Door knobs may not sound like an important style item in your home, but sometimes it's these little often-overlooked details can make all the difference. The doors in my home came outfitted with polished brass knobs that looked like they'd already seen over a million hands over the years. They were worn, outdated, damaged, and the brass style really didn't help the overall look of our home. All of our kitchen appliances and bathroom accessories were satin nickel, and I had just ordered new satin nickel kitchen and bathroom faucets, so it was definitely time for the door knobs to change, too.
Now that I had my new knobs, all that was left to do was install them. Here's how:
Here is my pantry door knob in all of its bright, brassy, scratched, corroded, and dented glory. It may be hard to tell from the picture, but the knobs were an absolute mess.
STEP 1:Remove the old knob.
If you have knobs with visible screws, this step is pretty simple. My knobs had no screws, so approaching this step was a little mystifying. After a few minutes of investigation, I realized that one of the knobs had a tiny button on the side, about the size of the head of a flat head screwdriver. I pushed a screwdriver in and pulled the knob toward myself. Pop. Off it came.
STEP 2: Remove the disk.
Next I had to remove the faceplate that covered the screw holes. I found a tiny notch on one of the sides (again, about the size of the head of a screwdriver) and pried the covering off pretty easily.
STEP 3: Unscrew.
Now that the central components of the knob are exposed, you can take a screwdriver (this time a phillip's head) and remove the screws that hold the two sides together.
STEP 4: Remove the opposite knob.
Once the screws are removed, the other side should fall off pretty easily. Depending on how old your knobs are, you may need to wiggle it a little to get the sticky pins inside free.
STEP 5: Pop out the latch.
If the face of your latch has a faceplate, unscrew that first. As you can see above, mine did not have a facplate to remove. With your hands or a screwdriver, pop the interior latch out by applying some force toward the door edge. You should be able to pop it right out with minimal effort.
STEP 6: Insert new latch.
Take the new latch and put it in the door exactly as you removed the old one. Depending on how the new latch is assembled, you may need to add or remove the faceplate first.
STEP 7: Affix both sides of new knobs.
My new door knobs were the visible screw type, so I had to go about installing them differently than the old knobs were configured. An important note here is to make sure you have the latch facing in the right direction. Unfortunately, I did not and installed it backwards. You want to make sure that the flat side of the latch is facing the direction that the door opens, so that the curved side allows the door to be shut without turning, while the flat side prevents it from opening. Learn from my mistake!
STEP 8: Screw sides together.
Line both sides of your new knob together so that the screws match up. Screw them together tightly.
STEP 9: Remove door frame faceplate.
With a screwdriver, remove the old latch faceplate from the door frame. Now that you've got all of your old door knob elements removed, it's a good idea to save all the pieces in a zip-top bag in case you want to keep them, sell them, or donate them.
STEP 10: Attach new door frame faceplate.
Your new door knob set will most likely come with several of these faceplates, so make sure you choose the style and shape that matches the notch in your door frame. If your door frame is a little off or the faceplate doesn't quite fit, a little sandpaper might do the trick.
So here we are - a new door knob, latch, and faceplate for the frame... all of which in a shiny satin nickel to match my stainless steel kitchen fixtures. For just over $20 and 5 minutes time, it really has made a big difference in my kitchen. I'm happy with the overall look, and I can't wait to see how they'll look next to my new kitchen sink faucet. Stay tuned for my adventures in plumbing!