How to install an unfinished interior door

Article

Doors are one of the most overlooked and underrated parts of a building, but getting the installation exactly right can be tricky - whether you’re an expert with years of experience or a carpentry novice. To help we’ve put together the below guide for fitting an internal door, featuring the Interior Oak Suffolk Bundle.

Checklist:

To fit a door you’ll need at least all of the below:

Door Fitting Checklist

Tip: The Oak Suffolk door bundle is supplied complete with satin finish hinges, handle and latch. However, if you'd prefer, you can choose to buy the components separately.
 

1. Fit the door to the frame

Prop the door up against the existing frame and mark with a pencil how much will need to be trimmed from the door to get the perfect fit. (size of gap needed between door and frame)

Trim the excess from the edges of the door, using a wood plane for a small amount or a saw for anything larger.

Tip: The Oak Suffolk door can be trimmed up to 20mm for the perfect fit.
 

2. Fit the hinges

Hold the door back up against the frame (you’ll probably need an extra set of hands for this part) and mark where the hinges should be using a pencil - hold the hinge in place and draw a line around it. Then carve out the hinge recess using a chisel.

Use one of the supplied hinges to mark the positions of the screws onto the door. Drill in a pilot screw for each hinge and hold the door up against the frame, checking that it opens and closes smoothly and that they’re in the right place before fully drilling in each screw and securing the hinges.
 

3. Hang the door

Screw the other part of the hinge to the frame to fit the door, checking that the door swings smoothly.
 

4. Start the finish

Tip: It’s up to you whether you add the finish to the door before or after hanging it, but we’d advise doing it after you’ve hung it, so you don’t have to worry about ruining your paint job with tools or pencil marks. We’d fit the handle after installing the finish, so you don’t stain the metal.

Our Oak Suffolk door, like many in our range, is provided unfinished so it can be completely customised to the room it’s installed in. You have three options for finishing the door, varnish, stain or paint. Go for paint if you want a bold solid colour or clean white, stain if you want to keep the wood effect with a slight tint or varnish if you want to show off the colour and grain of the wood but add a sheen coating.

Before adding the chosen finish, make sure the door is clean of any dust. Begin with the panels, then the mouldings, and then the rest of the door. Follow the grain of the wood when painting and avoid drips to prevent a messy finish. Make sure you use a good quality brush and follow the instructions on the tin, as they may vary depending on the type.
 

5. Fit the door handle

Tip: Install the door handles once you’ve hung the door so you can line it up with the strike plate, but make sure you don’t accidentally shut yourself in!

Start by installing the latch: hold the latch case up to the door - lining it up with the position of the strike plate on the door frame - and mark the edges with a pencil.

Measure the length of the latch and drill a hole of the same depth into the edge of the door, and another at the position of the spindle in each side of the door.

Insert the latch into the hole and mark the edges of the latch plate, remove the latch and use a chisel to carve out a recess to the depth of the plate. Push the latch into the created recess and secure – insert the spindle and fit the handles onto the spindle using a screwdriver. Make sure the latch works by closing and opening a few times..
 

If you need any more advice about door fitting, would like to see tutorials about anything else, or have your own tips you’d like to share, let us know!

 

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