HOW DO I: Replace an interior door?
Have you ever noticed the condition of your interior doors and wished there was something you could do about them?
Over the years, our interior doors get banged up, dented, scratched or even have holes punched through from some unseen ghosts, and sometimes they just seem outdated.
You might decide that will be your next weekend project. If you are so inclined, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that the finished product is better than what you started with.
The tools that you will need consists of a framing square and possibly a long straight edge, a circular saw, either a wood chisel or router, a 2?-inch hole saw, a 1-inch spade bit, a Phillips screwdriver and sand paper.
Before removing the old door from the hinges, close the door and inspect the gaps around the perimeter of the door and the frame. Take notes of any irregularities or unparallel gaps. If you find unparallel gaps, you’ll want to correct them with the new slab, if possible. Also note if the lockset aligns itself with the strike plate. The desired gap around the door and frame should be approximately one-eighth of an inch.
The previously taken notes will help you remember what needs to be done after you remove the door slab from the frame.
If these gaps are parallel and no adjustments need to be made, then simply check the size of the new door slab compared to the original slab to make sure the new door is the same. If it is slightly larger than the original, use the measurements of the original door and transfer them to the new slab and cut as needed. Sand down the edges of any cuts made.
If you had recorded irregular or unparallel gaps that you want to correct with the new door slab, simply transfer the measurements of the original door slab to the new slab plus the corrective measurements needed, from your notes, to bring the gaps back parallel. Also transfer the marks for the hinges and door knob. The hinge mortises can be made with a router and a steady hand or a chisel if you are careful to cut a smooth recess into the door’s edge. Routing templates are available from tool supply stores, if you feel you need one. Sand all cut edges or chiseled mortises and mount the hardware to the slab and hang the door back to the frame.
New door slabs are available in a simulated wood grain hard board material molded into one of many paneled designs or solid pine material; the latter yields a heavier door, costs more than the molded doors and is subject to movement between the panels with changes in humidity, which shows up as cracks in your paint job. When painting the new door slab, remember to seal the top and bottom edges of the door slab; this helps prevent the door from swelling at the changing of the seasons.
After you complete the door replacements, you’ll have more time searching for the ghosts that keep hiding the remote and car keys.
Send your questions or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.
JD Norris is the owner/operator of DreamMaker Bath&Kitchen and a certified S.C. Master Builder, certified “Aging in Place” Specialist and certified Green Professional.