How to Install Door Push Plates

Swinging doors are common conveniences in pantries and laundry rooms, and a push plate will protect surface of a swinging door from fingerprints, dirt and other damage. A push plate is a thin piece of metal that is attached to the edge of the door at arm height. It keeps wear and tear to the door surface at a minimum. Push plates can be strictly functional or decorative, and they are usually made of brass, iron or bronze.

Step 1

Hold the installation template that came with the push plate to the desired location on the door 3/4 inch from the door edge.  The instructions that came with the push plate may have recommendations for a comfortable mounting height -- usually 45 inches from the bottom of the door to the center of the plate.

Hold the push plate directly to the door if you do not have a template.  Place a small level across the top and sides of the template or push plate to ensure it is straight.

Step 2

Mark the locations of the mounting screws through the holes in the template or the push plate with a pencil. 

Step 3

Remove the template or push plate from the door.  Place the point of an awl or a nail over each pencil mark and tap it with a hammer to make a small indentation for the self-tapping mounting screws.

Drill shallow pilot holes on the marks with a 3/16-inch drill bit installed into a power drill if you will be attaching your push plate with regular wood screws. 

Step 4

Place the push plate over the edge of the door.  Line up the mounting holes in the plate with the indentations or holes you made previously.

Step 5

Drive the self-tapping screws through each mounting hole and into the door with a Phillips screwdriver until they are tight.  Use a Phillips bit installed into a power drill to drive in the screws more easily, if desired.

Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • Installation template (optional)
  • Small level
  • Pencil
  • Awl or nail
  • Hammer
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • 3/16-inch drill bit (optional)
  • Power drill (optional)
  • Phillips bit (optional)


  • Although push plates are usually attached to wood doors, they can be secured to a metal door in much the same way. Drill through the pencil marks for the push plate mounting holes with a 3/16 inch drill bit installed in a power drill. Install the push plate as instructed previously.