Information on How to Change a Sliding Door Lock

Information on How to Change a Sliding Door Lock

Posted by on Feb 7, 2015 in Locksmith

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The thought of changing a sliding door lock can be somewhat intimidating, but with a little knowhow, this is relatively easy. Of course, if it would make you feel more comfortable or if you run into some kind of challenge along the way, a professional locksmith can always step in to help.

Change a Sliding Door Lock for Enhanced Security

Many sliding doors are designed with locks made from cast aluminum alloy, and while they work, they are not considered the safest. Due to functionality and security, one of the most popular options is the Mortise-style lock. This one-piece steel lock is extremely strong, which boosts security.

If you want to change a sliding door lock, you might consider a Mortise. This lock will provide years of solid service and give you and your entire family greater peace of mind. However, regardless if you choose a Mortise lock or something else, the most important thing is to make sure that dimensions are exact.


Benefits of a Mortise Lock

Even among Mortise locks, dimensions are critical because of other factors, such as location of the mounting holes and size and direction of swing for the hasp. Therefore, if you plan to change a sliding door lock on your own, be sure you have the right measurements but also details for mounting the new lock. To make sure nothing gets overlooked, you might consider taking the old lock to a home improvement or hardware store, or locksmith.

Typically, aluminum doors have a cutout recess in the doorframe, while wooden doors have steel Mortise locks in the actual door pocket. Now, some sliding glass doors are designed with a lock that includes a door handle whereby long screws go directly through the Mortis lock. In addition, this usually has an actuating lever that slides into a rectangular-shaped hole within the lock itself.

If this is the type of setup for your sliding door, all you need is a new Mortise lock assembly, since the handles and actuating lever from the old system can be used. Remember, when removing the old lock, there are tiny pins and screws, so you want to keep a small cup handy so nothing gets lost. When you are ready to change a sliding door lock to a Mortise, you will need the following information:


  • Width of the lock
  • Size of screw hole (this is the distance between the centers of the mounting screw)
  • Type of end faceplate (square or round)
  • Name of the door manufacturer (since locks are commonly unique to a specific door)
  • Position of the keyway

After purchasing the new lock, slide the door open. Remove screws around the lock on the interior door side, making it possible to pull the inside and outside pieces of the lock apart. Then, unscrew and remove the door strike from the jamb. When finished, the new lock is inserted into the open hole, aligning the screw holes and locking mechanisms. While holding the interior and exterior pieces together, tighten the screws and put the door strike back in place.

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