Having a door know hole that is too big can be a big nuisance. Not only does it lack the security you need in your door knob, but it can also make it harder to lock the door, as well as to properly open and close it.
Thankfully, it isn’t too complicated to make a door knob hole smaller on your own, so you probably won’t need to hire a handyman for this task.
In this guide, we’re going to discuss all the steps of filling in the door knob hole so it meets both the functional and aesthetic requirements.
Why is my door knob hole too big?
You may wonder what can cause the door knob hole to become too big for the actual door knob. It is very important to be aware of the causes of this issue, so you can prevent it in the future and not experience this problem again.
The first potential reason behind this issue is a problem in the actual door knob installation process. It could be that the person who was setting up the door knob in the first place didn’t measure the hole properly, or they simply made a hole too big for the door knob to fit.
This isn’t something that may be as noticeable at first. It could’ve started out as a small gap between the hole and the door knob at first, which became bigger and bigger over time, with every single use.
The door knob hole becoming loose over time is yet another potential cause for this issue. When you think about it, it is perfectly normal for the hole to become a bit loose after years and years of using the door. Thankfully, this is quite easy to fix, as we will explain later.
After years of use, the door knob hole can become bigger simply due to the regular wear and tear, as the materials age, and there could also be a buildup of different particles and dust affecting the function of the door knob.
Another potential issue you should keep in mind is a faulty door knob. There could be a single screw missing in the door plate, which would make the door knob loose and have it damage the hole and make it too big for the door knob to fit properly.
It could also be that there is a problem with the locking mechanism of your door knob. This kind of issue can call for constant tugging and pulling of the door knob, which will undoubtedly damage the door knob hole, as well.
If this is the case, it is necessary not only to repair the hole but to replace the door knob altogether. In case you decide to use the same door knob once you fix the hole, you can expect the same issue to happen again.
Regardless of the method, you decide to go with when it comes to fixing your door knob, we advise you to prioritize long-term solutions. After all, your door knob is something you use on a daily basis, so it should be durable and properly installed.
How to fix a door knob hole that is too big
As we’ve mentioned, it shouldn’t be too hard to repair the door knob hole, as long as you have all the necessary material and you follow each step of our guide.
We will first address the issue of a door knob becoming too loose. Sometimes, all it takes to fix this issue is to tighten the knob itself, without having to fix the hole. However, this will only work if the hole isn’t too big.
Some of the steps may differ depending on whether you have a door knob with exposed or hidden screws. Let’s see them all in detail below.
1. Removing the Knob/Handle
Before removing your door knob or the handle, depending on what you have, it is necessary to determine whether the screws are exposed or hidden. This detail may not seem as important, but it will determine how you remove the knob or handle.
In case the screws are hidden, you will have to detect the placement of the detent access hole when it is facing the door knob.
In case you’re not familiar with the term, a detent is basically a pin that sticks out of the knob and keeps it in place to close the door as it is spring-activated.
Next, you want to find the set screw and unscrew it using an Allen key or a screwdriver. Remove the handle and twist the handle of the shaft. This step should make enough space for the door knob to spin swimmingly.
In case you’re dealing with an un-threaded shaft, simply return the knob or the handle onto it before you adjust the set screw.
In case the door knob or the handle has exposed screws, the process will be a bit different. However, the main objective remains the same: finding the set screw. Once you’ve located it, you want to loosen it and remove the handle.
Once again, when you remove the handle, you may find a threaded or an un-threaded shaft. In the case of a threaded shaft, as we’ve explained, it is important to twist the shaft so it flushes with the floor. Also, create enough space for the knob to rotate.
As for the un-threaded shaft, the process is a bit simpler as all you have to do is return the handle into the initial position (up to the face of the door), and then also tighten the set screw.
2. Removing the Base
The next step after separating the knob from the shaft would be to remove the base. You can do so by using a flat head screwdriver to loosen the ring. You want to do this slowly and carefully, as the screwdriver could damage the plate if you’re too aggressive.
Also, if you’re not careful enough when prying the ring loose, you could end up with serious damage to the entire lockset, which would call for a new one.
3. Tighten the Screws
Remove the ring you’ve loosened. If you’ve successfully completed this step, you’ll find screws that are supposed to be tightened. These screws are one of the most important components of the lockset, as they hold it together.
You’ll also notice that these screws go from the inside to the outside backing plate. Hold the outside backing plate tight as you tighten each of the screws.
4. Return Everything Into Place
Put the ring back and place the handle onto the shaft. Make sure the holes are aligned with the detent before clicking the handle into place.
How do you make a door knob hole smaller?
In case your door knob is still loose after completing this process, the issue may be in the hole itself, and you may need to fill it in.
Here are the steps to fix a door knob hole too big:
- Lock the door so it stays firmly in place and you don’t have to worry about it swinging back and forth as you fill in door knob holes.
- Following the steps we’ve explained above, remove the knob from the door.
- If you’ve loosened the screws completely, you’ll be able to remove the entire mechanism, which will allow you to access the door knob hole.
- Dealing with a deadbolt hole too big (or any door knob style for that matter) requires preparation so it is both aesthetically pleasing and functional when you’re done fixing it.
- Make sure the area is sanded with a wire brush attachment of your drill and properly cleaned before applying any door knob hole reducer.
- Wood filler in a slightly liquidy consistency is one of the best materials you can use to fill in the door knob hole. It is not only easy to apply and work with, but it is also extremely durable and a great choice for long-term results.
- Apply the wood filler to the hole using a paintbrush or anything that you find precise enough to create an even layer throughout the hole.
- Allow the wood filler to dry.
- Use a sanding block to even out any imperfections after the wood filler has dried completely.
- Make sure that the dimensions (especially the height) of the door knob match the newly repaired door knob hole.
- Check if you need to trim the mounting bracket of the knob.
- Install the door knob back into place.
Can you patch a door knob hole?
Yes, you can easily fix a loose door knob, and the best thing about this DIY project is that you probably already have all or most of the necessary materials and tools at home. Also, this doesn’t require much effort or time at all!
As we’ve mentioned, sometimes all you need to do is tighten the door knob itself, without even having to worry about filling in the door knob hole. Once you’ve made sure that the screws inside the mechanism are tight, check if the knob is now stable.
If this is not the case, you may need to repair the door knob hole by filling it in using some wood filler. This process does require precision, but it isn’t as intimidating as it sounds. Also, if you can already tell that the door knob hole is the issue, skip right to this part.