How to change a door handle

Whether you’re looking to upgrade a contemporary living space or are trying to recover the original feel of a period property, replacing door handles is a wonderful way to do so. An often overlooked detail, new door handles can help you customise your home, help tricky doors close and open more smoothly, and are the perfect finishing touch to your Renovations. If you’ve never changed the door handles before or need a reminder on how to do so, check out our guide below on how to change a door handle.

What types of door handles are there

There are all kinds of different types of handles available for you to choose from when changing your door handles. By no means an exhaustive list, here are some of the most popular and common styles available.

Door knobs

Most commonly spherical in shape, door knobs have been used for hundreds of years. Featuring a small round, hexagonal, or square handle, they are used to open latches by turning and can be paired with locks for extra security if needed. They come in a range of styles and designs from vintage styles for period homes to more modern designs for contemporary properties.

Pull handles

Pull handles are usually fitted to the outside of the door and are used to open doors that don’t have, or need, latches. D pull handles are ideal for internal doors that swing open and are available in all sorts of different shapes, sizes, and finishes. Flush pull handles on the other hand are installed on both sides of the door and are used to help open and close sliding doors. They can be paired with locks as well for extra security.

Lever handles

Lever handles are the most common types of door handles in a home. They feature either a flat plate or round ‘rose’ and a lever that comes out parallel to the door face which is used to turn the mechanism inside the door and open the latch. Both can be paired with locks for extra security.

How to change a door handle

No matter what kind of door handles you’re looking to install, the process for replacing your old ones is very similar.

What you’ll need:

● Screwdriver
● Drill
● Tape measure
● New door knob or handle

Step 1. Remove the old door handle

First, wedge your door open with a door stop to avoid it closing and swinging around. You then need to identify and remove the screws securing the current handle in place. These will usually be located on the cover plate or on the side of the handle itself. Find the screws and undo them using your screwdriver and your door knob should come loose.

Step 2. Take off the plate and remove the latch

To remove the plate from the door, there should be a small slot along one edge, narrow enough for a screwdriver. Insert your screwdriver into the slot and twist it to pop off the plate and expose the hole which houses the spindle of the latch. Remove the screws underneath the plate and unscrew the old latch, sliding it out. Then, unscrew the strike plate from the narrow edge of the door frame.

Step 3. Check the backset

The backset is the distance from the centre of the big hole where the spindle goes to the edge of the door. Measure it to check that your chosen replacement handle or knob will work with your existing backset.
The most popular backset size in the UK is 44.5mm and is ideal for lever handles; however, if you’re considering changing to a door knob, you will want to ensure the backset is longer to prevent your knuckles from grazing the doorframe when you go to use it. A backset of 57mm is common for these kinds of door knobs.

Step 4: Install your new handle

Next, insert the new latch into the edge of the door, and screw it into place by hand before tightening with a drill. Insert the half of the knob or handle with the spindle attached into the door first, sliding the peg into the latch mechanism, then slide the other half of the knob or handle into place before screwing everything together securely.

Step 5: Fill any gaps

You might find that you’re left with some gaps or imperfections after installing your new handle, especially if the backset length has changed by a lot. Fill any gaps and holes with wood filler and let it dry before sanding it down and adding paint to match the rest of your door. When everything is looking neat and tidy once more, replace the strike plate onto the edge of the door and you’re ready to admire your work! By changing the door handles in your home, you can instantly upgrade the look and feel of your space, as well as add a more personal touch to your decor. For even more ways to customise your space, check out our range of internal doors or invite guests into your abode with a beautifully welcoming new external door. Don’t forget to check out our help and advice centre for more ways to improve your home.

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