We love small projects that make a big difference in a home. Replacing interior door handles and doorknobs easily falls into this category! When we moved into The Arched Manor, the interior doors had the typical polished brass levers that were popular when it was built (in 2001). That trend has come and gone, and we were keeping our eyes open for that perfect brass door knob to match our home’s style.
Thankfully, we came across one from Nostalgic Warehouse that checked all the boxes! This blog post gives details on the style of door hardware we went with, the different types of door knobs (and what rooms to use them in), and how we installed them on our interior doors.
The Brass Door Knob We Chose
The brass door knob we chose was the New York Door Knob with New York Long Plate in Antique Brass. This unit features a long plate behind the knob, that looks both traditional with a hint of modern simplicity. The Antique bronze color looks great in the product pictures, but even better in-person! The unit also feels heavy and substantial – not something flimsy that could potentially bend or break.
We recently used this knob on our Home Office Reveal, and the timeless combination of the brass and elongated rectangle really helped to give the office an elevated aesthetic. We installed his brass door knob throughout the first and second levels of our house, and we are thrilled with the results! It’s such an easy way to transform your space and make it look more custom.
Many Finishes to Choose From
While we love the Antique Brass finish, it may not be for everyone. It’s important to match the finish and color of your hardware with the style of your home. Thankfully, Nostalgic Warehouse offers this New York hardware in several finishes:
We also recommend replacing your hinges whenever you replace your hardware. Having hinges and door knobs that are not the same finish and color can be a bit of an eyesore. Luckily, Nostalgic Warehouse has matching door hinges available!
Types of Door Knobs
The type of handle you need depends on the type of room the door leads into. The door knob types include dummy, passage, privacy, and keyed entry. Since this New York brass door knob is for interior doors, it is not offered in a keyed entry option. You will notice some of them have a fake keyhole in the brass plate – we opted to not have this type, but if your house has a lot of character or charm, it may be a good option.
- Dummy Knobs – For doors that don’t actually need a latching mechanism (they are just pushed/pulled to open or close), a dummy door knob is required. These knobs don’t actually turn on these, they are locked in place.
- Passage Knobs – These units are for rooms like closets, pantries, mudrooms, etc. that don’t need to be locked, but do need to be secured by a latch.
- Privacy Knobs – These units are for rooms like bedrooms, bathrooms, or any room that requires privacy or security. One side of that unit has a knob to release the lock. The other side has a hole that can be used to unlock the device if needed.
How to Install Brass Door Knobs
Installation for our brass door knobs was pretty easy – any DIY-er can tackle this project using only a few simple tools. I used a Philips screwdriver, impact driver, drill bit, drill, pencil, laser level, and vacuum (to clean up the mess).
One of the hardest parts of the install was removing the existing door levers. These were old, beat-up, and often have the backplate “stick” to the outer plate, making removing the unit a challenge. Using a screwdriver as leverage and some brute force solved the problem, but some paint touchup was required afterwards.
Our doors had levers with circular plates that were wider than the width of the New York plates. Because of this, there were some areas that were under the circular plate that did not have the black paint of our door. So after removing the hardware, we cleaned the surface and painted these areas using a small roller. (Read this blog post for all our paint colors in the Arched Manor.)
The installation process depends on the type of door knob. For dummy knobs/plates, a threaded bolt is attached to the door, and the plate simply fastens to the door using the four provided screws. The knob screws into the threaded bolt, hand tightened, and secured by a threaded hex screw. The toughest part of this install is aligning the plates so they are the same height on both sides of the door. For double doors, it also has to align on the opposing side. If you have one, a laser level is very helpful.
For passage and privacy sets, they require the door to have the bore hole and cross bore hole cut. If not, they give you a paper diagram you can use to make sure everything is aligned properly. But for us, we already had the holes cut. These kits come with a latch, latch strike, and mortise plate (all in matching finish/color). The installation process is pretty straightforward, and the directions are clear.
Installation Tip: Make sure you loosen the connection on the back – otherwise the brass door knobs will stick when turned. We found this out the hard way but loosening that on both sides before install solved the problem.
For the privacy set, there is an extra piece that is used to lock and unlock the latch. Just be sure to install this piece in the correct position so the lock is on the inside of the room. Always test the latch locking and unlocking before actually closing the door.
Frequently Asked Questions
The doorknob types are dummy, passage, privacy, and keyed entry.
A dummy doorknob is used for doors that don’t need a latching mechanism (they are just pushed/pulled to open or close).
These units are for rooms like closets, pantries, mudrooms, etc. that don’t need to be locked, but do need to be secured by a latch.
These units are for rooms like bedrooms, bathrooms, or any room that requires privacy or security. One side of that unit has a knob to release the lock. The other side has a hole that can be used to unlock the device if needed.
A keyed entry doorknob set is used for access between the interior and exterior of a home. It contains a key latch that accepts a physical key on the exterior side, and either a key or lever on the inside for locking and unlocking.
Yes. You can mix door handle styles throughout your home, but it is important to keep some consistency. For example, in The Arched Manor, we have all the interior doors using the New York Knobs and Plates, but for the exterior doors, we have matte black levers.
This is a plate that sits between the door and the knob and is usually decorative.
The door knob plate is the name of the plate between the knob and the physical door.
A passage door knob does not have a locking latch, whereas a privacy door knob does.
No - brass remains to be in style. However, the polished brass fixtures have decreased in popularity whereas the antique brass fixtures have gained popularity.
No - you can mix door handle styles throughout your home, but it is important to keep some consistency. For example, in The Arched Manor, we have all the interior doors using the New York Knobs and Plates, but for the exterior doors, we have matte black levers.