How To Install A Peephole

If you want to see through your door without being seen, having a peephole is your best (and only) option. And it’s not as difficult as it sounds.
Here’s how to install a peephole, the easy way.

Supplies | Prepare | Drill | Install

You’ll need:

  • A peephole
  • A pencil
  • A drill
  • Measuring tape
  • A screwdriver


obama looking through a peephole
Whether your door is made of wood or metal, installing a peephole is pretty much the same, albeit you’ll need a different kind of drill.
When purchasing a peephole, you can choose from several models. There are basic ones with a viewfinder and a lens, some are decorated, and others are even equipped with a camera or a magnifying glass.
As for the price, it’s entirely based on the performance of the device. An entry-level peephole should not exceed $50, but a high-end one can run you in the hundreds.
Viewing angles will be different, between 140° and 200°, while the thickness of the doors they are designed for also vary, usually between 1 in/25 mm and 3.5 in/85 mm. Be careful to pick exactly what you want and need.

Drill the door

drill the door
Before beginning the drilling process, it’s helpful to take a step back (both literally and figuratively), and figure out who is going to use the peephole most often. Children? Adults? Elderly people?
Depending on the height of the users, the hole should be drilled at a specific place. In general, it is better for it to be too low, rather than too high. It is easier to bend over than find a ladder.
When installing the peephole, measure the width of the door as to place the peephole dead center. When you’ve find the perfect spot, drill the hole with the same diameter as the cylindrical surface (i.e. the one embedded in the door).
Be careful to drill the hole horizontally. To prevent a wooden door from breaking, don’t drill all at once. Slowly drill until the tip pierces through the panel. Stop immediately and remove the tool. Start to drill again, slowly, on the other side of the hole.

Install the peephole

You must first identify the correct position to install the peephole. It is usually comprised of two parts. The elements with the lens must be installed outside the door, while the viewfinder will be positioned within the housing.
The two parts of the viewfinder/lens are inserted into the opening, each one oriented towards a specific side of the door. Screw them together by blocking on one side the lens, while the viewfinder is screwed tightly. If you have a video/digital peephole, program it following the provided instructions. You’re set.

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