A mortice doorknob is a doorknob designed to operate a mortice lock or latch set into the door. It could offer a stylish alternative to a door handle whilst still allowing you to use the door with ease.

Doorknobs may not be a subject you think about often. Yet, finding the best one for your home is essential. The right doorknob will give you safety and privacy and will elevate your home’s style.

There are many different types of doorknobs on the market, and you may notice that some are titled “mortice” doorknobs. It is essential to have an idea of what you need for your home, so our guide below will clarify what mortice doorknobs are, how to fit them, and what the alternatives are; this will allow you to make an informed decision about your home.


What does “mortice” mean?


A “mortice” is a cavity or slot cut into a piece of wood or stone designed to receive another fitting part to join the two together.


It is a tried-and-true method used by carpenters to join materials together for thousands of years. Both robust and straightforward, it is one of the strongest methods for assembling materials.

How does it work with doorknobs?

A mortice doorknob is designed to operate a mortice lock or latch: a lock or latch mechanism set within the mortice which is cut into the side of the door. This is the most common system for internal doors within the UK and is most likely the system you will find within your home.


A pair of Swirl Ball Mortice Door Knob in Antique Brass finish

Click on the image to visit the product's page (Swirl Ball Mortice Door Knob Antique Brass - 63mm)

More popular than ever due to their classic, traditional style, mortice doorknobs are available in many different finishes and designs to complement many different aesthetics. Our decorative and stylish collection of mortice doorknobs can be found on our website and is sure to have the right design for your home. Linked below are some of our best-sellers:


What is the difference between a mortice doorknob and a rim doorknob?

As mortice doorknobs are part of the standard system for the UK, it is most likely that this is what you will need. Mortice doorknobs will control the lock or latch from inside the door.

However, a rim doorknob is an alternative. A rim doorknob fits on the door's surface with a rim lock rather than installed within the door. Rim doorknobs are regularly seen in period-style homes and are the oldest door locking devices. They will offer an authentic feature to any entry in any property.

The rim doorknob will sit on the door's surface and not control the lock or latch but will operate the lever. The doorknob installed to the rim lock will have the backplate or rose removed. Yet, the doorknob on the other side will keep its backplate or rose.

You should use rim doorknobs on doors where it is not possible to fit a mortice doorknob. For example, some doors may be too thin to contain an internal mechanism, or you can use a rim doorknob if you want to add a decorative flair to your home. Rim doorknobs will work with rim sash locks and rim latches.

We have a range of locks to fit with rim doorknobs, which you can find by browsing our collection of Locks.


Victorian Mortice Sprung Door Knob Antique Brass 54mmClick on the image to visit the product's page (Victorian Mortice Sprung Door Knob Antique Brass Pair)


How to fit a mortice doorknob

Step 1: Start by fitting the latch.

  • Use a pencil to identify the location of the latch on the edge of the door.
  • Position the latch one metre up from the bottom of the door and in a position where you will be able to fit the doorknob.
  • Remember to install the doorknob where you can manoeuvre it freely. You want to be able to turn the doorknob without catching your knuckles or fingers.
  • You may also need to match the latch to an existing strike plate on the door frame.


Step 2: Drill a hole for the latch to fit into

  • Mark your drill with masking tape to show the length of the latch (measuring from the flat end of the latch).
  • Wedge the door open.
  • Drill a hole (the beginning of your mortice) into the side of the door until you reach your masking tape.
  • Chisel out the rest of the mortice until the plate lies flush against the door.


Step 3: Drill a hole for the spindle to fit into

  • Hold the latch in the correct position on the outside of the door.
  • Mark where the hole in the latch is on the door – this is where the doorknob's spindle will fit.
  • Drill a hole at the mark you have made in the door. Use a drill that is slightly larger than the spindle.
  • Ensure not to drill through the door as the surface of the door may split. When the drill begins to show on the other side, stop and change sides.


Step 4: Fit the latch.

  • Put the latch in place and place the spindle through the hole.
  • With the spindle inserted, screw the latch into place.


Step 5: Fit the doorknobs.

  • Push the doorknob onto the spindle and screw it into place.
  • Check the doorknob operates the handle correctly before you fit the doorknob onto the other side.


Step 6: Fit the strike plate.

  • Fit the strike plate into the doorframe (or check your new latch fits with the current one).


Browse our range of different styles and finishes of doorknobs to find one to match your interior design.