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How to Choose a Door Knocker

FAQ: Door Knockers


Door knockers are a classic front door addition that offer a regal look, and an easy way for guests to knock without bruising their knuckles. But door knockers aren’t something that most people purchase every day, so there can be a lot questions that come up when shopping for them. Here are answers to some of the most asked questions about purchasing door knockers:

What types of door knockers are available?

When it comes to the functional structure of a door knocker, most stick to the standard top-hinge design. The real variety in these pieces is in the aesthetic designs. There are a wide range of styles and finishes that can suit almost any taste or match any design theme. Some of the most popular styles include sculptural door knockers shaped like a lion head, pineapple, anchor or fox. There are also more understated designs that feature a simple ring or drop pull. Any of these styles are available in a selection of metals and finishes, but brass, bronze, and iron are the most common materials for door knockers.

What terminology should I be familiar with when buying or installing a door knocker?

There aren’t too many special terms needed to shop for this piece of hardware, but here are a couple important ones to know:

  • Height: Vertical measurement from the top of the door knocker to the bottom when it is mounted on a door.
  • Width: Horizontal measurement of the dimensions from one side to the other (left to right).
  • Projection: Depth that a door knockers sticks out from the surface of the door towards the front.
  • Center-to-center: The distance between the centers of the two main mounting screws. Generally the center to center measurement for a door knocker will be one of a few standard sizes such as 3.5 inches, 3.75 inches or 4 inches, however, there are a range of other sizes on the market as well.

Tip: The center to center measurement comes in handy if you are replacing a door knocker, rather than installing a new one. This measurement allows you to look for one that has the same center to center measurements so that you can use the existing holes without issue.

Are there any extra features to look for?

While door knockers are typically pretty straightforward in terms of function, you can find some that incorporate extra features such as a peephole or a hook for wreathes or other door décor. These extras can help your door to keep a clean appearance by removing the need for multiple installations.

How do I install a door knocker?

This will vary depending on the specific knocker that you purchase, and the type of door that you have. However, there are generally two different installation styles: “Through the door mount” and “Surface mount.” The “through the door mount” will be necessary for any door knocker with a peephole included or for installing a knocker on a hollow core door. “Surface mount” installation should only be used on solid wood doors.

To install a “through the door mount” door knocker:

  1. 1. Decide where you would like to place the knocker
  2. 2. Measure and mark out the exact spots for screws and any peephole
  3. 3. Use a drill to create the hole for the peephole and screws
  4. 4. Have someone hold the door knocker in place on the front of the door and install screws and peephole from back of the door
  5. 5. Test that the knocker is securely fastened and make any adjustments as needed


To install a “surface mount “door knocker:

  1. 1. Decide where you would like to place the knocker
  2. 2. Measure and mark out the exact spots for screws
  3. 3. Hold the door knocker in place over the marks you have just made
  4. 4. Attach to the front of the door with screws
  5. 5. Test that the knocker is securely fastened and make any adjustments as needed


Browse Related Articles: Door Bell Buying Guide Guide to Door Locks & Bolts Guide to Push Plates

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