How to Install a Schlage Deadbolt

Doors can be equipped with several types of locking devices, but the most common are the latchbolt and deadbolt. A latchbolt is standard on both residential and commercial openings. This lock is built into the doorknob or lever, and is operated by a key. Some doors also feature a deadbolt, which is a heavier auxiliary mechanism located a few inches above the doorknob. One of the most common residential deadbolt manufacturers in the U.S. is Schlage, who produces a large line of locks for many different applications. Whether you are looking to increase your level of security, or simply replace a damaged lock, installing a Schlage lock in your home takes only about an hour.

Door with Auxilary Lock

Choose a lock that will fit your door. If you are a novice installer, select an external deadbolt. Internal models require more training and specialized tools for successful installation. When choosing your lock, find one that works with your door. Most residential doors are 1 3/8- inches thick, though some may be 1 3/4-inches. Check which of these sizes is applicable before making your purchase.

Remove the lock from the package. All Schlage locks come with a paper or plastic template that will help you with installation. Place the template on the door and tape it into place. Most deadbolts are installed roughly 6 inches above the doorknob.

Drill pilot holes where indicated on the template. These are the holes the connecting rods will pass through to hold your new lock in place.

Use a circle cutter to cut a hole in the door where the lock cylinder will be placed. This hole will be indicated on the template. A hole saw will also work if you don't have a circle cutter available.

Slide the side of the cylinder with the keyhole onto the front of the door, making sure to guide the connecting rods through the pilot holes. Join it with the backplate of the lock on the back of the door. Snap them together via the connecting rods.

Place the strikeplate on the door at the location indicated on your template. Trace around the strikeplate with a pencil, then use a wood chisel and hammer to chisel out a hole for the bolt. Test the lock to ensure the hole is the right depth, then screw the strikeplate into place using the screws provided with the lock.

Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • Drill
  • Hole saw or circle cutter
  • Chisel
  • Hammer


  • Be aware of the finish of the lock you select. Most locks come in brass or brushed chrome (aluminum). Choose a deadbolt that matches your existing hardware, where applicable.

About the Author

Emily Beach works in the commercial construction industry in Maryland. She received her LEED accreditation from the U.S. Green Building Council in 2008 and is in the process of working towards an Architectural Hardware Consultant certification from the Door and Hardware Institute. She received a bachelor's degree in economics and management from Goucher College in Towson, Maryland.

Photo Credits

  • Wiki Commons