How to Hang Interior Doors

Interior doors are used to provide privacy and security at non-exterior openings. They may be used on bedrooms, kitchens, closets and other openings depending on the needs of the homeowner. You must carefully prep and hang interior doors to ensure they will function as intended. By taking the time to install interior doors correctly, you can greatly improve the chances that the doors will latch properly, while avoiding problems with sticking or jamming.

  • Door slab
  • Safety glasses
  • Circular saw
  • Tape measure
  • Wood router or chisel
  • Hinge template
  • Utility knife
  • Hinges
  • Lockset
  • Level
  • Wood shims
  • Assistant
  • 3-inch screws
  • Drill
  • Hammer
Measure the size of the door frame. Your new door should be 3/8 inches shorter than the frame and 1/8 inch narrower. Mark these dimensions on your door in preparation for making cuts as needed.

Put on your safety glasses to protect your eyes, and use a circular saw to cut the door to fit the dimensions you determined in step 1.

Determine the locations of the hinges. Measure from the top of the frame to the top of each hinge. Subtract 1/8 inch from each of these measurements before transferring these locations to your door. This will provide 1/8-inch clearance at the top of the door, which is required for operation.

Use a wood router or chisel to cut pockets for each hinge. If you are not experienced with a router, a chisel will likely provide the best results. Start by scoring around each hinge with a utility knife. Use your chisel and hammer to cut a pocket the same size and thickness as each hinge.

Measure the location of the lock strike. Use your tape measure to measure from the top of the frame to the center line of the lock strike. Transfer this location to the door, making sure to subtract 1/8 inch for clearance. Remember that this line represents the center line of the lock set, not the top.

Install the lock set according to the manufacturer's installation instructions.

Add hinges to the door at each hinge pocket. Use the screws provided with the hinges to fasten them to the door. Make sure to include screws at all holes in each hinge.

Ask someone to hold the door in the frame while you attach the hinges to the frame. Use a single 3-inch deck screw at each hinge to provide additional support. Check that the door is level, making sure there is equal space between the door and frame on both sides of the opening. Add wooden shims behind each hinge as needed to level the door. Fill the rest of the holes in each hinge with the screws provided.

Swing the door, and test its operation. Check that the lock is functioning properly and that the door stays latched. Tighten the hinges or strike plate as needed, and add shims behind the strike or hinges until the door operates as intended.

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