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This will help you out with replacing a newer style door knob with one of those super cute looking vintage door knobs. This will also help anyone who purchased a doorknob from Anthropologie — they have fantastic looking knobs, but don’t inform you on how to install these knobs. There is additional hardware you’ll need to buy for the Anthropologie knobs, because unfortunately your existing modern latches will not fit the older square spindle that comes with these types of knobs.

Anyway, have no fear, I will help get you through it!

Step 1: Purchase hardware

You’ll need to order some hardware, and most of it can only be found online. Here I’ll give you links to what you need:

Want the Whole Retrofit Kit?

You can get the parts separately, if you’d rather:
  1. Retro door latch guts – this is called a “Standard Tubular Back Set Conversion Latch”
  2. Bore insert – since the opening on most modern doors will be much wider than you will need, the bore insert can “plug up” the hole so you have something to screw the rosette into.
    1. Wax
    2. Wood
  3. Screws (I bought 1/2 inch #5 flathead wood screws in a satin nickel finish at Ace Hardware. They’re like 27 cents apiece. Not worth paying for shipping on these, just buy them in person.)

Spindle too Short?

A lot people in the Anthropologie website reviews are saying that the spindle is too short on the knobs, but it’s definitely not. Just keep spinning the knob counterclockwise and the spindle will get longer.

Step 2: Remove old door hardware

Sometimes easier said than done, removing the old knob is your first step.  My old doorknob had screws, so all I did was unscrew it, then pry the rosette off, and then unscrew the latch and remove that. If your doorknob doesn’t have screws, you can read this post about removing a doorknob without screws.

Step 3: install the bore insert

Make sure that the insert is flush with the exterior of your door on both sides!

The bore insert is pretty easy to install. It’s basically a waxlike piece that will fit into the hollow part of the door where you just removed the knob. Tap it in with a hammer and use the screws to make the piece flush with both sides of the door.  Also make sure that the new latch can slide in from the side of the door — there’s an opening in the insert that lines up with this, so you’ll need to make sure you are aligning it properly.

Step 4: Install the new latch

This is a pretty simple step. Push the new latch in from the narrow part of the door and then screw it right in. It should fit securely

Step 5: Install the new knob

Spin one side of the doorknob counterclockwise until it comes off the spindle completely. Then push the spindle through the hole in the latch, and put the removed knob back on. Spin both sides evenly until it’s tight against the rosette, then tighten the tiny screws on the neck of the knobs about a half turn to secure the knob. Make sure it’s not too tight that you can’t get the knob to turn. This is the hardest part, because you’ll want the position of the knob to look even on both sides, but also turn properly. Get it as close as you can and twist either knob to see if the latch will come out and go back in itself.  If you have a round knob, instead of an egg-shaped one like I do, this will be much easier for you.

Step 6: Screw the rosette into the bore insert

Now you’ll need to screw the rosette into the waxy bore insert. Use 1/2 inch #5 flathead wood screws and carefully tighten into the bore insert.

Step 7: Install the new catch onto the door molding.

Take note of the way the old one was positioned and use that as your guide. Make sure you check that the latch will catch when you shut the door.  You may have to chisel out some of the wood to raise or lower the catch so it will line up with the latch.

Now, sit back and enjoy your new doorknob!


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