How to replace or fix a doorknob

Repairing or Replacing a Doorknob

Just as new knobs can give a kitchen a brand-new look, door knobs can really update the feel and look of your home. Are your doorknobs in good shape? Could they use a little updating? Are they lose or malfunctioning? If your doorknobs are dingy, you will be surprised at how simply changing them can really add to the look, feel, and cleanliness of your home.

Doorknobs are not too expensive and relatively easy to install. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and locking mechanisms. If you are changing out an old door knob, make sure your replacement is the same size. Most doorknobs are standard and interchangeable, but you want to make sure.

Essentially, you can approach replacing or fixing a door knob in the same way. Typically, if your doorknob is loose or is in need of repair, you can simply replace the whole thing, or you can take it apart and tighten it up. Either way, the steps will be the same.

How to replace or fix a doorknob:

Out with the old:

1. Take the old doorknob out of the door by first removing the trim (the metal ring on the door surrounding the knob). Using a screwdriver, unscrew the two screws that hold the trim to the door. If the trim does not come off when you unscrew it, you may need to use a scraper or flat-head screwdriver to ease it off.

2. Next remove the two screws on either side of the door knob mechanism. These are what hold the mechanism (and the two doorknobs) together.

3. Take a good look at how the doorknobs come apart. This will help when you install the new ones.

4. Take the old doorknobs out and set them aside.

5. You will be left with just the bolt (or the locking mechanism). Remove the two screws that hold this in the door, and remove the bolt.

6. Does the strike plate also need to be replaced? Take a look at it. If it’s in good shape (and matches the color of the new doorknob) then keep it. If not, remove the two screws that hold it to the doorjamb and set it aside.

In with the new:

1. Take the bolt section and place it into the opening. Doorknob bolts have one side that is slanted. Make sure the slanted side faces the direction in which the door closes.

2. Screw in the bolt section with the screws provided.

3. You should have two doorknobs and two trims. Take the first trim and put it up to the door, covering the bolt section.

4. Take one of the doorknobs (the one with the mechanism that fits in the bolt—usually a square hole) and put it through the trim and the bolt.

5. Take the other doorknob and trim piece and put it on the other side of the door. Make sure you align these correctly. Remember the two long screws you took out of the old doorknob? Well, this one needs those too, so make sure they all line up.

6. Put in the long screws. Begin to tighten each just a little; going back and forth between both sides to make sure that the knob is coming together evenly.

7. You will now need to put the strike plate onto the door jamb.

Strike plate:

1. Take a pencil and mark up the end of the bolt.

2. Close the door and turn the handle so that the bolt gently hits the doorjamb. Repeat this a few times.

3. This should leave a mark on the doorjamb. The mark will show you where you need to place the strike plate. You may need to use a chisel to adjust the previous hole.

4. Place the strike plate in the correct area, and attach it with the screws provided.

5. Test the lock a few times from both the inside and the outside to ensure that it has been assembled properly. Adjustments may need to be made.

6. If the strike plate seems loose, you may need to buy longer screws to get a tighter fit.


When you take apart your old doorknob, keep all the pieces together or even reassemble them. Having this as a reference when you put in your new doorknob will be really helpful.
Have patience. Doorknobs have a lot of tiny little pieces, which can disappear and cause contusion, so go slow. You’ll do just fine!

How to replace grout or a broken tile

How to replace grout:

1. Scrape out the existing grout with a chisel or small putty knife and a small hammer, or simply a utility knife. Be careful not to tap too hard and chip the surrounding tile.

2 Clean the area with a vacuum to remove excess sand, dust, and debris.

3. Run your hand over the grout. Does is feel smooth or a little rough? If it’s smooth, you will need to buy unsanded grout. If it is a little rough, you will need to buy sanded grout. Take a piece of the grout with you to the hardware store to match the color. You only need to buy a small bag or box of grout for small repair jobs. Buy the smallest one you can find.

4. Mix up the grout according to the directions on the back of the bag or box.

5. Take your float, load it with grout and spread grout over the repair area, making sure to push it down into the gap.

6. Scrape away all excess grout by holding your float on its side or at an angle, making sure the grout is smooth and even, just at or slightly below the tile surface.

7. Let the grout dry (or “set up”). This should take about 2 hours.

8. Remove all excess grout and messiness with a damp sponge. Rinse out the sponge frequently and keep it clean. The water will appear chalky or cloudy until it is clean.

9. After grouting, do not get the surface wet for at least 24 hours.

10. After the grout has set up for I week, it should be completely cured. Now it is time to apply a grout sealer. You can buy this at your local hardware store and should follow the directions that come with the product.

How to replace a broken tile:

1. Scrape out grout with a chisel or small putty knife and a small hammer, or simply a utility knife

2. Break the tile in need of repair into tiny pieces using the small hammer.

3. Remove all the pieces of the broken tile. Use a utility knife or small putty knife to scrape the area clean of all excess debris. There will probably be quite a bit of debris left from under the tile, so scrape well! Vacuum the area to remove small particles.

4. Test fit the new tile in the opening. It should have an equal gap on all sides and must also sit flush to the surrounding surfaces.

5. Apply adhesive to the back of the tile and immediately place it into the area being repaired. Use even force with both hands, slightly twisting the tile until it is level with the surrounding area. You want to make sure that the adhesive does not push up the tile unnecessarily.

6. Use a piece of blue painter’s tapes (a type of masking tape) to the tile to hold it in place for 24 hours.

7. Remove the tape and clean around the replaced tile again to assure no debris, dust, or particles have accumulated in the gaps. Clean if necessary.

8. Grout around the tile, following steps 3—10 in the previous project.