How To Install Interior Door Slab

How to Hang a Slab Door

Documentation Download Documentation Download Documentation A slab door is a type of door that does not have a frame surrounding it. In the case of replacing an old door with the frame remaining in place, or when reusing an old door, such as an antique, slab doors are typically employed. For a slab door to be properly installed, the door must first be fitted to the existing doorframe. After that, you may attach the hardware to the doorframe and hang your new slab door in it.

  1. If you don’t have the original door, take measurements of the aperture in the doorframe. You should use measuring tape to determine the size of the doorframe opening if you are installing a slab door in a new doorframe or an existing doorframe but don’t have the original door to use as a template. Place one end of the measuring tape in the upper right-hand corner of the doorframe aperture and drag it down to the bottom left. Stop the measuring tape 1/8 inch (0.32 cm) above the ground to ensure that there is enough space under the door to open. Measure the inner width of the doorframe opening, leaving a 1/16 inch (0.16 cm) space on either side of the doorframe opening
  • Make a pencil line on the slab door to indicate the size of the aperture for the doorframe using these measurements
  • The bottom of the door should be 3 4 inches (1.9 centimeters) clear if your floor is carpeted rather than the standard 1 8 inch (0.32 centimeter) clearance. This will provide greater space for the door to swing open without getting trapped on the carpet
  • Also, When you’re marking your measurements on the slab door with a pencil, make sure to use a ruler to ensure that you’re drawing a straight line over the surface. When you plane or cut it down with a circular saw, you’ll be able to create a clean, even cut because of the alignment.
  • 2 If you have the original door, make sure the old and new door slabs are aligned. If you are installing a slab door to replace an existing door and you still have the original door, you may measure your new door slab to ensure that it will fit the frame by aligning it with the old door and measuring the distance between the two. This may be accomplished by placing both doors next to each other on their thin, long sides, with the hinges on the old door facing up. Align the doors so that the tops are of the same height, and then use a clamp to secure the doors together.
  • It is OK to leave the new slab door in its current condition if both old and new slab doors are of the same size. If the new slab door is longer or wider than the old door, use a pencil to draw the form of the old door onto the new slab door
  • If the new slab door is longer or wider than the old door, use a pencil to trace the shape of the old door onto the new slab door
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  2. s3 Trim the slab door so that it fits into the doorframe perfectly. If your slab door is longer or wider than the old slab door or the specs for the doorframe opening, you will need to cut it down to fit the frame opening. If less than 1/8inch (0.32 cm) of the bottom and/or sides of the door need to be trimmed, plane the door to bring it down to size as needed. If you need to trim the door down by more than 1/8 inch (0.32 cm), use a circular saw to cut the door down to the size of the dimensions you marked with a pencil. Advertisement
  1. 1 Determine the location of the hinges on the door and doorframe. If you still have the old door, re-clamp it to the new slab door if you had to separate them to plane or cut them. Create a straight line from the tops and bottoms of the hinges using a ruler, and then use a pencil to mark the location of the hinges across the new door with a pencil. If you don’t have access to the previous door, you can use a measuring tape to determine the placement of the hinge attachment on the current doorframe
  2. However, this is not recommended.
  • If you are using both a new doorframe and a new slab door, attach the hinges so that the top hinge is 7 inches (18 cm) from the top of the door frame and the bottom hinge is 11 inches (28 cm) from the bottom of the door frame
  • If you are using both a new doorframe and a new slab door, attach the hinges so that the top hinge is 7 inches (18 cm) from the bottom of the door frame
  • 2 Make the mortises for the hinges in the slab door. After you have identified the locations of the hinges, you may insert one of the hinges in each of the designated locations. Make a score line around the hinge with a utility knife using a sharp blade. Take a measurement of the depth of the hinge and set it away. Then, using a utility knife, make straight notch marks throughout the interior of the hinge region at the depth of the hinge, starting at the depth of the hinge. Pick out the notches one by one with a chisel until the inside hinge region has a shallow indentation (known as a mortise) that allows the hinge to sit flat against the door
  • This method should be repeated to cut the mortise for the opposite hinge.
  • 3 Attach the hinges to the slab door using the screws provided. Place the hinges on the door in the locations that have been allocated for them. Drill the screws into the hinges and into the slab door using a drill to secure the hinges to the door. Most door hinge kits include all of the screws that you will need to complete the installation. If they don’t have them, you may purchase them individually from any home improvement store.
  • You should bring the hinges to the store if you need to purchase screws separately in order to ensure that you obtain the correct size
  • If you need to purchase screws separately,
  • 4 If there isn’t a doorknob hole, mark the position where the doorknob will go. If you still have the original door, you may use it as a template once again by aligning the two doors and marking the placement of the doorknob with a ruler and pencil. For doors that are not original, measure 36 inches (91 cm) above the bottom of the door using a measuring tape to see how much space you have available. Make a pencil mark on the ground to indicate the position
  • Depending on how the door was repurposed or built, the hole for the doorknob may already have been cut. If this is the case, you may skip this step because most doorknobs are 36 inches (91 cm) in height, which is the usual height. Depending on your own preference as well as the specific size of the door, you may need to make adjustments.
  • 5 Attach the doorknob to the slab door using a screwdriver. As soon as you have indicated the doorknob’s placement, you may proceed to install the doorknob by drilling the holes for the doorknob and lockset and putting them into the holes you have pre-drilled. If you pick a different type and style of doorknob, the method by which you will drill the holes and attach the doorknob will be different, so make sure to read the installation instructions for that particular doorknob.
  • It is possible to utilize the current doorknob or to replace it with a new one that fits into the existing holes while working with a repurposed slab door
  • However, this is not recommended.
  1. 1 If your doorframe is new, you will need to cut mortises for the door hinges. Depending on whether you are attaching your slab door to an existing doorframe or a new doorframe, you will most likely need to cut mortises for the door hinges. To begin, trace the contour of the hinge location on the door using a pencil to indicate where it will be installed. Take a measurement of the depth of the hinge and set it away. Use the utility knife to make lines around the outside of the hinge line and straight notch marks across the inside of the hinge region, depending on how deep your hinge is. Remove the notches with a chisel to provide room for the hinge to rest flush with the surface of the door
  • This step can be skipped if you are attaching your slab door to an existing doorframe, in which case the mortises will already have been cut
  • Otherwise, follow the steps below.
  • 2 Attach the slab door hinges to the doorframe using the screws provided. Place the door in its proper position within the doorframe. Align the hinge on the doorframe with the hinge mortises on the frame. Next, insert the hinge into the doorframe by screwing it in with a drill.
  • It is possible that you may need to use wooden shims to assist keep the door snugly in place while drilling the hinge screws into the door jamb.
  • 3Make sure the door is a good fit. Once your slab door has been fastened to the doorframe, open and close the door a few times to ensure that it is properly fitted to the frame. This will assist you in ensuring that the door is in proper operating condition before painting or staining it. 4 To complete the look, paint or stain the slab door. After you have finished installing your slab door, you may paint or stain it to match your decor or to repair any nicks that may have happened during the installation process. You can also opt to paint the door frame if you so like.
  • Painting or staining the slab door before hanging it is an option, but it is possible that the paint will be scratched or chipped during the installation procedure. Thus, doing this in the end may save you some time in the long run.

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Things You’ll Need

  • The following tools are required: planer and/or circular saw
  • Clamps
  • Shimming
  • Measuring tape
  • Wood chisel and drill
  • Doorknob kit and door hinges

About This Article

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Replace your old, worn-out, or broken inside doors to give your home a fresh new look and improve the value of your property. Interior doors are installed in the following manner. Please keep in mind that product pricing, availability, and item numbers may differ from market to market.

Interior Door Types

If your door frame has been damaged, you will want a prehung door, which includes both the frame and the door itself. In good condition, a slab door (also known as an ablank door, as seen in the photo) will suffice. Whatever kind you choose, there are a range of designs to choose from to complement your interior design. If you’re installing a prehung door, make sure you get the proper swing, which is decided by the positioning of the hinges and door knob. If you’re installing a prehung door, make sure you get the correct swing, which is determined by the placement of the hinges and door knob.

If the door knob is on the left, you’ll need a door that is on the left as well.

Some blank doors swing in only one way, while others swing in both directions.

The following steps will walk you through the process of installing a blank door.

Removing the Old Door

To remove the old door, follow the instructions outlined below.

Marking and Trimming the New Door

To prepare the new door, follow the instructions outlined below.

Determine Hinge Locations and Size the Door

Door hinges are available in a variety of shapes and sizes. For rounded hinges, you may use a router and a hinge template to create mortises in the wood. If your hinges are square, you can cut the mortises with a chisel by following the instructions outlined in the next section.

Install Hinges and Prepare for the Lockset

Installing the new door is simple if you follow these procedures.

How to Install an Interior Door That Is Not Prehung

You normally use prehung doors that contain the frame when installing interior doors during a renovation or new construction, but there are instances when you just need to replace an old slab door – which is a door that does not have a frame – with an identical new slab door. In order to do this, you’ll need to place hinges on the new door, which will need the creation of mortices – the insets into which the hinges are designed to fit – around the edge of the door. The most difficult element of the job is positioning the mortices in the proper locations to allow the hinges to pair properly.

There are two approaches to taking on this challenge.

If you don’t have access to an existing door, you’ll have to do what Home Decor Bliss suggests and temporarily install the door in the frame in order to mark the locations of the mortices.

The second alternative is a little more difficult, and you may want the assistance of another person to hold the door in place so that it does not fall.

Installing Interior Doors the Easy Way

To remove the old door from the frame, first remove the doorknob with a screwdriver so that it doesn’t get in the way. Then pull the hinge pins to bring the door down (if you haven’t already done so), and then detach the hinges and pull them out of the door frame. Set the new door on a pair of sawhorses, then place the old door on top of it. Align the tops of the doors and the hinge sides of the doors with the sides of the hinges. Standard door widths ensure that they will have the same width; nevertheless, the new door may be somewhat longer than the old one due to the standard widths.

Draw lines on the edge of the new door that match to the tops and bottoms of the mortices on the old door, using a combination square and a pencil to ensure that the new door fits properly.

You can paint the door if it’s required (you can also paint it after you’ve hung it), then screw the hinges from the old door onto the new one and then raise the door into the doorway.

Installing Interior Doors the Hard Way

If you don’t have an old door to use as a template, you’ll have to do things the hard way and hang the door from the ceiling (hard because it involves more lifting). To begin, cut the door to the appropriate length. The height of the door opening should be measured with a tape measure; subtract one inch for wiggle space, and measure that distance from the top of the new door. Draw the cut line with a pencil and straightedge, and then cut along the line with a circular saw to complete the project.

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Draw lines on the door jamb to indicate the top and bottom of the mortices, then pull the door down and chisel out the mortices for the hinges that were previously marked.

Aligning the Door Hinges

Simply screwing the hinges to the door and jamb will almost certainly result in you being off by just enough to prevent the hinges from aligning properly, and it will be very difficult to reposition the hinges once they have been screwed in place. To avoid this, screw the hinges to the door jamb with the pin connecting both parts of the hinges together. Take your time and shim it up until the hinges fit into the mortices that you carved. Once you have the door in place, leave it in the three-quarter-open position so you can access the hinges.

As long as you hang the door this way, you can be confident that the hinges are in the proper positions.

If you need to paint or otherwise prepare the door, just remove the hinge pins and carry the door down with you to do so. Replace the door once it has been sanded and finished with paint or varnish by reconnecting the hinges and dropping in the pins. After that, attach the doorknob.

Things You Will Need

  • The following items are required: paint (if necessary), cedar shims, doorknob, screwdriver, two sawhorses, a combination square, a pencil, a hammer, a chisel, an electric circular saw, a tape measure, and a straightedge

How to Hang a New Door

Mr. Fix-It-Up-For-The-Family As a result of the current door serving as a template, it is significantly simpler and less expensive to replace a door in an existing door frame than it is to remove the trim and frame and replace the door with a prehung one.

Video: How to Hang a Door

Place the top and hinge edges of both doors in a precise alignment before clamping them together.

Photo 2: Transfer the hinge locations

Transfer the hinge locations from the old slab to the new slab using a speed square and a sharp pencil.

Photo 3: Trace the hinge

Using tape, secure the hinge in place while you trace the remainder of the hinge’s outline. Make certain that the distance between the edge of the door and the edge of the hinge is the same (the same as it was on the old door).

Photo 4: Chisel and slice

Remove the aperture by chiseling it out, saving the corners for last. Use a sharp utility blade to score around the radii of the corners after that. With the chisel, pry the corner slug out of the way. Because those puppies can fit right through a hollow-core door, the youngsters shouldn’t have been playing floor hockey indoors with a real puck in the first place. However, the damage has already been done, and someone (i.e., you!) will have to repair the door. There are two options available to you.

  • Alternatively, you may save time and money by placing a blank door slab in the existing jamb and leaving the trim in its original position.
  • All you’ll need is a hammer and chisel, some clamps, a square, a drill, and a hole saw to get the job done.
  • Because the sizes are all standard, you should have no trouble finding a replacement at your local home center.
  • After that, indicate the location of the new slab (Photos 2 and 3).
  • As soon as you’ve completed mortising the hinges, lift the door up and drill the lockset holes at the top.
  • Install the new door’s hinges and hang the door in the desired location.
  • It’s time to move on to the next thing on your to-do list.

Required Tools for this Project

Make a list of all of the equipment you’ll need for this DIY project before you begin; you’ll save both time and frustration this way.

Required Materials for this Project

Preparing all of your stuff ahead of time can save you time and money on last-minute buying visits. Here’s a list of things to do.

How to Install a Slab Door

The thing with interior doors is that they don’t have to be plain and uninteresting. When we began renovating my home office, it presented an excellent chance to incorporate a whimsical door into the hallway. Even though this door frame had already been constructed, there had never been a door installed in this space before, so we were beginning from zero and selecting exquisite knobs and hinges to turn it all into a stunning focal point of the area! There may be affiliate links in this post because it was sponsored by Schlage.

Please go to our disclosure page for further information.

There are many different alternatives available when it comes to installing a new door. In our situation, we just required a door because the jamb and casing for the door were already in place. All that was left was to add a door, hinges, and a knob/striker plate to complete the project.

Materials Needed to Install a Slab Door

  • Routerorchisels
  • A circular saw or track saw
  • A straight edge
  • A measuring tape
  • And other tools. Installation jig for door knobs (optional, but makes installation of knobs quick and simple

You may also purchase doors that are already pre-hung in a door jamb/casing and are ready to be put into a framed opening. However, because we already had the jamb done, we decided to go with a slab door instead.

How to Install a Slab Door

Although our casing had already been fitted, if you need to do so as well, you may follow this excellent instruction. Check to see that your casing is level; if it is not, you may have a difficult time getting your door to open and close smoothly.

Taking Measurements for Knobs and Hinges

For starters, measure the width of your door jamb to decide the size of your slab door. Standard widths for internal doors are 24”, 28”, 30”, 32”, and 36′′ in width. All corridor doors must have a minimum height of 80 inches to be considered safe. As you can see from our extremely technical designs above, we needed a door that was 32 inches wide by 80 inches tall. The next step is to determine the height of the knobs on the door. Typically, door knobs are mounted around 36 inches above the floor.

In the case of the door we chose, we wanted to center the knob near the circular pattern, resulting in a knob height of 35 1/2 inches.

Given that this door is a solid 32′′ wide MDF door with glass (which makes it a bit heavier), we decided to use three hinges.Source:Source:You can use the guide below to help set your hinge height/location (please note that the striker plate will be determined by your knob height and may differ from the dimensions noted below).

Installing Knobs and Hinges

With your hardware picked, you can now be ready to begin installing your hinges and slab door, which will take around one hour. The bottom of our door had to be trimmed down by 1 inch in order to get the required clearances around the doorframe. The following step is really critical. We’re taking measurements for all of the hinges and marking them on the wall. If you make a mistake when marking them, it might cost you the entire door, so measure, measure again, and double-check! Remove the material from the area where you will attach your hinge using a router or a chisel; only remove enough material to allow your hinge to mount flush with the face of the door jamb or door.

Individually attach each side of the hinge to each of the elements (remove the pin to separate the pieces).

From the top left corner to the bottom right corner After you’ve finished installing the door, you may go on to the knob.

Using the knob jig, you can rapidly identify the holes for the knob and the latch on the knob and latch assembly.

Using a chisel or a router, you can simply cut out the spots for them once everything has been chalked out. As soon as you’ve cut everything, you can put your knob and hardware in place and test your door.

Our Installed Modern Slab Door

I couldn’t be more pleased with my door selections today! Everything is in the details, and these matte black hinges and knobs make all the difference in this room, bringing a touch of class and refinement to the whole look.


  • The following tools are required: router or chisels
  • Circular saw or track saw
  • Straight edge
  • Measuring tape Installation jig for door knobs (optional, but makes installation of knobs quick and simple


  1. Although our casing had already been fitted, if you need to do so as well, you may follow this excellent instruction. Check to see that your casing is level, as if it is not, you may have a difficult time getting your door to open and close smoothly. To establish the width of your slab door, take a measurement of your door jamb. Standard widths for internal doors are 24″, 28″, 30″, 32″, and 36 inches wide. All passage doors must have a minimum height of 80 inches
  2. In our situation, this meant that we required a door that was 32 inches wide and 80 inches tall. Determine the knob height or set the knob height for the door. The International Building Code specifies a doorknob height of between 34 and 48 inches above the completed floor, depending on the kind of door. Typically, door knobs are installed 36″ above the floor’s level. Decide on the kind, style, and position of your hinges. A typical interior door has two or three hinges
  3. You may use the information in the post to help you choose the height and position of your hinges (keep in mind that the striker plate will be determined by your knob height and may differ from the dimensions indicated)
  4. With your hardware picked, you can now be ready to begin installing your hinges and slab door, which will take around one hour. Take a measurement from the inside of your door jamb. You’ll want a 1/16″ to 1/8″ space around the perimeter of your door. Make any necessary adjustments to the door height
  5. We indicated the locations of the three hinges on the casing and on the slab door. You’ll want to pay close attention to how your door opens and closes in order to ensure that you mark the positions and sides of the door appropriately. Because this step is crucial and will decide how effectively your door will mount to the door jamb, double-check your measurements. Remove the material from the area where you will be mounting your hinge with a router or a chisel. Remove only enough material to allow your hinge to mount flush with the face of the door jamb or door
  6. Do not remove more than is necessary. When your door is finished, paint it with one or two coats of paint before installing it. You may now attach your hinges to the slab door and to the door jamb after you have removed the excess material. Individually attach each side of the hinge to each of the elements (remove the pin to separate the pieces). It is likely that you will require two people: one to keep the door open and another to insert the pins into the hinges of the door. After you’ve finished installing the door, you may go on to the knob. We make use of a slickknob jig to assist with the installation of the door knob and the striker plate on the door. It locates the holes for the knob, latch, and striker plate in a short amount of time. To begin, mark the height of the knob (the distance from the floor to the center of the handle) along the edge of the handle of the door. Using the knob jig, you can rapidly identify the holes for the knob and the latch on the knob and latch assembly. It will also transfer the location of the knob onto your door jamb for the striker plate, if you are using one. Use a chisel or router to remove the excess material from the striker plate (for the door) and latch plate (for the door jamb) after they have been marked out
  7. Once the striker plate and latch plates have been marked out, use a chisel or router to remove the excess material from the striker plate and latch plates (for the door). As soon as you’ve completed your cuts, you can attach your knob and hardware and check to see that your door opens and shuts smoothly.

Check out the entire home office remodel to see all of the sources and the complete reveal! In addition, if you’re searching for another excellent money-saving idea, check out these wood-wrapped floating shelves! (This is an IKEA hack!)

Replacing an Interior Door

The doors in the two upstairs bedrooms of the property that we are remodeling were in desperate need of replacement. I assumed it would be a simple matter to rectify the situation. Not wanting to be bothered with the hassle of removing the frame, I went out and purchased a slab door for less than $40. To put it simply, this is a blank door. There are no handle holes. There are no hinge mortises. It’s understandable, given the possibility that the present hinge and latch locations are different.

  1. Previously unknown to me, Ryobi tools (owned by a personal friend of mine) carries a whole set of tools designed exclusively for door installation.
  2. Continue reading this guide for more information, or watch the episode of Our DIY Life for more.
  3. Check out Our DIY Life on YouTube for sneak peeks at our forthcoming projects, and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for updates.
  4. It should be noted that the affiliate links provided in the “materials” and “necessary tools” sections are paid connections.
  5. Learn more about how we can generate money at no additional cost to you.

Step 1: Remove the old door

Take measurements of the door’s width and height, and then purchase a door that is the same size. Interior doors are typically 80 inches in height, however they may need to be reduced in height to suit flooring or low ceilings. Then you may begin by removing the internal door from the frame. This may be accomplished by removing the pins from the hinges. To ensure that you can reuse the same handle and hinges, you’ll want to remove them from the door, too. I made the error of tossing my door out the window, but it would be prudent to save it to serve as a point of reference for the rest of the article.

Step 2: Measure and cut new door to fit

Allow approximately 1/4′′ to 1/2′′ of room between the floor and the bottom of the door, as well as 1/8′′ clearance on the sides and top of the door.

Making use of a circular saw and a straight edge guide, if necessary, trim the bottom of the door to the right length. For narrowing the breadth, a hand planer is the most effective instrument, however a sander might also be used. The trimmed side should be on the opposite side of the hinge.

Step 3: Locate and cut mortises forhinges

Place the door in the jamb and use a shim to adjust the position of the door. Then, using a door hinge template and a router, route out the mortises for the hinges at the top and bottom of the hinge positions you marked earlier.

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Step 4: Paint

Painting the front door is a good idea right now. It is customary to paint the door the same color as the trim.

Step 5: Installhingesand hang door

Set up the hinges by identifying them and drilling pilot holes at the locations where the screws will be inserted. Then, using the screws that came with the hinges, fasten them in place. Place a shim between the door and jamb and connect the opposite side of the hinge to the door jamb with screws.

Step 6: Drill holes forhandleand latch

Make use of the door lock installation kit to determine the positioning of the handle in relation to the location of the existing strike plate. After that, attach the door lock installation kit to the door and drill the holes for the handle and latch with the hole saw and bits that came with the package. In order to ensure that the pilot hole is completely drilled through, but not the hole saw, it is necessary to drill only a little amount of depth into the hole for the handle. Then, in order to minimize rip out, finish the drilling from the other side.

Step 7: Cut mortise for latch

When using the door latch installation kit, cutting the mortise for the door latch is considerably simpler than you may anticipate it to be. The latch plate is simply hammered into the surface using the contour of the latch plate, which is essentially a blade shaped like the profile of the plate (there are square and rounded variants), and the material is removed with the recessed blade at top of tool.

Step 8: Installdoor handle and latch

Finally, attach the door handle and latch to complete the installation. I was pleasantly impressed by how simple this project turned out to be, as well as by how good it came out. The location was superb in every respect. Whenever you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask them in the comments section below. Also, don’t forget to submit photographs of your final projects in the comments! ENJOY!

About The Author

I’m a Christian, a parent, a husband, and a former aerospace engineer who lives in the United Kingdom. In my leisure time, I enjoy designing and building furniture for weekend DIYers like me, such as myself. To put it another way, I develop blueprints for really beautiful furniture that is also ridiculously simple to construct. (There is no previous woodworking experience necessary.)

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A door that can withstand being slammed has to be substantial in weight. It’s not the type of door with a hollow core, packed with cardboard, and a hole big enough to fit my hand through. A true door, constructed of solid wood or MDF, or at the very least a beautiful veneer with a core of substantial wood pieces.Unfortunately, hollow-core doors are abundant across the land. These lightweight walls, which are the joy of developers but the misery of homeowners, have little use other than to block out light.

Fortunately for you, we have the solution.

As a bonus, it will also sound better, as it will muffle all kinds of irritating background noises. The way it feels, too—heavy and strong, ready to slam shut with a tremendous thud—is a pleasure to see.

Step 1

Gregory Nemec created the illustration. A door that has been properly fitted closes firmly and silently, and it does not swing open by itself. According to This Old House general contractor Tom Silva, “approximately the width of a nickel” is the size of the space between the jamb and the door jamb after it is trimmed. What he’s saying is that you should make it slightly under 1/8 inch. As a result, the measurement and trimming of the door before to installation must be done with care and precision.

  1. If the door is too deep, it will not close correctly and may even spring open.
  2. A sharp chisel and a steady yet light touch are essential for creating a nice mortise.
  3. There is a benefit to using composite doors these days in that you don’t have to spend as much money as you would on solid wood to have the same appearance and feel.
  4. They are not only more soundproof than hollow-core doors, but they are also more resistant to warping than solid wood doors as well.
  5. If, on the other hand, you want to stain or clear coat your door rather than painting it, you’ll want to choose one made of solid wood or wood veneer.
Step 2

Kolin Smith captured this image. To calculate the size of the door opening, subtract 14 inches from the width and height of the opening, respectively. Check the door’s dimensions to see whether it has to be trimmed. If the quantity to be cut is less than 1/8 inch, plane it down to the desired thickness. More than that, a circular saw should be used. If you need to shorten the height of the door, you may do so by trimming the thicker rail at the bottom. To trim the width, take a small amount from both sides at the same time.

To avoid chipping, draw a line on the tape and score it with a utility knife to secure the line.

Tip: When the door reaches the stop, bevel the edges of the door by 2 or 3 degrees so that the door clears the jamb easily.

Step 3

Kolin Smith captured this image. Place the door in the opening and shim it until it’s centered in the opening, then tighten the latches. Keep an eye out for any tight situations. Plane or cut it according to your needs. Bring the door back to its original position and shim it evenly all around. Mark the door where it meets the existing hinge mortises on the jamb using a permanent marker before installing it. Also, make a mark on the door at the latch hole for the striking plate that is already there.

This will give you an idea of how high you should set the doorknob. The average person like to be 36 inches above the ground. In order to center the knob on the door’s middle rail, if it has one, you can make a fractional adjustment to this measurement in any direction.

Step 4

Kolin Smith captured this image. Remove the door once more and position it so that the hinge side is facing up. Dismantle a hinge from the inside out. Grab the halves of the door and align them at a hinge mark, with the knuckles pointing toward the outswinging door face and the straight side 1/8 inch from the edge. Draw a pencil outline of the hinge on the door. Draw a line beneath it by pressing one of the hinge edges on one of the door’s faces and holding them together. This will be used as a depth reference for your chisel during the cutting process.

  • Watch out for cutting deeper than the guiding lines on your cutting mat!
  • Keeping the chisel in sight from the door face, softly tap the chisel on the door face until each cut reaches the depth of the guide lines.
  • As soon as you’ve removed all of the waste wood from the mortise, flip the chisel over so that the bevel is facing up and scrape the mortise clean and smooth.
  • It should be centered in the mortise and flush with the edge of the door frame.
  • Tip: To keep the door straight on its edge, screw long, wide scraps of wood to the top and bottom ends of the door, so that they rest tightly against the floor.
Step 5

Kolin Smith captured this image. A pocket for a mortise lock is created by drilling a number of holes and then chiseling out between the holes to square off the recess for the lock. Because these holes must be exactly straight, you’ll need to use a guide to maintain the drill in the proper position. Because the drill is broader than the door, the easiest approach to ensure that the drill is aligned with the door is to use a plumb line as a reference to align the drill with the door. Placing the door on its edge with the latch side facing up will allow you to check for plumb.

  1. Add boards to the door to project the guide away from it and clear the drill.
  2. To locate the mortise holes, use the template that came with the lock.
  3. Use an auger bit to drill the holes in the wall.
  4. Then chisel a shallow recess for the lock plate into the surface of the wood.
Step 6

Kolin Smith captured this image. To cut the appropriate holes in the door edge and face if you’re installing a cylinder lockset rather than a mortise lock, use a hole-saw kit. Make certain that the jig is set up for the correct backset for your lock.

The backset measures the distance between the edge of the door and the spindle. Using a hole saw to cut the appropriate holes in your cylinder lock is a good idea if you have one. Make certain that the jig is positioned for the correct backset for your lock.

Step 7

Kolin Smith captured this image. Mortise locks need the drilling of holes for the spindle and keyhole. New locks come with templates for locating these; nevertheless, be sure you utilize the holes that are spaced appropriately for your lock’s backset (distance from spindle to door edge). Line up the template and secure it in place with masking tape. Start your drill bit by drilling a beginning hole for it with a centering punch or with a hammer and nail at the spindle location and at the keyhole location (if applicable).

Drill a hole in the face of the door at the spindle position with a drill/driver equipped with a 3/4-inch-diameter bit.

A scrap piece of wood should be held or clamped to the face of the door where the drill bit will exit in order to prevent it from splitting as you drill through it.

Step 8

Kolin Smith captured this image. Once all of the holes and mortises have been completed, prime and paint or stain the door before finishing it. Make certain that the finish is applied to all six sides of the piece so that it is thoroughly sealed and will not expand in high humidity. Place one half of a hinge (with the inner knuckles) in the mortise of the door that it will be attached to. Make beginning divots for the screws using a centering punch to prevent them from slipping. Attach the hinge leaf to the door by screwing it in place.

Attach the second half of the hinges to the doorjamb with screws.

Install the lockset in its proper location.

It is important not to overtighten the knobs on the spindle, or you may lose the ability to turn them.

How to Install a New Interior Door

Tom Silva, general contractor for This Old House, demonstrates how to repair an internal door in this instructional video.

Steps for Installing an Interior Door

  1. Close the old door and measure up 12 inches from the threshold, marking the door with a pencil
  2. Remove the hinge pins and the old door will come down. Remove the lockset from the old door by unscrewing it. Place the old door on top of the new door, making that the tops and hinge edges are flush. Find the 12-inch markers on the original door and take a measurement down to 1134 inches. a new door should be marked
  3. Using a combination square, transfer the hinge and lockset locations from the old door to the edge of the new door. Cut hinge mortises using a hammer and chisel to fit the hinges. Using screws, insert hinges into mortises on each side of the door edge
  4. Pull pins to separate hinge leaves. Using a circular saw and a straightedge, cut the door to the desired height. Screw the remaining hinge leaves to the mortises in the doorjamb, using shims if required to keep the hinges flush with the doorjamb. Attach a hole-boring template to the door so that the lockset holes may be drilled out. A 218-inch hole saw is used to cut a hole through the face of the door for the doorknob. Bore a latch hole in the edge of the door with a 1-inch hole saw
  5. Make a shallow mortise for the lock using a hammer and chisel
  6. Then, insert the latch. Replace the lockset with a new one. Hang the door with the hinge pins in place and verify the swing and closing
  7. And Remove the door, prime the top and bottom to keep moisture out, and then paint it.


“Well, I’ve got the pickup loaded up and on its way west to the little rural village of Tissora, South Carolina,” RON HAZELTON says. In fact, when I say Karen Harper lives in the country, that is precisely what I mean. I’m on my way to see her, and she happens to live in the country. Greetings, Karen. KAREN HARPER:Hey, Ron. How are you doing? RON HAZELTON: How are you doing today? KAREN HARPER:great It’s to see you again. RON HAZELTON:almost It’s like we’re on a farm here, isn’t it? KAREN HARPER: Yes, we certainly are.

  1. KAREN HARPER: You’re absolutely correct.
  2. RON HAZELTON:Wow, that’s impressive.
  3. Her next effort will be to replace the simple hollow core bedroom doors with something more substantial and more appealing in appearance.
  4. KAREN HARPER: That’s correct.
  5. It takes only a few taps on the hinge pins from Karen, and a little more assistance from me, to get the old door off its hinges.
  6. That’s all there is to it.
  7. We dismantle the door and place it on top of Karen’s new pine panel door, which has no hardware.

So let’s simply get everything arranged in that location.

KAREN HARPER: I’m flush with the wall of the building.

Once the two doors are properly secured together, we can begin transferring the hinge positions between them.

And then, rather than using a pencil, I’m going to use a knife to cut this out.

Because, as you’ll see later, it really provides me with a location to lay the chisel.

Okay, let’s get this out of the way.

Obviously, our new door is slightly wider than our old door, so I want to trim portion of this away to make them both the same width.

This is a tiny power plane with a single engine.

Not more than an eighth of an inch is required for the take-off distance.

This is the tool that we’ll be using to cut out the huge hole for the latch cylinder that you see here.

However, the thickness of this door will also contribute to keeping this drill vertical.

So I’ll keep an eye on things down here and then I’ll let you know when it’s time to quit.

Push a little harder this time.

Take it out of the bag.

Cleaning up the borders on both sides of the hole is a breeze with this technique.

We’ve devised some temporary fastening jigs to hold the door in a vertical position until the permanent ones can be installed.

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Karen uses a spade bit to drill the latch bolt hole in the door jamb and frame.

As a result, we employ the combination square as a guideline once more.

It’s time to go to work with the chisel.

That knife mark we produced earlier now serves as a shallow V into which we can place the chisel blade, allowing us to achieve considerably more precision than we would have achieved with a simple pencil line.

This is the bevel right here, and this is the flat side to the right of it.

We now focus our attention to the hinge mortises, which will be completed after the latch bolt mortise is complete.


You are not digging in at this point; instead, you are simply leveling it off, flattening it off, etc.

KAREN HARPER: Oh, those are quite nice, thank you.

HAZELTON: Come a little bit closer.

The knuckles on the hinge are properly aligned.

Do you want to give it a shot?

It does, after all, sound wonderful.

RON HAZELTON: Are you satisfied with it?

RON HAZELTON:Now you’ve got a couple more of these to do.

I’m going to give you this chisel out of my toolbox and I’ll sharpen it before I go. KAREN HARPER:Okay, thank you. RON HAZELTON:And – but I hope you’ll give it a shot because I think you can do it. KAREN HARPER:Okay, okay, good start. RON HAZELTON: All right. KAREN HARPER:I appreciate it.

Prehung vs. Slab Doors: Which Is Right for Your Project?

When your home improvement project necessitates the installation of a new door, you’ll need a solid understanding of the two types of door units available: prehung and slab.

Interior door basics

The word “door installation” refers to the process of placing a new door into an existing door opening or door frame (these two concepts are not precisely equivalent), as well as the process of installing a door in a wall that is being constructed from scratch.

  • Installing into an existing door opening is a simple process. When you have a door opening but no door frame or door itself, you may use this approach to close the door. You’ll need to start by constructing the door frame in the opening (most do this with door frame kits from a hardware store). Then you’ll attach a slab door to the new frame you’ve created. You may also place a prehung door into the opening if you have one available. When you purchase a pre-hung unit, the door slab is already installed on the frame hinges. Installing slab doors into an existing frame is a simple process. In many circumstances, you will be able to use an existing door frame as a starting point. This implies that you may use the existing frame to build a slab door on top of it. You would purchase a door slab, carve a mortise for the hinges, and then hang the slab on frame hinges
  • This would be the equivalent of building a door frame from the ground up. If you are constructing a new wall, you will need to include a new door frame in that wall as part of the construction process. To put it another way, you will construct a door opening and either install a prehung door unit or hang a slab door.

What is a prehung door?

Prehung doors are special sorts of doors that are pre-attached to an existing door frame and do not require any additional hardware. The installation of a full prehung unit, which includes everything from the door slap to the hinges and the frame, saves time and money by eliminating the need to build an a new frame within a door opening.

Advantages of prehung doors

Prehung doors are popular among contractors and do-it-yourself home renovators for a variety of reasons.

  • They are excellent for use as outdoor entrance doors. Exterior prehung doors are constructed in the factory to ensure that they are weathertight. The added labor of figuring out how to weatherproof your entryway and seal off drafts is eliminated, and you might save money as a result of their efforts. Prehung doors are more expensive than slab doors when purchased off the shelf. When it comes to installation expenses, on the other hand, you may be able to save money. An experienced carpenter may spend the better part of a day building door frames, cutting mortises and drilling frame hinges, and then effectively hanging a door. Allowing the carpenter to begin with a prehung unit can save you money on expenses. Control of the product’s quality. The majority of prehung doors available in hardware shops are produced by big manufacturers, which ensures a high level of quality control and precision production
  • Nevertheless, there are some exceptions.

How is a prehung door installed?

Prehung doors are designed to be installed into existing door openings. Using this step-by-step instructions, you can easily install your own prehung door for a home improvement job on your own timetable.

  1. Assemble the necessary equipment. To effectively install a prehung door, you’ll need the prehung door itself, wood shims, nails, a hammer, a hand saw, a circular saw, a file, sanding tools, a tape measure, and a pencil, among other things. Prehung doors are available at most home improvement stores. Depending on the kind of your door, you may also require additional hardware such as a strike plate. Remove the wrapping from the door. Keep the prehung door in its packaging restrictions until you’re ready to put it in its final position. This will help to keep it steady and prevent it from swinging around too much. (Before they are affixed to the wall, prehung door frames can be very weak, so be careful.)
  2. Prepare the preliminary door opening in preparation for the installation. If you’re installing a prehung unit, your aperture should be half an inch larger and half an inch taller than the one you’re replacing. Check that all surfaces are fully level, with no twists, and that there are no nails or screws poking out of the rough opening
  3. Trim your door jamb to match the opening
  4. And install your door hardware. Remove excess material from the door jamb by cutting it down using one of your saws, filing it down, or sanding it. Make a two-inch gap between the bottom of your door and an unfinished floor, or a half-inch space between the bottom of your door and a floor that has been painted or stained
  5. The hinge side of the doorframe should be leveled and attached. Begin putting the door on the hinge side of the frame. Wood shims and finishing nails may be used to temporarily keep it in place while you work on the latch side of the project. After you have the hinge side of the doorframe in place, you may go on to the latch side of the doorframe. Once again, shims and finishing nails will be needed to secure the frame to the rough opening in the door. Attach the top of the frame to the bottom of the frame. Insert a shim into the very top of the prehung unit to keep it from falling out. Finish nails should be used to secure it. Shims should be continued to be added as needed. In order to keep a prehung door in place and preserve its rectangular shape, it will often contain wood shims every foot (twelve inches) on the inside. Finish with plaster and trim to complete the look. Following correct installation of the prehung door into the rough opening, you’ll be ready to finish the job with plaster and door trim to complete the aesthetics of the project.

What is a slab door?

Slab doors are door panels that are delivered to the site without being attached to a door frame. They may be used as interior doors as well as outside entry doors in a single installation. Some come with pre-drilled mortises for hardware such as door hinges, door locks, and faceplates, while others are left unfinished. Others are delivered as solid wood slabs, which need the installation to cut their own mortises. When it comes to slab doors, you have a wide range of possibilities.

  • Doors made of solid wood. Solid wood slab doors provide a timeless appearance that is appropriate for both interior and outdoor applications. Solid wood doors provide excellent insulation against the elements and noise, however some more contemporary versions are more effective at keeping the outside out. Solid wood has historically been the most popular choice, and the majority of old doors are solid
  • Solid coredoors. Solid core slab doors are composed of composite wood or other materials such as MDF, particle board, plywood, glass fibers, and even foam. Solid core slab doors are available in a variety of colors and styles. These doors can be completed with a solid wood veneer, which gives them an appearance that is very close to that of a solid wood door. Solid core slab doors outperform other types of doors when it comes to temperature insulation and sound absorption. Compared to solid wood or hollow core choices, its thick, multi-layer design effectively traps heat and sound. Hollow core doors. These are a lightweight and low-cost solution for interior doors, particularly for closet doors, because of their low weight and inexpensive cost. However, if temperature insulation or sound absorption are not a concern, hollow core doors may be a wonderful budget alternative
  • Fiberglass doors are another option. Hollow core doors are not as energy efficient as solid core doors, but they are less expensive. Fiberglass is a strong and insulating substitute to wood that has excellent thermal qualities. Fiberglass slab doors are often more expensive than their wood counterparts, thus customers generally use them as an outside entry door and then utilize some variation of a wood door for their inside door requirements. Fiberglass slab doors are available in a variety of colors and styles. The wood textures on today’s fiberglass doors may trick many people into believing they are made of genuine wood
  • Metal doors can also fool many people into thinking they are made of real wood. Metal doors are generally built of an aluminum/steel composite material, with certain exceptions. Despite the fact that they are hefty and impersonal, they make good outside doors and are particularly effective as security doors
  • Yet,

Advantages of slab doors

Prehung door units are more expensive than slab doors, but they are also less adaptable. Here are some of the reasons why builders choose slab doors over other types of doors.

  • Retail costs are lower. Because a slab door is less expensive than a prehung unit, you will spend less money at your local hardware shop when you purchase one. When estimating the cost of house repairs, it is necessary to include the cost of labor. If you need to hire someone to install your door for you, a slab door will almost certainly cost you more money than a prehung door because of the additional labor costs. If you intend to install the door yourself, you will be able to save money in the long run. There is a greater variety of door design alternatives. Standalone slab doors are readily available in a range of materials and designs, and they are reasonably inexpensive. Whether you want solid wood doors, solid core doors, hollow core doors, fiberglass doors, or metal doors, you should have no problem in locating what you require. In addition, you will have a broader selection of beautiful styles to choose from
  • Slab doors are often more readily installed into existing door openings. It’s important to note that prehung doors come with their own door frame, and such frames may not always work with existing door openings. Slab doors are significantly easier to mould to fit the dimensions of your existing frame than sliding doors or French doors.

How is a slab door installed?

Installing a slab door might be more difficult than installing a prehung door unit because of the additional steps involved. If you’re up for a somewhat more difficult task, go for it.

  1. Assemble your tools and equipment. If you want to hang a slab door, you’ll need the door slab itself, as well as the doorknob, faceplate, strike plate, and hinges. You will also require the following equipment: A hammer, nails, a power drill with various bits, a wood chisel, a pry bar, a speed square, spring clamps, and a pencil are among the tools you’ll need. Make sure that your new slab door matches the one that you are replacing. In order to produce mortises on your new slab door as quickly as possible, it is best to mimic the arrangement of the existing slab door. Taking your old door apart, lay the two doors side-by-side on the floor, their hinge sides looking upward. If you like, you may use spring clamps to hold them together if you want. This will ensure that they remain in place. Mark your mortise cuts with the help of the speed square. Make a replica of the hinges on the old door using a speed square and a pencil, and then transfer the exact placement and size of the hinges on the new slab door. Check your measurements from the top and bottom of the new door to ensure that your marks are in the precise location that they should be
  2. Make use of the chisel to carve off the required spacing mortise for your project. Make certain you use a sharp, high-quality chisel to get the highest level of precision possible. Maintaining a level and smooth surface in the mortise region is essential. The finer your chisel is, the less difficult this stage will be to complete
  3. Install the hinges by screwing them in. Remove the hinges from your old door and replace them with the hinges from your new door, using your power drill. In order to be on the safe side, it is recommended that you drill pilot holes before proceeding with the screws themselves. It is critical that the hinges are flat with the door’s side surface while installing them. If they protrude excessively from the mortise, you will need to deepen your mortising. It may be necessary to shim your mortise using either cardboard or a very thin strip of plywood if they are excessively recessed. Once you get the hinges fully flat with the surface of the door, you are ready to proceed to the following step, which is to hang the door. The slab door should be inserted into the doorframe. Raise the door with the pry bar until it is exactly at the level of the existing drill holes in the frame of the door. Once you’ve got it properly aligned, drill the hinges into the holes that were already there. You must follow the instructions to the letter, otherwise you risk accidently enlarging the drill holes in the door jamb and making the door unsafe. Install the remaining hardware components. Once the door is in place, you can finish it off with the necessary hardware, such as a doorknob and strike plate. It’s best to leave this step until last since it’s much easier to adjust the position of a strike plate than it is to adjust the position of a hanging door.

MT Copelandoffers video-based online programs that provide you with a foundation in building essentials while also covering real-world applications, such as how home framing is done. There are supplemental downloads like as quizzes, blueprints, and other resources to help you master the techniques presented in the videos, which are professionally made by experienced artisans.

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