How to Install an Antique Speakeasy Door Grille
Posted on 05 Apr 2022
Your front door décor adds value to your property’s curb appeal. Although you could paint it a bold color or invest in something with added windows or handcrafted decorations, those options aren’t available for everyone.
An affordable way to upgrade your entry is to install a speakeasy door grille. These items are typically constructed of heavy-duty iron, ensuring the person behind the door stays safe. Think of it as a traditional peephole, but better.
This doorway fixture became popular in the 1920s during the prohibition era. Since speakeasies were unlicensed bars, they needed a way to determine who was knocking at the door. Visitors would speak into the grate with a password to gain entry.
Steps to Follow When Installing an Antique Speakeasy Door Grille
Wooden doors work the best for this upgrade, but you can install an antique speakeasy door grille in virtually all standard materials. Here are the steps you’ll need to follow.
1. Measure the Door
Use a tape measure to locate the door’s center. Mark the spot where you want to install the door grille. It should be at an appropriate height so that everyone in your home can use this feature.
Once you’ve found the center, place the door grille on that spot. Trace out the line where you’ll need to cut through the door to complete the installation.
Double-check each measurement before cutting.
2. Cut the Outline
When installing a door grille, start cutting slowly from the exterior side first. You’ll want to stop when the bit or blade begins sticking through the interior surface to prevent splintering.
Line the bit or blade to the edge of the door, wrapping tape around the shaft to indicate the correct depth. Then operate at a 90-degree angle until the line is reached.
Continue cutting through the door until you have a space that fits the dimensions of your antique speakeasy door grille.
3. Insert the Door Grille
As you install the door hardware for the new grille, you’ll want to start by using the exterior frame. Each model is a little different, so you’ll need to follow the instructions on the package. If the fit is too tight, remove it from the opening and enlarge the area slightly before repeating.
Some products come with decals that interfere with the installation. It helps to remove them before continuing.
Once the outer frame is installed, apply a small bead of silicone sealant around the backside of each side to keep moisture out of the door.
Tighten according to the product’s instructions. For multipart products, you’ll need to repeat on the other side. Clean up any silicone that squeezes out, ensuring that the surfaces are flush or stand out in their designed way.
Installing an antique speakeasy door grille is a straightforward home improvement project that typically takes 30 minutes or less to complete. Our team has several options to consider if you’re looking for other custom gate or door hardware! We can help you find the perfect look to deliver the curb appeal enhancement you want.