How to Install an Interior Door in a House

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Installing an interior door involves chiseling the mortises and attaching hinges.
Installing an interior door involves chiseling the mortises and attaching hinges.

Installing an interior door in a house involves measuring and patience. Not every door can be immediately hung upon arrival from the store. Most doors, even installation-ready doors, require some adjustments to the door length before the door is ready to be installed. Installing an interior door is easier accomplished with an assistant. Home improvement, discount and hardware stores will have the supplies you need to install an interior door in your house.

Things You'll Need

  • Installation-ready, pre-painted interior door
  • Measuring tape
  • Power saw
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Sandpaper
  • Oil-based paint - to match door
  • Paintbrush
  • Chisel
  • Hammer
  • Hinges - 2
  • Drill
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Instructions

    • 1

      Measure the width of the door frame. According to The Family Handyman, the frame needs to be 2-to-2½-inches wider than the door's width.

    • 2

      Place the door in the frame. Measure the door. There should be a minimum of 3/8-inch around the door.

    • 3

      Use a level and draw a line across the door's bottom for a cutting guideline to adjust the door's length if it's too long. According to The Family Handyman, there needs to be ½-inch between the bottom edge and the floor. If you have carpet, you may need more space.

    • 4

      Saw the door so it will fit. Sand the sawed area. Paint the edge to match the door.

    • 5

      Locate the hinge indentations on the door frame. Mark the door with a pencil where the hinges should lie. Place the door on its front edge with the back edge facing up.

    • 6

      Place the hinge leaf into the frame hinge indentation, or mortise. Measure the depth of the leaf. Indicate, in pencil, on the door edge where the hinge will attach, the depth measurement. You will chisel this depth away so the hinge will sink flush with the edge.

    • 7

      Lay the hinge onto the door in the correct position. Trace around the hinge.

    • 8

      Grasp the chisel. Place the end onto the drawn line on the door's edge. Holding the handle vertically, tap the handle with a hammer, making cuts on top of the line. Outline the line with cuts. Move the chisel to the center and make a "cut" the thickness of the hinge leaf. Fill the hinge outline with a row of cuts.

    • 9

      Hold the chisel at an angle. Place the end into one of the interior cuts. While hitting the handle with a hammer, chisel beneath a cut to remove the wood. Continue chiseling wood from the leaf outline. Repeat for the other mortise. According to This Old House Magazine, if you cut the mortise deeper than intended, cut cardboard to the shape of the leaf. Insert it between the hinge and mortise when hanging the door.

    • 10

      Sand the mortise. Align the leaf with the mortise. Screw the hinge into place. Screw the partner leaf to the frame.

    • 11

      Lift the door, aligning the hinges together like teeth to form a tunnel. Drop the pins into the tunnel.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some doors don't have knobs. To install the knob and latch, use the template included with the knob. Trace the template onto the door and frame. Drill the hole for the knob. Sand. Chisel the mortise for the latch on the frame. Insert the knob/plate into the hole. Screw the knob to the door. Repeat for the opposite side. Screw the latch plate into the frame.

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References

  • Photo Credit doors to be hung image by jimcox40 from Fotolia.com

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