Before purchasing interior doors, be sure to note the overall size of the door opening in which it will be hung. Door openings are almost never perfectly square and the new doors will likely need trimming to suit. Don’t forget to check the thickness of the new door also as this will need to align with the frame.
If your new door comes with untrimmed stiles, or horns, they should be cut off square using a carpenter’s try square to mark the line and a fine-toothed saw to cut.
Measure the door frame’s width at the top and bottom. Subtract 4mm to allow for a 2mm clearance on both sides. Transfer the measurements to the new interior door.
If the door is only slightly wider than the frame, mark the cut line from one edge.
However, if the door is significantly wider, mark the cut lines on both edges so that an equal amount is trimmed on each side.
Trim the door with a plane. Remember that when trimming at the top and bottom of the door, only work from the outer edge in. If you run the plane towards the outer edge, the wood will split and splinter.
Once it fits into the frame correctly with the necessary clearance, use wooden wedges to wedge the new door into the frame in the correct position.
Most standard interior doors require two 100mm hinges. Heavier doors should be supported by three hinges.
Hold the hinge against the door and outline its shape against both the door and frame. Hinges should be set at 175mm from the top and 250mm from the bottom. If a third hinge is used it should sit midway between the other two.
Carefully chisel out the recesses for the hinges on the new door and the door frame. You may want to cut the recesses slightly deeper at the inner edges to help prevent binding when the door is closed.
Set the hinges in the recesses and make sure they are perfectly flush with the outer edge. Mark the screw holes and set the hinges aside.
Drill a pilot hole in the side of the door for each screw by using a drill bit that’s just slightly smaller than the screws.
Hold the door against the frame and double check the markings for the hinges on the frame. Drill a pilot hole for each screw into the frame.
With the door in its open position, use wooden wedges to line up the hinges with their respective recesses and fix into position with one screw.
Examine the hinges as you open and close the door. Once you are certain that the door closes correctly and the hinges are properly recessed, complete the process by installing the remaining screws.
Table of contents
- 10 Things You Should Know To Hang A Door
- How to Hang a Door in 5 Easy Steps
- How to Hang Cabinet Doors
- How To Hang An Interior Door
- How to Hang Bifold Doors
10 Things You Should Know To Hang A Door
Hanging a door is a real skill, which is why we would always recommend that you get a professional to do it for you. You may think you can save money or time by doing it yourself, but it can be a false economy to believe this.
1. Contact some professionals
Even if you get a builder or carpenter to hang your door, there is still a lot you can do and a lot you can learn. For example, if you contacted a professional about hanging a door they would probably want some information before they quoted you and if you can give them that information without them coming to your home you are likely to get it done more cheaply. For example, you can tell them whether it’s inside or outside, large or small, what quality you want, etc. If you do not find a professional, there are numerous best apps for carpenters that even a beginner can check out to hang the doors by yourself.
2. Informing the professional
Informing the professional who you’d like to do the job for you can help them determine exactly what you want fairly quickly. One of the most fundamental things is telling them whether it’s an external or internal door you want. The regulations and requirements of these are very different as too are the prices. But this simple piece of information is the most fundamental they’ll need to start resolving your need.
3. Dimensions and positions
Hanging a door involves knowing the weight and size of it and whereabouts you want it fitted. Passing this information to a professional can also help. You may not be able to be absolutely detailed or perfectly precise in all your information but at least they will be able to get an idea of what you want. Bear in mind that both internal and external doors come in all shapes and sizes, some are standard and some bespoke. Bespoke or customized ones are likely to be much more expensive.
Apart from separating one room from another, doors are security devices. Their function is to ‘secure’ a room either for privacy or safety. This is more critical for outside doors that inside ones but both serve this purpose so be sure of the level of security you want to achieve for your door. For example, an internal office door or bathroom door will need to be more secure than a kitchen door.
5. Fire regulations
Fire Regulations usually dictate that doors need to meet stipulated rules for fire resistance etc. Make sure you ask your fitter that these are met. Also, many countries now ban the use of asbestos a fire resistant material which was formerly used in doors precisely to make them more fire resistant. This is a dangerous material though and is now banned. So make sure the door you buy does not have any of this, but that the person knows how the meets fire regulations.
6. Locks and handles
If you are fitting the door yourself you need to be very careful about fitting the lock. Putting this in the wrong place and obviously completely mess up your door. This is where a professional will be much more efficient and skillful. Also make sure you choose the best locks and handles that you can afford as these will get a lot of use and will last far longer if they are better quality.
7. Hinges and screws
Make sure the hinges and screws being used are sufficient for the job. Obviously, these carry the full weight of the door so need to be very strong. External doors are almost invariably much heavier than internal ones so their hinges need to be very heavy duty and be able to carry the weight of the door for many years to come. If the person hanging a door for you gives you a choice of hinges always try to choose the best quality ones you can afford.
8. Make sure its straight
It goes without saying that the door needs to hang straight. A professional can achieve this much more quickly than an amateur. You can test the straightness both before and after hanging a door. A spirit level will tell you if your door is straight before you screw it to the doorframe. Also, after you hang it the door should open easily without swinging or veering when you let go of it.
9. Post hanging check
After hanging a door it should be checked a week or so later to make sure it hasn’t moved or slipped in any way. This is important as what can look okay when it’s first completed can, over a short time, pull out the hinges under its own weight. Visually check the hinges and swing the door a few times to make sure it’s still ok.
10. It usually takes more than one person to hang a door
So if your professional turns up alone ask them how they will manage this. Bear in mind the heavier a door is the more likely they will need help and the more people it is likely to involve.
So, we hope you can see that hanging a door involves a lot of preparation, checking and skill and should not be undertaken by an amateur with no experience.
How to Hang a Door in 5 Easy Steps
Hanging a door is one of the most satisfying of all DIY jobs but it can be the most challenging. Here’s how to get it right.
What do I need?
Basic carpentry tools, care and patience. Ready to go? Let’s get started.
Unscrew your old door. Take out the screws from the bottom hinge before the top hinge. Make sure the door is well-supported when you take the last screw out.
Hold the new door in the doorway to see if it needs adjusting. If the old one was a good fit, lay the new one on top of it and use it to mark where to plane or cut. Take equal amounts of wood from the top and bottom. Use a hand or plane saw to trim excess wood. Afterwards, sand it smooth.
Ideally, there should be a gap the thickness of a 2p piece between either side of the door and the top. Allow more at the bottom if you have a thick carpet.
Check your new hinges against the old ones on the frame. If they don’t fit, rest them on the bottom of the hinge recess and mark along the top of the new hinge.
Remove extra wood with a chisel and mallet. Check the new hinge sits flush to the frame. Screw both hinges to the door frame and open them. The edges of the hinges should stick out slightly from the frame edge.
Prop the door in the door frame, resting it on wedges to get the correct gap at the bottom. With a pencil, mark where the top and bottom of the hinges should sit on the door.
Unscrew the hinges from the door frame. Place them on the edge of your door and draw around them. Make a series of chisel cuts to the right depth and then cut out the wood to the marked lines.
Use a bradawl smaller than the screw to make a starter hole. Fit the hinge in the recess and screw in place.
With the door supported on wedges and at a right angle to the frame, fix the hinge flaps to the door frame. Use only one screw at first to allow you to make adjustments.
Check the door opens and closes easily. If it does, you’re ready to fix the rest of the screws.
Congratulations! You’re all done.
How to Hang Cabinet Doors
Cabinet makers charge a ton of money to install new cabinetry. It doesn’t have to be that way. With a little time and a lot of patience anyone can learn how to hang cabinet doors. Why waste money on having a carpenter come out to your home when with just a few simple tools you can do the job yourself.
There are only a few tools needed to hang cabinet doors:
- Screwdrivers, both flat and Phillips head
- Measuring tape
- Carpenter’s square
- Cordless drill with various sized bits
The first step is to attach the hinges to the new cabinet door. Make sure they’re equally spaced from each other so the door will swing freely.
Chances are you’re hanging more than one cabinet door. A good tip to make sure you have a straight line across the entire row of cabinets is to hold the door in place and lightly mark a straight line where the top of the door meets the cabinet.
Now just use the straight edge of the carpenter’s square to extend that line across the entire cabinet run. There you have it a simple reference line to make sure all the new doors sit at the same height.
Once again place the door over the cabinet front. This time use your pencil and mark the hinge locations on the cabinet facing.
Now open up the cabinet door and align the hinges with the pencil mark. It’s a good idea to have a helper for this job as trying to support the door while anchoring the hinges can get a bit tricky. You don’t want the door to get out of level.
With your helper holding the door in place use the cordless drill and a small drill bit to punch out a couple pilot holes. Drilling pilot holes is important to avoid splintering or cracking the cabinet!
Now just grab the screwdriver, and insert a couple screws through each hinge.
Once the door is secure check it’s swing. Hopefully everything works just right and it closes easily. If not just undo and reposition the hinges and try again.
The next step is to install the doorknob and magnetic latch.
Place one of the magnetic latches on the top side of the door opposite the swing side and screw into place.
Next place another magnet inside the cabinet but recessed so that the door won’t contact it. Most magnetic latches will have a keyway that will allow you to adjust the catch back and forth. Find the right placement and the door should swing shut and flush with the cabinet. If it doesn’t catch or pops back open just readjust the magnetic latch.
The last thing to do is attach the door hardware. You’ll want the hardware in the same location on every cabinet door. Use the carpenter’s square to measure off the right location and record the measurements. Be sure it’s exact before screwing in the hardware. You don’t want to have to redo it.
That’s all there is to learning how to hang cabinet doors. Just repeat the process for each door. And you’ve saved money and accomplished a great home improvement all on your own.
How To Hang An Interior Door
Replacing old squeaky or sticky doors is one of the easiest ways of improving your home.
External doors, as the name suggests should be hung where they are designed to be used, externally. They are tougher and more weather resistant than their interior counterparts.
Sometimes local building regulations will specify that you must use fire resistant internal doors in certain parts of your house. Check the regulations for your area.
Check Over The Frame
Before you make any adjustments to the new door it is very important to check the frame in which you intend it to be hanged. If it has significant damage or is badly out of square you should consider installing a new frame as-well. Fitting a new door to an out of shape frame can be a nightmare.
Hanging The Door
Once you have purchased your new door and are happy with the condition of the frame it is now time to hang the door. Even if the new door is the exact size of the opening it may still not fit.
Offering the door up to the frame first and marking it with a pencil will give you a fairly good idea where to make adjustments. It is important that you make these measurements carefully and offer up the door from time to time when planing to avoid any mistakes.
Chocks and wedges are also handy to have although a hammer and a screwdriver can also be used as an adjustable door lift. Simply put the end of the screwdriver under the door, put the handle of the hammer underneath the shank and simply put some weight on the screwdriver handle to lift the door to the desired height.
- Check the height of the door by wedging it on chocks under the hinge side of the door. This makes sure you have the necessary clearance at the bottom.
- Mark the areas that are to be removed with a pencil and use a straight edge to join the marks up.
- Check the width by offering up the door again and marking the areas to be removed.
- Start to plane the edges of the doors until you get the desired fit. Plane inwards on both the top and bottom to prevent the edge from splitting.
Once the door fits the frame it is time to add the hinges.
Putting on the hinges
- Lay the door on it side and mark the new hinge positions. One 150mm (6in) from the top and one 230mm (9in) from the bottom.
- Use a marking gauge if possible to mark the recesses. Using a 25mm (1in) chisel trace around the recess first 2-3mm deep and then chisel out the recess so the hinge can lie flat.
- Drill and fix the hinges to the door.
- Offer up the door to the frame and mark where the hinges line up.
- Repeat step 2 for the frame.
- Wedge the door in to position and fix to the frame through the centre holes of the hinges. Check the door closes properly and adjust if necessary. Finally add the remaining screws.
How to Hang Bifold Doors
Although bifold doors come in different designs, the method of installation is the same. It’s a good idea to read the instructions that came with the bifold doors before you begin. Generally the doors are 80 inches tall but can be cut down to fit. The height of the door opening should be two inches higher the length of the doors to allow enough clearance for the track and the rest of the hardware.
Start by marking the top of the opening with a pencil and line up the track. Mark and pre drill screw holes. (Use a drill bit that is smaller then the screw itself ).
Position the pivot brackets (inside the header track ) 3/8 inch away from the end of the opening.
Line up the pivot bracket with the header track. (You can use a plumb bob or lay a carpenters level against the side frame and make a mark at the floor and align the bottom track. I always take the measurements of where the top track will line up and transfer that measurement to the bottom where the pivot bracket will be installed).
If it’s a cement floor, use adhesive especially made for gluing to cement. Let the adhesive set for 24 hours, line up the pivot bracket with the top track and fasten it to the wooden pad.
Once all the brackets are lined up with each other and in place, you can hang the bifold doors by simply folding the doors in half and fitting the guide pin in the upper track. Next, lift up the door and fit the adjustable pivot into the pivot bracket at the bottom of the door opening.
Repeat the last steps for closets with four panels.
Install the doorknobs at a height where it is most comfortable to reach. Don’t install the doorknobs too close to the edges.
If the opening requires four section bifold doors, you will need to install alignment brackets on the back side of the two middle doors. (Approximately 16 inches from the bottom of the doors). These brackets will interlock and keep the doors aligned with each other.
I hope this rough guide will help you understand how to hang doors.