View Full Version : How do you install deadbolt in metal door?

01-10-2011, 09:05 AM
The door isn't predrilled for a deadbolt, so all will have to be drilled. I'm assuming it can be done with a holesaw the same way a wood door would be done?

My real question is how do you install the striker on the doorframe? With a wood installation you would carve a section so the striker sits flush with the frame correct? I don't see how that is possible on a metal frame.

Any tips are greatly appreciated!

01-10-2011, 09:13 AM
Use a hole saw rated for metal for the door. If it does not have the indent in the frame, surface mount the striker. :shocking::shocking:

01-10-2011, 09:30 AM
A bi-metal hole saw will eat right through it, however, make sure you have a good hold on the drill as the hole saw starts to break through, otherwise you might go for a ride (depending on the strength of the drill!). Best if you have a side handle on your drill.

01-10-2011, 09:32 AM
What about the metal plate that goes on the end of the door? Will that have to be surface mounted as well? Won't that look a little funny?

Bo Heck
01-10-2011, 09:58 AM
Plasma cutter?

01-10-2011, 10:02 AM
Plasma cutter?

No. Even metal doors usually have some wood and foam core.

01-10-2011, 10:06 AM
What about the metal plate that goes on the end of the door? Will that have to be surface mounted as well? Won't that look a little funny?

I had a locksmith add a deadbolt in mine, but the better doors seem to be stamped for the rectangular plate. You can also drill a round hole, IIRC every deadbolt I've installed (unless it's main locksets only) has a round sleeve for the bolt that replaces the rectangular plate.

01-10-2011, 10:11 AM
I'd mount a surface mounted deadbolt, where everything is on the inside surfaces. It might be better to get a regular high security entry setup instead, however. That's what I did (digital lock) and it was very cost effective.

01-10-2011, 10:58 AM
I cut a pocket in the edge of the door and insert a lock box something like this:

They are also made in single.

01-10-2011, 11:02 AM
Hmm I need to investigate the plateless deadbolts. I had no idea they made such a thing. I'll look at the door to see if it's stamped, but I don't think it is.

01-10-2011, 11:24 AM
I ran across the same problem putting my deadbolt in a steel door that only had one notched out section/inside bracket welded in from the factory. I started out drilling it out from the front face through the back and also into the jamb side of the door like it was a standard wood installation using bimetal hole saws. That part was relatively simple. Since the deadbolt is most likely made for a wooden door and would be recessed the template will be off the thickness of the side plate if it is surface mounted. In my case the door was already installed and after testing it I realized I did not have enough side clearance in the jamb for the door to close with the place surface mounted. My solution was to cut out the pocket the same size as the plate to allow it to recess into the door and mount flush. With a hollow metal door like what you have you will have to make some small "L" shaped brackets and squeeze them through the larger hole in the front and then drill some plug weld holes in the door itself and weld the brackets to the correct depth inside the door to allow you plate to mount. As if this isnt enough work already you then will need to mark your top and bottom holes for your plate to mount, drill and tap them out for your machine screws. I used heavy guage sheet steel to fabricate the brackets from in order to be thick enough to tap instead so I didnt have to struggle to get the nuts on the back of the screws on the inside of the door. After taking the time to type this out I realize it would probably be easier to get a different style deadbolt or even to get a door made from the factory ready for the deadbolt. But it worked for me and I like difficult projects. All in all maybe 3 hours worth of work and thinking time. Wish I had some pictures because I am sure I have everyone confused.

01-10-2011, 05:44 PM
It's not as complicated as some of you guys are making it out to be. Buy a deadbolt that has multiple bolt trim options. Many bolts come with a square cornered latch plate, a round cornered latch plate and a completely round press in latch plate. That's the one you want to use for a steel door that has no edge prep. Drill a 1/4 inch hole through the door where indicated by the template supplied with the deadbolt. Use this hole as a guide for your pilot drill for a 2-1/8" hole saw. Cut the door from both sides with the hole saw. Edge drill the door where indicated by the template, the hole will be 7/8 or 1".
If your chosen location for the deadbolt does not have solid blocking material, the deadbolt will tend to crush the door when you assemble it. To prevent this, work a couple of pieces of wood into the core of the door, snug between the doorskins, above and below the hole. Assemble the deadbolt according the manufacturers installation instructions, The round trim for the bolt hole will simply snap into the bore you made into the edge of the door. Transfer the location of the bolt to the jamb and drill the steel jamb to accept the bolt. This whole deal should take about 30-45 minutes for a novice.