How to Install a Strike Plate for an Interior Door

Written by paul massey
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The strike plate in a doorway is a metal plate, with a centred hole and slightly curved edge, that helps to guide the latch bolt into the strike hole to securely hold the door closed. Mounting the strike plate is the final step when installing an interior door lockset. The standard procedure insures a proper fit of the strike plate in the jamb and the door latch in the strike.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • Hand square
  • Utility knife
  • Hammer
  • 3/4-inch wood chisel
  • Electric drill
  • 7/8-inch auger bit
  • Awl
  • Screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Close the door. Mark the vertical centerline where the latch bolt touches the door jamb.

  2. 2

    Measure the horizontal distance from the outer door edge to the flat vertical face of the lock latch, referred to as the "latch setback." Measure this same distance from the face of the door jamb toward the latch centerline marked in Step 1, and draw a line at this point. Use a hand square to extend both lines until they intersect.

  3. 3

    Hold the strike plate's face against the jamb. Align the centre point on the front edge of the strike plate's hole with the intersecting point marked in Step 2. Make certain the strike plate is square to the jamb, then outline the inside edge of the strike plate hole and the outer silhouette of the full plate with a sharp pencil.

  4. 4

    Extend the latch bolt height centerline marked in Step 1 to cross the outline of the strike plate hole. Measure and mark the horizontal centre point of the pencil outline. This is the centre point of the strike cup hole. For strikes with or without a metal cup component, the hole serves as space for the latch bolt behind the strike plate.

  5. 5

    Bore a 7/8-inch hole at the strike cup centre point defined in Step 4. For standard 3/4-inch interior jambs, bore through the jamb into the shim space (the space between the jamb and the wallboard). For heavier styles of interior jambs, bore to an approximate depth of 1 inch.

  6. 6

    Outline the strike plate on the jamb using a utility knife. Cut to a depth of about 1/8 inch or enough to sever the wood veneer surface.

  7. 7

    Mortise within the strike plate outline. To do this, use a wood chisel to cut to a level depth of about 1/8 inch, until the strike plate inserts to flush with the jamb surface.

  8. 8

    Set the strike plate into the mortise to check its fit, then use an awl to mark both of the strike plate screw hole centres.

  9. 9

    Place the strike plate over the metal cup and into the jamb mortise. Secure them both to the jamb with the two screws provided.

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