Sometimes an interior door just needs a little care. A new coat of paint or stain and perhaps some new hardware makes a huge different. In other cases, though, it may be necessary (or simply desirable) to replace an interior door. The process is actually quite simple.
Choosing the Right Interior Door
First, it is important to choose the right door in the right size. By measuring the door opening first, it is easier to narrow down your selections. Using a tape measure, measure from top to bottom and from left to right. Then, remember that the door opening should be about five centimeters wider and at least two centimeters taller than the dimensions of the finished door. This gives you room to adjust the door and it also gives you some leeway in the event that the opening is not perfectly square. Write down these dimensions and take them with you when you choose your new interior door.
Door Slab vs. Pre-Hung Door Unit
There are two ways to go about DIY interior door replacement. The first involves purchasing just the door itself without the encasement. Although it may seem simple since there are fewer parts to install, this is not a task for anyone who does not have experience in finish carpentry. When you choose to install only the door, you will have to locate slots for hinges and bore holes for the knob and the latches. These are not easy tasks, and if you are even a fraction of a centimeter off, it affects the way the door operates. A pre-hung door kit is the best route; it comes pre-bored so all you have to do is set it in place.
Installing a Pre-Hung Door
The first step involves removing all of the packaging material from the box and reading the manufacturer's instructions very carefully. While installation is general in nature, some manufacturers have special considerations. Next, center the door in the rough opening using a level on the hinge side of the casing. Then, carefully shim the door to hold it plumb. Nail through the jamb and the shims into the wall stud for all of the hinges. Then, go around the door, installing shims and nails, being careful to check its alignment regularly. There should be the same amount of space on all four sides. Trim up the shims, nail in the casings, and then install the doorknob.
Things to Consider
Although interior door replacement sounds simple enough, several things could go wrong along the way. Remember that an interior door should always swing into the room rather than out, and it should position itself against the nearest wall. It should take up as little living space as possible when opened. On the contrary, if you are replacing closet doors, it is important to ensure that these doors swing outward to maximize the available space in the closet.
Although interior door replacement can be simple, factors such as the condition of the jamb influence the installation quite a bit. If the frame itself needs repair or replacement, it may be best to contact a professional who can help you with the installation.
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