How to install a door latch
Replacing a door latch is not as impossible as it sounds. In fact, it is quite easy to install a new latch or replace an old one. With the right tools, installing a door latch is quite easy. This guide is about installing a door latch that has a mortise place attached. The mortise plate holds the latch tightly with screws which makes it secure. This 6-step guide will help you attach a door latch with a mortise place to a new door.
- Marking the perimeter
Hold the latch, or the mortise plate, up against the edge of the door. It should be centered properly, on the cross bore hole. You can then made a perimeter with a pencil. Now you will know exactly where to carve the wood out of the door so that the mortise plate fits flat and flush against the surface. If not, the door will probably not close properly or at all. Also, it will not look good protruding from the surface. Use a sharp pencil or you could end making a hole that is too big and won’t look good when it is complete.
- Cleaning out the center
Do this using a sharpened chisel. The end result is going to be much cleaner and the task will be far easier with a sharp chisel than with a blunt one. First, mark a notch with the chisel on the perimeter of the area. This will make the area that has to be removed much clearer. Do not skip this step otherwise you will most probably end removing material past the area you have market. This will not look clean or professional at the end.
- Cleaning out the interior of the perimeter
Using the chisel, start cleaning out the interior of the perimeter. Again, make sure the chisel is sharpened so everything is neat. You should chisel the door surface according to the brand and type of latch you will be installing.
- Make sure the depth is correct
While you chisel out the area you will have to check and make sure the depth is correct, several times. It may feel a bit annoying at first but you need to be careful you’re not doing chiseling away too much.
- Installing the latch
For this part you need to make sure that the curved part of the latch strikes the jamb, or the area of the strike plate. For that you need to place the curved end of the latch carefully. It is a step that many people make mistakes with. It is not such a big deal but if you mess this up you will have to everything apart and start all over again.
- Secure the latch with screws
Drive the screws in using a screw driver and secure the latch. Once this is done, you can install the door hardware itself.