Upgrading A Door’s Hardware

by Darwin Hall

Rubbed Bronze Door Hardware

When purchasing a prehung interior door and many other kinds of doors, they come with brightly-colored gold brass hinges as the default finish on them.

The doorknob is usually purchased separately.

As you decide which kind of knob you’ll install on the door, most people choose a finish to match the existing hinges that came with the door.

So you end up with a door with all gold hardware, as the hinges come in a brass finish.  But you don’t have to settle for that.

It is really easy and simple to swap out the standard stuff and install new hardware, since you’ll have to buy new door knobs anyway.

This will only take you about 20 to 30 minutes per door to complete, after setting up the project.  You’ll need a separate area to put the door on sawhorses, once you remove it from the door jamb.

When shopping for the new hardware, most doorknobs are made to fit the existing holes of the door, as long as you are looking for a replacement specific to your door, for example, an interior closet doorknob will fit a closet door, and a exterior doorknob will usually fit an exterior front door.

Sometimes, you may have to slide a pin on the latch part so the knob will be exactly dead-center in the door hole.

For hinges, be sure to measure the size of the them for a replacement.  Most six-paneled doors require a 3 ½-inch wide hinge, but double check the one on your door.  Also, look at the old hinge itself.

Some hinges will have rounded corners, while other doors will require square hinges.  Some doors have two hinges, while others will have three.

See also:  How To Install A Pocket Door

Jot down the size of hinges and the amount of them that you’ll need.  Save money by purchasing them in two- or three-hinge packages.

Step 1

Remove the door from the jamb.  But first, I decided to clean this door before removal.  The hallway was recently painted and since the old paint on the door is in pretty good shape, wiping the surface with a mix of ¼ cup of bleach to a gallon of water is all I’ll need to do.

Once that task is completed, I proceeded to remove three screws on each hinge of the door-side with a cordless drill.

I like to remove the two bottom screws of each hinge first, then work my way from the bottom of the door up to the top, removing the remaining screws in each hinge.  Be sure to hold the door with the other freehand, or get a helper. Don’t damage the screw holes, or else you’ll have to make a repair to the jamb.

Step 2

With the old hinges still attached to the door jamb, I set the door on the sawhorses.  If the door seems a bit cumbersome, lift it by holding the door handle and the outer edge.

Black Door HingesEven hollow-core interior doors can be pretty darn heavy — so be careful.

Step 3

Install the new door hinges to the door with the screws provided.  Once inside the hinge mortise, it should close completely as you flip the hinge halves together.

That’s how you’ll know if you installed them correctly.  If the hinge only closes partially, you have it on wrong.  Do not over-tighten the screws.

Now, remove the old hinges from the jamb.

Step 4

Place the door into the jamb area.  Lift the door slightly to put a hinge plate in each hinge cut-out in the jamb.  Secure them with one screw at first in the tops of each hole, then fill in the remaining holes.

Step 5

Look to the latch side of the doorknob.  Remove the two small screws from the latch plate in the door jamb and discard.  Next, remove the doorknob with a Phillip’s screwdriver.

Use a screwdriver because your drill bit length may not be slender enough to reach the two long screws at the base of the plate holding the knob.  Remove the latch and slide it out from the side of the door.

Install the new latch and doorknob.  There is a pin located on the new latch that can be adjusted from  2 3/8 inch to 2 ¾ inch offset if the knob hole doesn’t line up correctly to receive the doorknob.  Use two small screws to secure the latch.

Install the side of the knob that has a protruding metal piece in the middle with two extended screw holes on each side of it.

Make sure everything lines up correctly; you can only install this one way.  To get the extended pieces to go through the latch, press the spring loaded latch into the door.

Install the last two long screws into the other side of the doorknob and check the door for proper opening and closing.

black door hinges and knobs

Tools You’ll Need:



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