A constructor mounting a door handle

Replacing old door hardware is a simple and cost-effective way to enhance the style of any room. While old-style door handles can give a certain pizzazz to a traditional aesthetic, they do not fit every style.

Still, not all of us wish to live in a traditional home with antique door handles. Minimalism, and all of its variations, have been a popular go-to for homeowners when redesigning their living space. And the devil is in the details - in this case, we are talking about interior door knobs and levers.

DIY door handle ideas are all over the internet. But, you will need to know how to change door handles in order to try your hand at those DIY projects. We are here to help!

Saying Goodbye to Old Door Handles

A broken door handle, an old-style door knob, or simply just outdated (old) handles can be both annoying and an eye sore. Functionality comes first, but that does not mean we need to leave style in the gutter.

Installing door hardware on your own does not need to be a daunting task. Giving up is not an option. Finding the perfect door knob replacement for your interior doors is just the first task. But, don't worry, Discount Hardware Direct is here to guide you through the entire process.

Choosing the Right New Door Hardware

Finding door knobs for older doors is not difficult. The "door handle market" has different variations available for versatile aesthetics for interior door handle replacement choices. Looking at a door without a handle is just not the same.

Still, you need to find the best interior door handles for your style. Whether those are circular door handles, a shallow door knob, or a modern door lever design is up to you, but there are a couple of things to consider before spending your hard-earned money.

Door Lever vs Door Knob Guide

Firstly, choosing between door knobs and levers is crucial. This time, it's not just about aesthetics. A door knob might fit the interior design better, but functionality-wise it can cause problems. The same goes for door levels.

For people with mobility problems, interior door knobs are hard to handle. They are not as easy to turn as door levers are. However, if you might want more privacy and keep your lets out of certain rooms (yes, they can learn how to open doors with lever handles - just ask my dog), a knob is a better idea.

Yet, this is just the gist of the entire door knob vs door lever debate. You can learn more about it in our other detailed blog post. Maybe it will help you choose which is the better choice for you.

Door Handle Orientation

Lever door handles for interior doors are specific. They need to match the door's opening. If you wish to replace the door knob with a handle, checking if the door is right- or left-handed is important.

It all depends on where the hinges are located. When the door hinges hold the door up on the right side, a right-handed door handle is needed. On the other hand, hinges located on the left side require left-sided interior door levers.

Therefore, check your doors before you want to replace interior door handle levers.

Strike plate and door handle

Door Handle Style

When replacing antique door knobs with modern ones, there are multiple designs we can consider. From unique shapes and sizes and stunningly shiny finishes to more simple door handles and classical door handle designs and matt finishes, you are sure to find the perfect one when changing interior door knobs and handles.

Door Handles with Locks

Even cheap door handles can come with locks. Sometimes installing a door knob with a lock is necessary. We all value our privacy. It all depends on where you are replacing door knobs on old doors.

If you are in need of a lock, when shopping for a new door knob, look for privacy or keyed options. These give you the option to lock either one or both sides of the door securely, keeping everything safe.

Are Door Knobs Universal?

Door handle sizes vary. While a lot of modern handles are manufactured with standard sizing, not all of them are the same. Therefore measuring the door handle size, door hole size, as well as door thickness is important before purchasing replacement door handles.

Door Handle Diagram

When discussing the parts of a door handle, it is important to note that door knobs and door levers are not completely identical. When replacing door handles on old doors, we need to know what we are dealing with. So, what is inside of a door knob?

Check out this diagram of a door knob and a door lever to see the difference:

 door hardware diagram (door knob + door lever)

Door Hardware Replacement

Removing a door knob and mounting a new one is a quick way to brighten up a room's style. Every room door handle provides a small detail that brings the full aesthetic together. Therefore, learning to replace door hardware is a useful skill.

No matter if we are dealing with a single-side door handle, an interior privacy door knob, or a door handle with no screws, this skill will be able to save you a couple of dollars when problems arise. Or if you simply wish to change up the beauty of each room.

Is It Easy to Change Door Knobs?

Replacing door hardware is not a difficult task and it can become a simple DIY project. Let's say you wish to change the bedroom door handle, replacing a door knob can be done without hiring a professional. However, you will need to make sure the measure the door and purchase the correct door handle. If this is done, replacing old-style door knobs (without screws) can be easily done.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Door Handle?

The cost to replace door handle models usually ranges between $75 and $150. This is a wide range as the difficulty of replacing an interior door handle greatly changes depending on versatile factors. Usually, the installation complexity, the project size, location, and many other factors are calculated into the cost.

Tools Needed for Changing Door Knobs

As with any project, changing door hardware also requires specific tools. Otherwise, removing old door handles will become a complicated and lengthy process. So, save yourself the headache and adequately prepare for installing a new door handle.

Door Handle Removal Tools

Door knob removal is easy if you have the following tools:

  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • New door knobs for old doors
  • Screws for new door knobs (usually included)
  • A measuring tape

How to Measure Door Knob Size?

In most cases, a standard door knob size is the perfect fit for our interior doors. But, to know that, we need to know how to measure door knobs.

There are three measurements needed when installing new door knob models. They are:

  • Bore hole - The diameter of the bore hole, measured at the widest point of the hole.
  • Backset - The space between the door's edge and bore hole, measured from the hole's center to the edge of the door
  • Door thickness - How thick the door is, measured from the right to the left edge of the door

Are All Door Handles the Same Size?

While most homes and commercial buildings have standard door hardware mounted, not all door knobs and levers are of the same size. With this, the length of the lever is not the only part measured. But the bore hole, backset, and door thickness will determine the door handle size you will need.

How to Remove a Door Handle?

When it comes to internal door knobs, learning how to take off old door knobs is important. That is if you do not want to pay the interior door knob installation cost. Changing a door handle is not difficult!

Well, it is not difficult if you know how to change door handle levers or knobs.

Removing a door knob

How to Take off an Old Door Knob?

Changing door handles involves a couple of steps, but all in all, it can be a relatively easy DIY project. A safe handle replacement involves using the correct tools, like a door knob screwdriver or two.

With small door handles you will be able to see the screws holding it in place. If the screws are hidden, don't worry, we will cover that in the next section. But, let's focus on how to get a door handle off first.

Step 1: The Strike Plate

The strike plate or strike place is the part that is screwed into the door frame. You will get access to it by opening the door. Using a screwdriver, you will be able to loosen up the plate and remove it from the door.

Step 2: Removing Old Door Knobs

Open the door and use a door stopper to keep it in place. This will make sure no mistakes happen and you are not stuck in the room without a door handle. Now, when it comes to door handle installations, they usually have the screws facing the room, so look for them on that side.

Changing a door knob starts with removing its screws using a Phillips screwdriver. It will take some force and pushing, as door handles are usually tightened well. Once the screws are out, wiggle the door knob off on both sides of the door. They should come off without issue.

Step 3: The Latch

The next step in changing out door knobs is to remove the old latch, that is... if you wish to change the latch as well.

With a circular door handle, removing old door knob latches can be done by using a screwdriver to push it out, through the door's side. However, for lever handle latches, you will need to remove the screws holding the latch in place. These screws hold both the latch and the locking mechanism in place.

How to Remove a Door Knob With No Screws?

Sometimes, no screws or slots are visible on your door handle. In these cases, you will need to know how to take off door knob covers.

When you wish to remove a door knob with no screws or slot visible, you will need a paperclip. At the neck of the knob, there should be a tiny hole. If there is not a small screw in it, then use a straightened paperclip, push into the hole, and gently pull on the door handle.

After this, you will need a flat-headed screwdriver for door knobs to wedge between the door handle cover plate and the plate covering the hidden screws. Remove the door knob faceplate on both sides to give you access to the hidden screws and it will allow you to safely remove the door handle.

How to Install a Door Handle?

Whether you wish to replace antique door hardware or are just replacing door knobs with handles, the next step is to install a new door handle.

Step 1: Strike Plate

It is possible that you will need to change the style of the strike plate you will use. Two variations are possible: a circular plate and a rectangular plate. If you need this step, make sure to choose the correct one, and change the latch's cover plate as well.

Use the wood screws provided with the door handle package to attach the strike plate back onto the door frame.

Strike plate types

Step 2: The Latch

The new latch needs to be slid into the door. Now, depending on the previously mentioned cover plate, there are two ways to go about securing it.

A circular latch cover just needs to be tightly pushed into the hole. You won't need to use screws in this case. On the other hand, a rectangular latch cover needs to be secured with two wood screws. Still, neither option is overly complicated, just make sure its rounded part is facing the door jamb when the door is closed.

Step 3: Attach the New Handle

If possible, have someone helping you at this stage as it can get complicated. Make sure the door is held steadily and align the handle with the spindle, which is pulled through the door hole and the latch. This is to prevent misalignment in the future.

Use the spindle to slide the new handles or knobs into place and test them. If the handles seem to be working as they should, add the cover plater and secure everything to the door with screws.

How to Install a Door Knob With Hidden Screws?

When you want to replace a door knob that has no visible screws, just follow the above-mentioned steps. Installing such door knobs and levers is the same, add the latch, the spindle, and the handles. The only difference is that the screws are hidden under the door handle safety cover.

When everything is secured in place with your simple door handle, slide the cover over the handle and click it in place.

How to Make a Door Hole Bigger?

Replacing interior door knobs can come with difficulties. One such problem might be that the hole size for door knob placement you had previously is smaller than what you need. Still, you don't need to skip out on nice door handles.

In order to install door hardware that is of a larger size, the bore hole will often need to be bigger. The previous door handle hole size can be widened with a simple method.

Drilling a Bigger Bore Hole

Before installing a new door knob, the bore hole needs to be fixed. In order to do this safely, without damaging the interior door, a drill will be needed. Using two pieces of plywood, mark the backset on the scrap plywood, and drill through the markings to create the new size of the door knob hole. Secure them to the two sides of the door. Make sure the plywoods align with the door's original hole.

In most cases, the original door knob sizes hole will only be slightly smaller than necessary. Using the drill and the plywood mold you created, drill through the door on both sides. This way you will safely work with a DIY door replacement.

Buy Replacement Door Knobs at Discount Hardware Direct

Keep your door knob replacement cost low by purchasing good-quality aftermarket door handle options at Discount Hardware Direct. Find the perfect replacement door handle for your home, as both door knobs and levers are available for sale on our website.

Whether you are dealing with a broken door knob or are just updating door knobs around your home, we have you covered. Changing door handles has never been easier. All our products come with the small screws for door handles, which are necessary for installation.

How Much Does a Door Handle Cost?

The price of new door knobs differs greatly. It depends on the style and door knob dimensions you need. Fancier door knobs for old houses tend to be on the pricey side, while modern silver, black, or white interior door handle options can start as low as $6.50/handle. But, the style, size, and functionality will greatly affect door handle prices.


How to Tighten a Door Handle?

In order to fix a loose door handle, its screws need to be tightened and changed. If the screws are visible (they pass through the door faceplate cover), they need to be passed through the faceplate and into the door knob assembly. Ensure the door knob parts are aligned correctly and tighten the screws. When the screws are hidden, the faceplate will need to be removed first.

How Big Is the Hole for a Door Knob?

The standard door knob hole size is 2 1/8" in diameter. Additionally, there is a smaller cross bore (1" in diameter) that starts at the edge of the door and connects to the door handle bore hole. However, the interior door knob hole size can differ. It is possible that you will find the door knob hole too big or too small when replacing door handles.

How To Tell If You Need a Left or Right Door Handle?

When replacing old door knobs with new ones, it is important to purchase the correct door lever. Whether you need left or right handles for doors is easy to determine. Stand in front of the door. If the door hinge is on the right side, you will need a right-handed door handle replacement. If the hinges are on the left, you should look at left-handed handles for interior doors.