin installing the lever or knob by placing the outside housing first. Remember, this is the part with the spindle extending from the back. If you're installing a lever, you'll want to make sure the lever is pointing away from the door edge.
Lever and door knob installation

5Align the spindle with the slot in the latch and slide into place.
Door lock installation

6Now install the inside housing. If you're installing a lever, orient the lever just as you did with the outside housing, pointing away from the edge of the door. 

7With the screw holes in a vertical position, align the square in the back of the door knob or lever with the square spindle. Slide the inside housing into place.
Door knob installation

8Secure with the two remaining screws.
How to install a door lock

To see all these steps in action as well as how to change the handing and test your lock, watch our installation video below. You can also try these interactive instructions for installing privacy and passage door hardware.


Find more videos for installing a deadbolt, front door handleset or smart lock at the Schlage How-To Center.