how to remove a mortise door lock

person using a power drill to unscrew the hardware from a mortise door lock
Tools Needed
1 Phillips head screwdriver
2 Flat head screwdriver
3 Safety Glasses
4 Working Gloves
Materials Needed
1 Utility Knife
2 Needle Nose Pliers
3 Wrench
4 Hammer
Total Cost
$10-$25
Find a handyman
Estimated Time
30-45 Minutes
Skill Level: Beginner
The total cost and duration may vary when hiring a handyman!

Project Overview

person wearing a construction hat standing next to a door with a mortise lock

Some older homes, often pre-World War II, have mortise locks, and even newer homes may have updated versions of these classic designs. While these pieces of hardware can be very attractive, the idea of removing one can be intimidating at first glance. However, many homeowners can’t easily manage the task with a few basic tools.

To manage this project yourself, just follow the steps below.

Step-By-Step Instructions

1

Remove The Hardware

up close view of a mortise door locking mechanism

To remove a mortise door lock, you need to have the door open. This exposes the long plate along the edge of the door, which should contain a door latch, deadbolt, and a few points that resemble buttons.

Now that the plate along the edge of the door is exposed, you can remove the screws. There should be one located at the top of the plate and one near the bottom.

Select an appropriate screwdriver based on the screws in use and turn the screws counterclockwise to loosen them. Once they have been loosed, you can remove the screws and set them aside.

After you’ve taken out the screws, you can pull the top plate off of the door edge. If it does not come off easily on its own, you may need to use a flathead screwdriver to pry it away from the door gently, taking care not to damage the door or the hardware as you proceed.

2

Remove The Handle Mechanism

person removing the door handle

Right above the deadbolt, you’ll see a small screw recessed into the door. Using a flathead screwdriver, loosen this screw by turning it counterclockwise. You should only rotate it up to five times, though fewer revolutions may be sufficient.

The door knob or level will also have a set screw that needs to be loosened. Using a flathead screwdriver, turn the screw counterclockwise a few rotations. Once the set screw has been loosened, guide the door handle off of the spindle by pulling it away from the door.

3

Take Off the Interior Trim Plate

example of an interior trim plate

After the handle is removed, you can take off the trim plate on the interior surface of the door. Typically, four screws hold the plate in place, with one being located on each corner. Select the proper screwdriver based on the screws used, and rotate them counterclockwise until they come out.

Once all our screws have been removed, the trim plate should easily come off of the door. If the trim has been painted over, and it is holding the paint in place, you will wait to cut through the paint film around the edge of the trim plate with a utility knife before you attempt to remove it. This ensures you don’t damage the hardware or the surface of the door, as can happen if you try and pry it off.

4

Remove the Cylinder

A pair of mortise lock door cylinders

Below the space where the interior trim plate sat, there will be a small decorative screw cover. Remove it with your hand to expose the screw, and use a screwdriver to remove the screw along with the washer. Below the opening where the door handle was located, there will be a through bolt. Use a screwdriver to turn it counterclockwise, completely removing the bolt.

You may need to press against the exterior trim to help facilitate the removal of the bolt. Simply place your hand against the trim and press it towards the door.

Take the key that was associated with the lock and place it partially into the cylinder on the exterior side of the door. You don’t want to insert it all of the way, as this engages the locking mechanisms and will not help you take the cylinder out.

Once the key is in place, turn it counterclockwise. This will cause the entire cylinder to spin, allowing it to be worked out of the lock. After the cylinder has been removed, the trim plate can be easily pulled off and set aside. As before, if the trim plate has been painted over, it may be stuck to the door. Use a utility knife to cut through the paint before attempting to remove the trim.

On the opposite side of the door from the spindle, there will be a screw. Use a screwdriver to remove the screw by turning it counterclockwise. Then, pull the spindle away from the door.

Conclusion

At this point, the mortise door locking mechanisms have been fully removed. If the goal was to update from the original mortise door lock, you could now work toward replacing the door locks to your satisfaction.

Alternatively, you can consider having the original hardware restored if it has historical value and the mechanisms are generally in working order or, at least, complete. For older homes, keeping the original character can have a lot of appeal, especially for future buyers who may appreciate the charm of the original piece.

How To Remove A Mortise Door Lock

Shop All New Sales
Find the door you need for your home or office!
View asGridList

139 items

Page
Set Descending Direction
Filter Products
  1. Pocket Door Keypad in a Beautiful Gold Colorview
    Pocket Door Keypad in a Beautiful Gold Color
    Match your home to your unique tastes with handles and locks from TurnOpen, your trusted source for customizing all your doors, inside and out. Customize your doors with your choice of opener, including knobs and levers, and secure your door with a variety of sturdy, secure locks. Recommended for high-traffic exterior doors, handlesets come with both stylish handle and matching high-security deadbolts and are available in eight finishes, including nickel, brass, and chrome.For interior doors, choose from brass or aluminum knobs, levers, or pull handle/plate sets. All items come with everything you need for installation, as well as keys and replacement parts. Warranties vary but are generally among the best in the industry. Bulk order discounts are available on orders of 4 or more identical items.
    Estimated Price: $99.00+
  2. Accordion Door Handleset in a Pretty Black Colorview
    Accordion Door Handleset in a Pretty Black Color
    Match your home to your unique tastes with handles and locks from TurnOpen, your trusted source for customizing all your doors, inside and out. Customize your doors with your choice of opener, including knobs and levers, and secure your door with a variety of sturdy, secure locks. Recommended for high-traffic exterior doors, handlesets come with both stylish handle and matching high-security deadbolts and are available in eight finishes, including nickel, brass, and chrome.For interior doors, choose from brass or aluminum knobs, levers, or pull handle/plate sets. All items come with everything you need for installation, as well as keys and replacement parts. Warranties vary but are generally among the best in the industry. Bulk order discounts are available on orders of 4 or more identical items.
    Estimated Price: $99.00+
  3. Patio Door Handles & Knobs in a Beautiful Silver Colorview
    Patio Door Handles & Knobs in a Beautiful Silver Color
    Match your home to your unique tastes with handles and locks from TurnOpen, your trusted source for customizing all your doors, inside and out. Customize your doors with your choice of opener, including knobs and levers, and secure your door with a variety of sturdy, secure locks. Recommended for high-traffic exterior doors, handlesets come with both stylish handle and matching high-security deadbolts and are available in eight finishes, including nickel, brass, and chrome.For interior doors, choose from brass or aluminum knobs, levers, or pull handle/plate sets. All items come with everything you need for installation, as well as keys and replacement parts. Warranties vary but are generally among the best in the industry. Bulk order discounts are available on orders of 4 or more identical items.
    Estimated Price: $99.00+
  4. Symama Door N/a in a Beautiful Silver Colorview
    Symama Door N/a in a Beautiful Silver Color
    Match your home to your unique tastes with handles and locks from TurnOpen, your trusted source for customizing all your doors, inside and out. Customize your doors with your choice of opener, including knobs and levers, and secure your door with a variety of sturdy, secure locks. Recommended for high-traffic exterior doors, handlesets come with both stylish handle and matching high-security deadbolts and are available in eight finishes, including nickel, brass, and chrome.For interior doors, choose from brass or aluminum knobs, levers, or pull handle/plate sets. All items come with everything you need for installation, as well as keys and replacement parts. Warranties vary but are generally among the best in the industry. Bulk order discounts are available on orders of 4 or more identical items.
    Estimated Price: $99.00+
  5. Security Door Keypad in a Beautiful Gold Colorview
    Security Door Keypad in a Beautiful Gold Color
    Match your home to your unique tastes with handles and locks from TurnOpen, your trusted source for customizing all your doors, inside and out. Customize your doors with your choice of opener, including knobs and levers, and secure your door with a variety of sturdy, secure locks. Recommended for high-traffic exterior doors, handlesets come with both stylish handle and matching high-security deadbolts and are available in eight finishes, including nickel, brass, and chrome.For interior doors, choose from brass or aluminum knobs, levers, or pull handle/plate sets. All items come with everything you need for installation, as well as keys and replacement parts. Warranties vary but are generally among the best in the industry. Bulk order discounts are available on orders of 4 or more identical items.
    Estimated Price: $99.00+
  6. Lock Door Handleset in a Beautiful Gold Colorview
    Lock Door Handleset in a Beautiful Gold Color
    Match your home to your unique tastes with handles and locks from TurnOpen, your trusted source for customizing all your doors, inside and out. Customize your doors with your choice of opener, including knobs and levers, and secure your door with a variety of sturdy, secure locks. Recommended for high-traffic exterior doors, handlesets come with both stylish handle and matching high-security deadbolts and are available in eight finishes, including nickel, brass, and chrome.For interior doors, choose from brass or aluminum knobs, levers, or pull handle/plate sets. All items come with everything you need for installation, as well as keys and replacement parts. Warranties vary but are generally among the best in the industry. Bulk order discounts are available on orders of 4 or more identical items.
    Estimated Price: $99.00+
  7. we’ve got all the answers...
    and doors!

    Give us a ring if you need help 
    or just want to chat.

    leadgenstrip contactCall Now!!!
    1-800-319-2304
  8. Pocket Door Deadbolt in a Beautiful Gold Colorview
    Pocket Door Deadbolt in a Beautiful Gold Color
    Match your home to your unique tastes with handles and locks from TurnOpen, your trusted source for customizing all your doors, inside and out. Customize your doors with your choice of opener, including knobs and levers, and secure your door with a variety of sturdy, secure locks. Recommended for high-traffic exterior doors, handlesets come with both stylish handle and matching high-security deadbolts and are available in eight finishes, including nickel, brass, and chrome.For interior doors, choose from brass or aluminum knobs, levers, or pull handle/plate sets. All items come with everything you need for installation, as well as keys and replacement parts. Warranties vary but are generally among the best in the industry. Bulk order discounts are available on orders of 4 or more identical items.
    Estimated Price: $99.00+
  9. Exterior Door Deadbolt in a Beautiful Gold Colorview
    Exterior Door Deadbolt in a Beautiful Gold Color
    Match your home to your unique tastes with handles and locks from TurnOpen, your trusted source for customizing all your doors, inside and out. Customize your doors with your choice of opener, including knobs and levers, and secure your door with a variety of sturdy, secure locks. Recommended for high-traffic exterior doors, handlesets come with both stylish handle and matching high-security deadbolts and are available in eight finishes, including nickel, brass, and chrome.For interior doors, choose from brass or aluminum knobs, levers, or pull handle/plate sets. All items come with everything you need for installation, as well as keys and replacement parts. Warranties vary but are generally among the best in the industry. Bulk order discounts are available on orders of 4 or more identical items.
    Estimated Price: $99.00+
  10. Sliding Door Handleset in a Beautiful Black Colorview
    Sliding Door Handleset in a Beautiful Black Color
    Match your home to your unique tastes with handles and locks from TurnOpen, your trusted source for customizing all your doors, inside and out. Customize your doors with your choice of opener, including knobs and levers, and secure your door with a variety of sturdy, secure locks. Recommended for high-traffic exterior doors, handlesets come with both stylish handle and matching high-security deadbolts and are available in eight finishes, including nickel, brass, and chrome.For interior doors, choose from brass or aluminum knobs, levers, or pull handle/plate sets. All items come with everything you need for installation, as well as keys and replacement parts. Warranties vary but are generally among the best in the industry. Bulk order discounts are available on orders of 4 or more identical items.
    Estimated Price: $99.00+
  11. Interior Door Keypad in a Beautiful Silver Colorview
    Interior Door Keypad in a Beautiful Silver Color
    Match your home to your unique tastes with handles and locks from TurnOpen, your trusted source for customizing all your doors, inside and out. Customize your doors with your choice of opener, including knobs and levers, and secure your door with a variety of sturdy, secure locks. Recommended for high-traffic exterior doors, handlesets come with both stylish handle and matching high-security deadbolts and are available in eight finishes, including nickel, brass, and chrome.For interior doors, choose from brass or aluminum knobs, levers, or pull handle/plate sets. All items come with everything you need for installation, as well as keys and replacement parts. Warranties vary but are generally among the best in the industry. Bulk order discounts are available on orders of 4 or more identical items.
    Estimated Price: $99.00+
  12. Front Door Handles & Knobs in a Beautiful Black Colorview
    Front Door Handles & Knobs in a Beautiful Black Color
    Match your home to your unique tastes with handles and locks from TurnOpen, your trusted source for customizing all your doors, inside and out. Customize your doors with your choice of opener, including knobs and levers, and secure your door with a variety of sturdy, secure locks. Recommended for high-traffic exterior doors, handlesets come with both stylish handle and matching high-security deadbolts and are available in eight finishes, including nickel, brass, and chrome.For interior doors, choose from brass or aluminum knobs, levers, or pull handle/plate sets. All items come with everything you need for installation, as well as keys and replacement parts. Warranties vary but are generally among the best in the industry. Bulk order discounts are available on orders of 4 or more identical items.
    Estimated Price: $99.00+
  13. Storm Door Keypad in a Beautiful Silver Colorview
    Storm Door Keypad in a Beautiful Silver Color
    Match your home to your unique tastes with handles and locks from TurnOpen, your trusted source for customizing all your doors, inside and out. Customize your doors with your choice of opener, including knobs and levers, and secure your door with a variety of sturdy, secure locks. Recommended for high-traffic exterior doors, handlesets come with both stylish handle and matching high-security deadbolts and are available in eight finishes, including nickel, brass, and chrome.For interior doors, choose from brass or aluminum knobs, levers, or pull handle/plate sets. All items come with everything you need for installation, as well as keys and replacement parts. Warranties vary but are generally among the best in the industry. Bulk order discounts are available on orders of 4 or more identical items.
    Estimated Price: $99.00+
View asGridList

139 items

Page
Set Descending Direction

Questions And Answers

What are the different types of door knobs?

There are many doorknobs available. There are keyed door locks, including doorknobs and door levers. There are also electronic door locks. Each of the locks offers something slightly different, while they all allow secured entry to your home. Your lock choice will be based on cost and personal preference.

How do I remove an exterior door knob?

Removal of an exterior door knobs is fairly easy. You will need a screwdriver. There are screws that hold the lock in place. You can find these on the plate for the latch as well as on the interior of the knob. Unscrew the screws and remove the knob.

How do you replace a door knob?

To replace a doorknob you will need to unscrew the current screws holding the knob in place, as well as the screws for the plate where the latch is on the door. Once these have been removed the old lock will come out and the new lock can be placed.

How do I remove a stuck door knob?

To remove a stuck knob you will need to remove the screws from the doorknob. Once the screws have been removed the knob should separate. Now, you can use your screwdriver to press the latch in and open the door. Then the doorknob can be replaced with one that functions.

How do you measure a door knob?

You should first measure the hole for the doorknob at the center to the doorway edged, this will help you find the door set size. Often the door set size be will either 2 and 3/4 inches or 2 and 3/8 inches, almost all fit within this range.

How do you remove a door knob without screws?

Open your door and see if you can see a thin slot on the locking side of the knob. If there is a setscrew that is recessed, turn this in a counterclockwise until it moves out. For a slot, push you flathead in the slot and pull out the knob.

How do you tighten a door knob?

First, you will need to identify which part of the knob is causing it to be loose. Once you have identified this area of the knob you will need to use your hex set or screwdriver in order to tighten it up. This is a fairly quick and easy process.

How do you change the code on a Schlage door lock?

To add a new code press the button "Schlage" along with the number button one at the same time. Wait until you hear a beep and see three flashes. The green light flashing will let you know that it is ready for a new code to be programmed.

How do I change the code on my door lock?

The method for changing the code on your lock will vary based on the brand of lock. You should be able to look at the manufacturer's information on the lock that was included when you purchased it. If not check with the manufacturer on what you need to do.

How do you install a door knob on a new door?

If a hole needs to be cut, you do that first. Otherwise, you install latch, faceplate, strikeplate, lever, spindle, inside housing and then the knob. After installing these in this order, you will put the screw in.

Load More

INTERESTING RESOURCES

Keyless Door Lock

Keyless Door Lock

We’re all likely familiar with keyless door locks for our vehicles, but did you know you can get the same convenience for your home? That means no more fumbling to get the right key in the lock when you’re trying to juggle, for example, bags of groceries. At their most basic, keyless door locks are door hardware equipped with a keypad that requires you to enter a code to unlock or have a special app. They can come with regular door handles or be fitted for simple deadbolts. Keyless door locks are more expensive than traditional door hardware that requires keys. However, with all new technology, prices should drop. read more

It’s Complicated—Or Is It?

Keyless Door Lock

Powering Up

Keyless Door Lock

Smart Locks For Smart Homes

Keyless Door Lock
black door lever

Door Levers

While door levers may well be small, they are without a doubt an important feature for your home. However, they can often be overlooked as a choice of design when owners build their homes from scratch. This is likely because this feature is so obvious or because it is not known that there are options. Regardless, there are many styles that you can choose from, both from an aesthetic standpoint as well as functionality. Door levers are available at hardware stores, department stores, and the big box retailers. You can also find levers from online retailers, and even online auction sites such as eBay. Many people find that online shopping is convenient, more so true for those who have a time restraint. There are many options that you can review and start to whittle it down to the short list of best options. This guide will help you to learn more about levers so that you are able to make an informed decision when it comes time to make your purchase. read more

Lever History

black door lever

Latches and Locks

nickel lever

Types of Levers

nickel door lever on a white door
handleset

Handlesets

When you are looking at the doors in your home, one of the things you might think about is what the door handle looks like. Remember that all handlesets are not the same and some are actually blank, so they can just be used to pull the door open or closed. You might think about whether there is a lock on the door or what type of locks you have. If you think your doors could use a little updating but you don’t want to get all new doors, you could always just update the handlesets. There are so many different types of handlesets that you could pick from. It might seem like a tough choice to pick out the type of handleset you would like to have for each door. Because they can be all the same and matching or individualized and unique for the door may sound overwhelming. However, learning more about these types of handlesets might help you to decide on the best one for each room. The choice is up to you and may vary from one room to the next. read more

R

entry door handleset

Decorative Handlesets

front door handlesets

Electronic Handlesets

Handlesets
Load More

Quick consultation

Call us to find out more details about doors and purchasing options, in your area!