How to Replace a Deadbolt Strike Plate

A man works on a deadbolt.
  • 1 hours
  • Beginner
  • 20-40
What You'll Need
Screwdriver (most likely Phillips)
Drill with bit sized to match strike plate installation screws
Hammer (just in case, you never know when it will come in handy!)
Chisel (if you need this tool, you'll definitely need the hammer)
Pencil for marking on door jamb
Enhanced, high quality replacement strike plate
Extra long, flat head wood screws
Plastic shims for strike plate adjustments
Scrap wood pieces

When deciding to increase the effectiveness of your home security, be sure to consider the practical value associated with replacing a deadbolt strike plate with a tougher, more secure option. The easy installation of strike plates will provide your lock with the extra capabilities to withstand unauthorized attempts to access your home. With a minimum amount of tools and parts, you will be able to quickly switch your current deadbolt strike plate.

Step 1 - Compare Old and New

You will want to compare the new security strike plate with the one currently installed in the door jamb. A lock strike plate tends to be made to fit very standard installation sizes. Unless the deadbolt on your door is industrial strength, most likely your new strike plate should fit nicely into the existing space.

Step 2 - Remove Old Strike Plate

If this is not the case, remove the holding screws from the installed strike plate, and place the plate and screws aside. Hold the new deadbolt strike plate up in the space left from the old to learn whether or not you'll need to make additional space.

Step 3 - Install New Strike Plate

If the new plate is indeed larger than the one you removed, you will need to trace its outline on the door jamb where it will be installed. Most cases should have the new strike plate possibly being a bit wider or just a bit longer than the old assembly. Should you need to make these size adjustments, use your chisel and hammer to lightly excavate the extra space needed to allow the new security strike plate to fit flush with the surface of the door jamb. Once this is accomplished, you're ready to install your screws.

A little known tip here is that if you can install extra long holding screws into your door jamb, you will increase its security effectiveness. By sinking long screws through the door jamb into the actual wooden door frame, your deadbolt will be secured with extra leverage. This leverage makes it immensely more challenging for doors to be forced open.

Step 4 - Make Minor Adjustments

With your new deadbolt strike plate in place carefully close the door and actuate the lock mechanism. With careful observation of the deadbolt itself, you'll be able to see it pass through into the newly installed plate. If you feel resistance or more friction than seems necessary, you will have to make some minor adjustments. You may have to install plastic shims for the strike plate to become parallel with the door jamb. Often times, it is a simple matter of loosening screws and shifting, slightly, the strike plate up, down, or side to side to accommodate the bolt.

If you find the screw holes are not where they need to be to facilitate ease of lock operations, you'll need to fill them in and create new holes. The easiest way to do this is to insert small slivers of wood from the scraps you have on hand. This effectively fills in the hole with wood and allows you to create a new hole where the screw should be located.

Step 5 - Clean Up, You are Finished

It may take several attempts to get the installation just right. When you do all that is left is to clean up any wood shavings and dust. Gather up your tools. You can now rest assured that you've got a tough, highly secure replacement deadbolt strike plate providing you with enhanced security.