Your interior doors have different latch mechanisms that are used to lock the door. The different types of latch mechanisms that are found on interior doors include 4 types: plain latch, dead latch, dead bolt and adjustable latch.
A plain latch is used primarily with interior doors. It provides locking and non-locking functions that are necessary to pull the door closed when leaving a room. A dead latch has a key function and can also be used with interior doors, such as bathrooms and a master bedroom. A dead bolt latch is not typically found in interior doors. They provide an added level of security for your home, especially in rooms that require added security. Finally an adjustable latch is one that can be used in different doors prepared with a backset, which is the distance from the edge of the door to the center of the pre-drilled hole.
Replacing the latches on the interior doors in your home is a simple repair that can be any home do-it-yourselfer. It only requires a latch set purchased from a hardware store and a screwdriver.
Step 1: Purchase Latch Set
You will need to purchase from a hardware store or home improvement center a latch set that is appropriate for the interior door on which it will be installed. If the door does not require and added security or the use of a key, a plain latch will be sufficient. If you are maintaining sensitive documents such as tax papers or other items such as those that are maintained in a home office, you may want to consider the purchase of a dead latch or dead bolt system for installation on the interior door.
Step 2: Remove the Existing Latch Set
Using a screwdriver, remove the plate that holds the latch in place. You will also use the screwdriver to remove all of the screws that hold the latch assembly in the hole of the interior door. This hardware can be set aside and if it is in good condition (in the case where you may be replacing an interior door’s plain latch for a dead latch or bolt) you may want to keep it for use in the future.
Step 3: Place the Replacement Latch Set in the Interior Door
With the existing latch set completely removed from the interior door, place the new latch set in the hole of the door. Align the latch assembly with the holes for the fasteners that came with the latch set. Secure the latch assembly tightly with the screwdriver before attaching the face plate.
Step 4: Test the Latch Set
With the replacement latch set secure and in place, test the replacement by opening and closing the interior door several times. You should hear a clicking sound that indicates that the latch is making appropriate contact with the door frame and closing the door securely.