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How to Install Locks & Handles in a Bathroom

Updated April 17, 2017

You can get a handle on the hardware situation in your bathroom by installing new locks and handles. It doesn’t take much to remove and install door hardware, and it can make a big difference in updating the look of your lavatory.

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  1. Remove the existing doorknob by loosening the screws on the cover. Place the latch cover on the edge of the door and make sure it’s centred over the hole in the door and that it lays flush with the edge of the door. Outline the latch cover with a pencil if it doesn’t lay flat.

  2. Remove the wood inside the outline with a chisel and hammer. Check the depth by inserting the latch plate in the area you’ve just chiselled out and make sure it lays flush with the edge of the door.

  3. Screw the latch into the edge of the door using the wood screws provided with the hardware.

  4. Put both halves of the doorknob or lever in place, with the interior side facing you and the exterior side on the other side of the door (particularly important if you're installing a locking lever or knob). Slide the two halves together, joining the metal parts (stems) on each piece. If you're installing a door knob or lever that locks, properly line up the locking mechanism (the long tip that comes through the centre of the face hole).

  5. Screw both halves together (with the door in between) using the long screws provided with the hardware.

  6. Remove the old striker plate and install the new one on the doorjamb (the framed edge on the wall the door closes into) if the door doesn’t close completely using the old striker plate. Test the door and the lock to make sure they are functioning properly.

  7. Tip

    The latch plate should line up flush with the edge of the door so the door will close properly. Use a sharpened chisel. Some levers and door locks must be installed with a certain side up, so follow the instructions included with your hardware.


    Always wear safety glasses when using a chisel, hammer or drill.

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Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver or drill
  • Safety glasses
  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Pencil

About the Author

Based in California, Tracie Grimes began writing in the medical field in 1984. She has since expanded her areas of expertise to include DIY projects, parenting and craft articles. She is a monthly contributor to "Kern County Family Magazine" and "Bakersfield Magazine," with work also appearing in parenting magazines across the United States. Grimes received her bachelor's degree in journalism from Northern Arizona University.

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