Some people may consider replacing doorknobs because they have deteriorated and become challenging to use. It is possible to replace a doorknob with a new one.
If you are thinking, “I want to replace my doorknob because it’s not working well lately,” or “I want a more convenient doorknob, but what kind do I need?” What kind of doorknobs are available?
There are many doorknobs other than the standard grip ball and handlebar, but some require care in repair or replacement, and some require replacing the entire door, so you need to be careful in your selection.
This article will explain the types of doorknobs, their structures, and the involved in replacing them. The points to check in advance are how to select a doorknob and how to replace a doorknob.
How to Replace a Malfunctioning Doorknob
When a doorknob malfunctions, there are cases in which only the doorknob needs to be replaced and other cases in which the door itself must be replaced. Even when only the doorknob needs to be replaced, there are cases in which DIY is possible and cases in which a contractor is required to replace the doorknob.
Let’s take a closer look at how to replace a doorknob and points to keep in mind.
(1) Doorknobs that are easy to replace by DIY
Grip-ball type doorknobs and doorknobs for indoor doors are doorknobs that are easy to replace by DIY. If the size and type of doorknob are the same, they can be replaced simply by removing and replacing the existing doorknob.
If the door knobs are the same shape and made by the same manufacturer, it is relatively easy to replace them. However, if the type and size of locks are different, a DIY replacement will be more difficult.
(2) Procedure for replacing a doorknob
- Unscrew the existing doorknob and remove the doorknob
- Remove the screws from the metal plate (front) on the side of the door, and pull out the latch case from the door.
- Insert the new latch case into the door, secure the front with screws, and insert the door knob.
- Insert and secure the inner and outer door knobs, and turn the knob to check if the latch moves.
(3) Points to keep in mind when doing DIY
There are several precautions to be taken when replacing a doorknob. First, remember to prepare military gloves to avoid injury. It is also a good idea to prepare rust inhibitors and other tools in addition to the tools so that the replaced door knob parts will work smoothly.
Doorknobs with latch cases of different sizes or shapes may not be able to be replaced because of the space on the door side or the position of the holes. Also, complicated locks such as electronic ones may require electrical wiring and are unsuitable for DIY.
Depending on the type of doorknob you want to replace, some cannot be installed on an existing door, and in some cases, the entire door may have to be replaced.
One thing to remember when replacing doors is that they are in apartment complexes. In many cases, the exterior of condominiums and apartments are designed to include the doors, and replacing doorknobs and doors requires permission from the management association, which may prohibit the replacement itself in the first place.
Some doorknobs can be DIY, but if the entire front door is to be replaced or if the lock is difficult to install, it is recommended to ask the door manufacturer or a remodelling company for help in terms of security.
How to Find Out the Type of Doorknob for Your Home
The information needed to replace a doorknob is the make and model number of the doorknob used and the doorknob size. Let’s look at how to find out each of this information.
(1) How to find out the manufacturer of a doorknob
The model number and manufacturer of the doorknob can be found on the side of the door. The manufacturer and model number are written on the metal plate (front) where the metal fittings called a latch are fixed, so open the door and look.
When you open the door like this, the part that sticks out is the latch, and the front is what holds it to the door.
(2) Sizes to look into for door knob replacement
The doorknobs that can be used are limited to the same size as your current doorknob. Therefore, before replacing a door knob, check the following five sizes.
The thickness of the door affects the choice of the latch case that houses the latch.
The width of the front metal part is related to the size of the latch case.
The height of the front metal part is related to the size of the latch case.
Location of screws
If the position of the screws to fix the front is different, it is necessary to drill new holes.
The distance from the center of the doorknob to the front. Door knobs with different backsets cannot be installed.
As a precondition, you can only replace a knob with one that falls within the acceptable range of these five values. When hiring a remodelling company, these values are also required in the preliminary estimate, so it is a good idea to look them up when you think, “I want to replace the doorknob.
Types of Doorknobs
There are six widely used types of door knobs. There are knobs of different shapes other than those introduced here, so please consult your remodelling company about knobs not described here.
(1) Throne and grip ball
This type of door knob is turned by gripping a spherical knob. In the case of the front doors of some older houses, the key cylinder and the knob are integrated into a single unit. This type of doorknob is probably the one most commonly associated with the word “doorknob.
Since the grip ball has a relatively simple structure for a knob, it is also a doorknob that is easy to replace as a DIY project.
(2) Lever Handle Lock
This type of doorknob is opened and closed by pushing down a lever. Some have a key cylinder integrated with the lever, while others have a separate key cylinder.
Because they are easier to open than grip locks, they are increasingly used as a barrier-free measure. Currently, they are becoming the mainstream door knobs. High-security types equipped with fingerprint authentication and other functions are now available, and a wide variety of multifunctional types exist.
(3) Push-pull locks
This door knob is opened by pushing or pulling the entire bar. This type of door knob is often used for front doors like lever handle locks.
A key is attached to the top and bottom of the door bar, and electronic locks equipped with a fingerprint sensor are often used for high-end entrance doors.
(4) Thumb latch lock
This door knob is opened by pulling down a small lever on the door bar with the thumb. Because of its retro design and luxurious feel, this type of lock is often used on high-end entrance doors.
(5) Indicator locks
A lock with a small window that shows whether it is locked or not. Usually, red means locked, and blue means unlocked. Locks are often used in conference rooms, office restrooms, and other places where it is necessary to share the status of use, but they are also sometimes used in residential restrooms.
Examples of Door Knob Replacement Remodeling
Let’s look at some examples of remodelling in which door knobs were replaced. Many remodelling projects include not only knobs but also doors.
(1) Replacing an old door and eliminating a problem with the doorknob
The paint on the door was peeling, and the doorknob was defective, so we decided to replace the doorknob and the door itself.
Before: The paint peels from the edges after years of opening and closing the door. The doorknob was also defective.
After: The entire atmosphere of the door was changed by replacing it with a new one. The doorknob has been replaced with a lever handle instead of a grip, making it easier to open.
Case Details: Fixture Replacement Renovation
(2) Replacing the doorknob with a key to improve security
When the broken glass door at the kitchen door was repaired, the doorknob was also replaced. By replacing a doorknob with a key, we can feel secure in terms of security.
Before: The door had thermal cracks due to years of use. There was no screen door, and it was difficult to change the air because insects came in from outside.
After: The glass was newly replaced. The knob now has a key, so the security has improved. A screen door was also installed, so ventilation is safe.
Case Details: Replacement of glass and doorknob for the kitchen door, installation of the screen door
(3) Easy entry and exit with the remote control key
This is a remodelling of a front door where the doorknob has become rusty with age. Instead of replacing only the doorknob, the door was replaced with a door equipped with a remote control key in conjunction with the interior renovation.
Before: The large front door with a single sleeve had rusting doorknobs and other problems due to age-related deterioration.
After: The front door was remodelled to a parent-child door. The door was made more convenient by using a remote control key that allows the door to be opened and closed with the touch of a button even when hands are occupied.
Case Details: Remodeling the front door in one day with a remote-controlled key for even greater convenience.
(4) Replacing a defective door knob with a whole door
The front door knob was faulty, so the door itself was renewed along with replacing the doorknob. The door was replaced with a new type that can be used with a remote-control key.
Before: This was a standard front door with a lever handle type knob, but the knob had become defective due to aging.
After: The soft wood-grained door was equipped with a push-pull lock and a remote control key, making it a high-tech and convenient entrance.
Case Details: Entrance door replacement
(5) Door remodelling triggered by a broken doorknob
The front door was renewed after the doorknob broke down. By replacing the door with a father-and-son door, the door became larger, creating a brighter entrance with a new image.
Before: The front door had a glass window for light on the side and top of the door. The knob was broken, making it difficult to open and close.
After: By eliminating the railing and replacing it with a high-type parent-child door, the gutter was widened, and the appearance was refreshed. The slit glass allows the light to get in well.
Case Details: The failure of the doorknob was the catalyst for renovation.
Consider Replacing the Door Along With the Doorknob
Since doorknobs are used frequently in daily life, they tend to deteriorate over time. You may often consider replacing them when you feel a problem. However, there are many cases where the desired doorknob and door do not match.
If, in addition, you wish to change the atmosphere of your entrance or replace the knob with a highly functional knob that was not available when the door was installed, you may want to consider replacing the door itself.