At some point, you’ve probably dealt with a loose door handle.
You might’ve even left the handle loose and got used to how flimsily you open that door.
So why not end this frustration now?
Door handles come in all shapes, sizes, and brands.
Fixing each one might be a different feat, but the end result for all will be rewarding.
With the right equipment and handling specifications, you’ll be able to fix that door all by yourself in no time.
Stick around to get a step-by-step on how to tighten your door handle, among other fixing tips.
Understanding Your Door Handle
Since door handles aren’t all created equal, you might stumble on a lot of how-tos for several door handle types.
That’s why you first need to identify what kind of door handle you’re dealing with.
Here’s a quick guide:
In case you might be asking yourself, how do I know which one I have? Well, let’s take a look at some door handle types below.
You’re bound to have one of these around your house.
There are several sub-types of lever handles available.
There are a couple of main categories to differentiate each of the types, mainly lever handles on a backplate and lever handles on a rose.
The former handles have a backplate and include door handles, such as bathroom levers, lever locks, and lever latches.
Bathroom levers are the ones that usually require more privacy and contain a locking mechanism operated by a snib.
On the other hand, lever latches are more commonly found in interior doors that don’t need locks.
You could be using them for your kitchen or living room.
As for handles on rose, they have a simpler design.
The lever’s door attachment can be either circle or square-shaped.
These handles are more versatile in their locking mechanism since they’re usually paired separately.
You can’t deny how classic this type of handle is.
It’s none other than the doorknob.
You can find a plethora of designs for doorknobs.
Nevertheless, there are a few sub-types of them.
You see, there are privacy, passage, and keyed entry door knobs with an opening system.
The first one has a button in the middle that locks the door from the outside.
Passage door knobs don’t require any lock; you just twist and open.
Finally, keyed entry door knobs, as their name suggests, use a key for entrance.
Glass Sliding Door Handle
You’re more likely to encounter this door handle on your patio, balcony, or backyard.
Unlike most other door handles, a glass sliding door’s handles move sideways rather than front and back.
The locking mechanism in this door handle is as simple as ever.
- Close the sliding doors fully
- Push the clasp inside the handle to lock it.
- Your job is done!
Shower Door Handle
A shower door handle is a sub-type of the pull handle.
You might find pull handles everywhere you go, whether it’s a restaurant or your local library.
It turns out shower door handles usually go through the door, making them fall under either pull handles with backplates or bolt-through ones.
Refrigerator Door Handle
Whenever you pull open your fridge, have you ever thought about how its handle is stuck to it and how it works?
You see, with refrigerator door handles, you can use an adhesive pull handle or find a refrigerator with an already securely bolted door handle.
How to Tighten Your Lever Door Handle
Since levers are the most common door handles available, we’re going to find out how you can tighten one up if it gets too loose.
Check out or steps below for how to fix a loose lever door handle by tightening it up.
Step 1: Get Your Tools Ready
You’re going to be tightening up your door handle; it’s time to look at the part and get your materials on hand.
Here are some of the tools you’ll most likely require.
- Duct tape
- Allen key (optional)
- Flathead screwdriver
Step 2: Screw the Door Handle Off
After getting your tools ready, you want to remove the handle’s outer layer.
This step could work differently based on the type of door handle you own.
For instance, if you have an Andersen door handle, it’ll have a backplate that also needs removing.
Meanwhile, some door handles like the Kwikset only have a circular base, like handles on a rose.
If you’re trying to remove the latter’s door handle, here’s what you’ll do:
- Unscrew the nail located at the neck of your handle.
- It should move inward where the nail would remain after you remove the outer layer.
- Remove the cover plate affixed on your door.
The hard part is not trying to damage your door while doing this.
We recommend using a flathead screwdriver for this part to pry the plate off and expose the mounting plate.
Step 3: Fasten the Screws on the Mountain Plate
By now, your handle should be off, as well as the cover plate. You should now be looking at a mounting plate screwed in by two nails.
Your job is to get your screwdriver on hand and fasten the two screws you see on both sides of the handle’s neck.
The loose nails are probably the main reason your door handle is jiggling about when you try to use it.
Alternatively, you can unscrew the couple of screws completely out.
Make sure to attach the plate with duct tape, so it doesn’t fall off.
Next, apply a few drops of thread locker on your nails and screw them back in for better stability.
You might find this video helpful:
Click here to find one of the best-selling thread lockers in the market.
Step 4: Reassemble Your Door Handle Back Together
Now, all that’s left to do is put everything back where it was.
That means screwing the nails back, positioning the cover plate in, and finally, attaching the rest of the door handle.
After putting the door handle in, make sure to tighten it from the side using an Allen key or screwdriver.
That’s how you fix loose handle screws.
Step 5: Preventing Loose Door Handles
Before getting into the prevention methods, you should note why your screws might get loose in the first place.
The answer is simply time.
Door handles can succumb to the test of time easily.
This is why the best way to avoid loose door handles is to perform regular check-ups.
But wait, there could be more to it.
Sometimes, loose door handles could point to lost or damaged screws that need replacing.
Otherwise, you might want to check up on the locking mechanism to make sure it’s stable and working.
How to Fix a Loose Doorknob
Fixing a loose doorknob is almost the same as tightening a door handle.
In my own experience, I’ve had to fix a couple of my loose doorknobs on our bedroom doors.
They get used a lot! I’ve also had to fix a doorknob that stopped turning because it WASN’T getting used enough!
The steps are simple.
If your screws are already exposed, then you’ll only need to use your screwdriver to fasten the cover plate to the door.
Having said that, hidden screws would need a bit more work.
You have to remove the handle by unscrewing the doorknob to reveal the mounting plate and the screws inside.
Observe the screws to make sure they’re functional or need to be replaced.
Afterward, with your screwdriver, make sure to keep these screws tightly fastened and reassemble your doorknob back together.
Other Door Handle Fixes to Consider
In other cases, you might have a loose shower or glass sliding door handle.
Here’s how you can fix both.
For the first handle, you’ll want to prepare a screwdriver.
Since the door handle goes on both sides of the door, unscrew one of those sides.
Next, the handle from the other side should be visible, as well as its top and bottom screws.
Fasten both of them and re-screw the other handle back.
Let’s look at a glass sliding door handle.
For this one, you just need to take out the protective tabs to uncover the screws on the handle.
Using your trusty screwdriver, screw them clockwise to get a tighter fit and close them back up with the tabs.
If you’re wondering how to tighten your door handle, we’re sure this article has answered your question. All it takes are the right tools (mainly a screwdriver).
Always be sure to regularly check up on your door handles so you can avoid any loose knobs and handles or unwanted droopy levers.