How to fit a door latch

door latch fitting

Fitting a door latch of any make or size requires careful measuring and drilling to install with no damage to your door, equipment or yourself. With the correct instructions, carrying out this task can become a simple DIY project that can apply to any latch that requires fitting. This page will focus on the installation of a common tubular mortice latch and what methods are involved to ensure it is fixed neatly into your wooden door and functions adequately. 

Tools required for fitting your door latch

  • Tubular mortice latch- The project cannot start without the correct latch to fit into the door. You can find any tubular mortice latch you require from our latch product page. For this example, we will use a latch that possesses a faceplate as this page will discuss chiselling. 
  • Strike plate- The strike plate will fit into the door frame for the latch to go through. Many of our latch products come with a matching strike plate.

  • Door handle- Any latch is useless without a door handle to control it. You can find an abundance of door handles to match your chosen latch from our door handles page

  • Tape measure- To properly align your latch at the correct height, you will need to measure out the areas of the door where it will be fitted. For more information on door latch measurement, please read "How to measure for a door latch".

  • Pencil- 2B or 4B, you will need a pencil that will make a clear mark of where you have measured and where each component will go. 

  • Electric drill- The door you choose will need to be drilled to properly place the latch and handle. You will also require the right size drill bit to perform this task, we recommend either 22mm or 25mm.

  • Screwdriver bit- Using screwdriver bits with your drill will help to secure the handle, latch face plate and strike plate to the door and door frame.   

  • Chisel- The door that you drill will need to have the correct shape for the latch to fit. The chisel will also help to cut out the shape of the slot where the strike plate will be. 

  • Hammer- No chisel is effective without a hammer.

Fitting your door latch

1. Firstly, you will need to measure out where your door latch will be fitted. As a starting point, you could base your proportions on the height and position of where the initial handle is placed. If this is not an option, you can begin with the traditional height which is one metre between the latch and the floor (1000 mm). One metre is common for most interior door latches. With your tape measure, make sure to locate where the latch will fit and where the door handle spindle will meet it. This will determine where the handle will go so it is important to get an accurate measurement before drilling. Mark each measurement with your pencil accurately so you know where to drill and chisel. To achieve an accurate measurement, focus on the latch’s backset as this is the distance where the latch spindle hole meets the centre of the door handle. 

2. Once all your marks are made and you are certain of your measurements, you can start with the drilling process. Remember to use the proper drill bit as the hole needs to be the right diameter and depth for the latch to fit. If there is no existing door handle, you will need to start by drilling through the front of the door where the latch’s spindle hole will be located. This is where the spindle will fit so your measurements must be accurate to prevent any errors with alignment and unnecessary damage to your door. With a flat wood bit attached to your drill, you will then make a hole in the edge of the door, this must align with the entry point at the front of the door. 

3. Next, you will need to mark the location of the latch faceplate for the edge of the door. This will involve measuring and marking the size and shape to where the hole was drilled. For accuracy and neatness, the plate outline must resemble the shape of the latch faceplate itself.

4. Before the full latch can be fitted into the door, you will need to chisel out the shape of the frame. Follow the frame outline made by your pencil and cut out the wood to the right depth. Try not to chisel too deep as the latch could go too far into the door which would make securing the latch difficult.

5. Drill two small holes on top of and below the latch entry point at the edge of the door, this will allow you to fix the screws into the faceplate and secure the latch. Repeat this when you come to fitting the striking plate on the door frame. 

6. Fit in the latch first and then the handle and spindle, attach the screw bit to your drill and screw both components in place.

7. Measure and outline where the striking plate will fit on the door frame to ensure it aligns with the latch.

8. Screw in the striking plate and with your hammer and chisel, cut out a rectangle hole that matches the inner shape of the plate, this entry point should hold the latch in place and keep the door firmly shut. 

Meridian Security Door Latches

We hope this information has helped, If you are in need of a quality door latch then please visit our latch page at Meridian Security Systems. we supply a wide range of hardware to suit all of your security needs. Browse our site to find an abundance of latches to match your chosen door and discover popular trusted brands such as Asec, Yale and Union. We also offer free standard UK delivery for purchases over £55. Call us now at 0113 259 1538 or find us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. We are free to take your calls from Mondays to Fridays between 10 am and 3 pm.