How to Install Mortise Locks: A Step-by-Step Guide for Lock Installation

Fatima Buzdar

June 27, 2023

A partially installed door lock mechanism is shown embedded in a wooden door. The copper-colored doorknob contrasts beautifully with the wood. It's clear that a skilled locksmith is in the middle of the door installation or repair process.

Mortise locks are a popular choice for homeowners looking to enhance the security of their front doors. These robust locks provide an excellent security along with pleasant aesthetics.

Whether you’re looking to replace a mortise lock or install a mortise lock, understanding the process can help you accomplish the task effectively. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the steps of installing a mortise lock, as well as go over how viable it is to DIY the process.

What’s a Mortise Lock?

A mortise lock, also spelled as mortice lock, is a robust type of lock that may come with a deadbolt, latch bolt, or both. Old but gold, it’s been around for centuries and continues to be a trusted choice for both residential settings, especially when it comes to wooden doors.

Unlike your run-of-the-mill cylindrical locks, a mortise lock door hardware is installed within a pocket (or mortise, hence the name) cut onto the edge of the door. It’s a sturdier option that provides enhanced protection against forced entry.

With its robust construction and intricate mechanism, a mortise lock offers excellent durability and resistance to lock tampering attempts. So, if you’re looking for a lock that combines both style and substance, a mortise lock might just be the key to keeping your doors secure and stylish.

Mortise lock components

How to Install Mortise Locks: A Step-by-Step Guide to Fit the Lockset

Looking to DIY the process of installing a mortise lock? Here’s a general overview of how the process goes to give you an idea.

  1. Remove the lock: If you’re replacing the mortise lock, start by removing the old lock from the door. Unscrew the plate on the door edge and detach the lock body from the face of the door. You may need to use a screwdriver or drill, depending on the hardware used for the previous lockset.
  2. Mark the lock position on the door: Measure the dimensions of the lock body on the edge of the door and mark the width and height of the lock with a pencil.
  3. Chisel a mortise pocket: Drill holes following the pencil mark made on the door edge. Then use a sharp chisel and hammer to cut into the door along the outlined marking, creating a neat, rectangular mortise pocket. A jig and template can be helpful in ensuring precision rather than merely using a chisel by hand.
  4. Test-fit the lockset: Place the lockset in the mortise pocket to ensure a proper fit. Make any necessary adjustments to the pocket with the chisel.
  5. Attach the lock body and front plate: Slide the lock body into the mortise recess, ensuring it fits snugly and flush with the edge of the door. Secure it with screws. Attach the front plate onto the door face, aligning it with the lock body, and use screws to fix it in position.
  6. Install the latch and strike plate: Insert the latch into the latch bolt hole on the side of the door, securing it with screws. Position the strike plate on the door jamb, aligning it with the latch, and screw it into place.
  7. Install additional components: Depending on the specific lockset, additional components like door handles or doorknobs, thumbturns, trim, escutcheon plates, or cylinders, etc., may need to be installed. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for correct installation and ensure all components are securely fastened.
  8. Test the lock and make adjustments: Before considering the installation complete, test the lock by turning the key, rotating the knob, and operating the latch bolt. Ensure the lock functions correctly without any sticking or difficulty. Refer to the lock manufacturer’s instructions for troubleshooting or consult a professional locksmith if adjustments are needed.

Should You DIY Installing a Mortise Lock?

Installing a mortise lock may seem like a straightforward task at first glance, but it’s a procedure that requires woodworking skills, precision, and solid knowledge. While it’s admirable to feel enthusiastic about DIY projects, it’s essential to consider whether you possess the right skillset before taking on the installation of a mortise lock yourself.

One of the primary challenges in installing a mortise lock is chiseling the mortise itself. This is where the lock body fits into the door, and it needs to be precisely carved out to ensure a secure fit. For a layperson, this can be a daunting and difficult task. Without the necessary woodworking experience, it’s easy to make mistakes that can compromise the integrity of the lock and the door itself.

Professional locksmiths have honed their skills through years of training and experience, making them experts in handling mortise lock installations. They possess the knowledge and tools required to accurately measure and chisel out the mortise, ensuring a tight and secure fit for the lock.

Additionally, professional locksmiths have a deep understanding of the various types of locks available in the market. They can guide you in selecting the most suitable lock for your specific needs, taking into account factors such as security requirements, door material, and aesthetics.

Positioning a mortise lock

Contact Us for Mortise Lock Installation Now

To install a mortise lock or replace a mortise lock, it’s crucial to pay close attention to precise measurements and carefully cut the mortise to fit the lock. Additionally, you’ll need to ensure a proper installation for the other components, including the strike plate and more. However, navigating this process can be quite challenging for someone without professional expertise and may easily lead to errors. That’s why it’s highly advisable to entrust this work to trained locksmiths!

If you’re in search of a reliable Brock locksmith to cater to your locking needs, look no further than us! At Faster Locksmith, our experts possess extensive experience in lock installations. We are well-versed in securely installing different types of locks including mortise locks and serving any other locking needs. Waste no time and reach out to us now to enhance the security of your property!

Safeguard your property with our expert locksmith solutions. Get in touch with our approachable, knowledgeable team.