How To Install Door Knobs Without Holes | Step-by-Step Guide

If you’ve ever purchased a new doorknob only to find that your door doesn’t have the correct pre-drilled holes, don’t fret. Installing a knob on a door without the proper holes is easier than you may think. With some basic DIY skills and the right tools, you can drill new holes tailored to your hardware.DOOR-KNOB-7

In this article, we'll walk through the entire process step-by-step. You’ll learn how to remove old hardware, measure and mark new holes, drill pilot holes, install the knob and latch, and finish it off with a professional look.

What You'll Need

Before starting, make sure you have the necessary materials:

  1. Power drill with drill bits
  2. Tape measure
  3. Pencil
  4. Safety glasses and work gloves
  5. Door knob kit (latch, strike plate, knob, screws)
  6. Wood filler (optional)
  7. Paint/stain matching your door finish (optional)

But first we have provided you with some inspo before installing your new door knob


Burlington Westbourne Antique Brass Door Knob


Burlington Bloomsbury Polished Nickel Mortice Door Knob


Burlington Bloomsbury Satin Nickel Mortice Door Knob


Burlington Bloomsbury Satin Brass Door Knob & Matching Hardware


Valley Forge Octagonal Door Knob

Now, let’s get started with the installation.

Removing Old Hardware

If there is existing hardware on your door, take it off first. This gives you a clean surface for measuring and drilling new holes. Use a screwdriver to remove any current knob or latch. You may also need to take out old screws or door knockers.


Measuring and Marking

Next, measure where you want your new knob and latch to go. Most standard interior door knobs are centred 36” or 38” from the floor. Use your tape measure to find the centre point at your desired height. Mark spots for the knob hole and latch hole with a pencil. Outline the shape of the latch plate that will go on the door frame too.


Drilling Pilot Holes

Take your power drill and drill pilot holes into the marks you made. Using a small 1/8” bit first makes drilling easier. Drill straight holes about 1” deep into the door edge for the latch and into the door face for the knob and strike plate.


Enlarging the Holes

Switch to a larger bit that’s slightly smaller than your hardware screws. Enlarge the holes you pre-drilled to the necessary size. Check your knob instructions for the required hole diameters. Drill slowly to avoid damage.


Installing the Latch

Once your holes are drilled, it’s time to install the components. First, attach the latch to the edge of the door. Insert the latch tongue into the hole and use a screwdriver to secure it with the provided screws. Make sure the angled edge faces the direction the door closes.


Mounting the Strike Plate

Next, position the strike plate on the door frame. This is what the latch hooks into to close the door. Use a pencil to outline the plate. Remove it and drill holes for the screws. Then place the strike plate back and attach it with screws.


Inserting the Knob

Now you can finally mount the actual doorknob. Place the exterior knob through the hole from outside the door. On the inside, slide on the interior knob, followed by the mounting plate. Hole up the knob and align the screw holes. Attach both knobs securely using the included screws.

Testing Operation

Before finalising installation, test that your knob operates correctly. Close the door and ensure the latch engages fully into the strike plate. Lock the knob and verify the latch can’t be forced open. Open the door and check for smooth knob rotation.

Finishing Touches

If there are any gaps around the hardware, fill them with wood filler and let them dry. Use painter’s tape to cover the knob, then paint or stain the filler to match your door finish. Remove the tape and you have a seamless, professional look.

With the right process, a quality drill, and a bit of patience, installing a door knob without holes can be simple. Remember to double-check measurements, drill carefully, and test for smooth operation. Let the knob sit 24 hours before regular use to ensure maximum strength.

If your new hardware still feels loose or sticks, adjustments may be needed:

File the latch edge for a tighter door fit

Tighten knob screws further

Adjust strike plate placement

Don’t be intimidated to take on this project yourself. There is a huge sense of satisfaction when you turn an old boring door into a functional, stylish one!

Check us out! 

At Frelan Hardware we supply a wide range of door knobs which can be viewed on our page, whether you're searching for a modern, contemporary, classic, or even a futuristic handle, we have the perfect options for you, just click the button below. ⤵️

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