Installing a Rim Lock

What You'll Need
Rim Lock Set
Safety Glasses
Nails or Screws
Hammer or Screwdriver

A rim lock is one of the earliest locks used to secure the door to a surface. A rim lock is a low-level security lock and is ideally used in screen doors and interior doors. However, you can also use a rim lock on your main door as long as you also install a deadbolt. A rim lock is one of the easiest locks to install.

Step 1 - Choose a Location for the Rim Lock 

Decide where you want to place the rim lock on the door. Once you have chosen a location for the rim lock, close the door and using a pencil, lightly trace the rectangular outline of  the rim lock to serve as a guide.

Step 2 - Mark the Spindle and Keyhole Position

Using a ruler, measure the position of the spindle and the keyhole of the rim lock. Transfer the measurements into the outline you made in step 1.

Step 3 - Drill a Hole for the Spindle

With a hand drill or electric drill, make a hole large enough for the spindle. Use safety glasses as a precaution against wood splinters.

Step 4 - Drill a Keyhole

Using the guide you marked on step 2, drill a hole in the door for the keyhole using a drill and chisel. Begin at the top portion of the keyhole guide and work your way down until you have completely drilled through the keyhole guide marks. Chisel away the wood splinters left by your drilling.

Step 5 - Install the Lock Body

Most rim locks come with a fastener to attach the lock body into surface of the door. However, you can also fasten the lock body into the door by hammering a nail on each of the holes located on the sides of the rim lock. You can also opt to use screws instead of nails to fasten the lock body into the door.

Step 6 - Install the Strike Plate

The strike plate is the component of the rim lock responsible for catching and holding the latch of the rim lock. Position the strike plate at the door frame surface and make sure that the hole of the strike plate is directly aligned with the bolt latch. Secure the strike plate with screws or nails.

Step 7 - Attach the Door Knobs

There are two knobs in a rim lock set attached together by the spindle. Position each knob at the opposite sides of the spindle and screw the door knobs together by inserting a  screw in the base hole of each door knob. Secure the screws on each knows using a screwdriver.

Step 8 - Attach the Rosette

The rosette is a decorative metal plate that will give your rim lock keyhole a finished look. Using screws or nails, attach the rosette into the door and make sure that the hole in the rosette is directly aligned to the keyhole of the rim lock.

Step 9 - Test the Rim Lock

After installing the rim lock set do a couple of tests by closing the door and engaging the rim lock. Make the necessary adjustments on the position of the strike plate if the bolt latch disengages when nudged.