How to hang a new internal door

From this post you will learn how to hang a new internal door to an existing frame. There’s a short video at the end of the post, which shows you exactly how to hang a new interior wooden door. If you prefer watching over reading, scroll down to watch it.

See Also – How to remove an interior door

When you have your new internal door unwrapped and ready to be fitted, look at the top and bottom edges for a key or lock symbol that may be stamped on either the left or right end of the door edge (as shown below).

The stamped symbol is there to show you which side of the door the latch and handles should be fitted.

Most internal doors have an extra wide wood block on one side to accommodate the latch and handles.

If there are no symbols stamped on the edge of the door, the latch and handles can probably be fitted on either side of the door.

Key and lock symbols found on end of new internal doors

Place the door against the door frame, then measure and mark how much of the door edges will need to be removed for the door to fit in the frame.

You could use the old door as a template providing it was a good fit, simply place it on top of the new door and mark it out accordingly.

Ideally you should have a gap of no more than 1/8″ (2mm) around the door when it is fitted. This is of course sometimes easier to say than do, and depends on how square the door frame is.

Remember to allow enough of a gap at the bottom of the door to clear any carpet or laminate etc.

Safety Tip

Remember to wear a face mask and safety goggles whilst using an electric plane as they emit a lot of dust and small particles when in use.

Tip :- Cut and plane the door edges from the outside in, to avoid splintering the wood.

Should you need to remove more than 1/4″ (6mm) from the edges of the door, it will be quicker to make this cut with a wood saw and then hand/electric plane the edge flat and smooth.

Try to cut and plane an equal amount of wood from each side of the door, more so if the door has panels, as the side rails should be the same width from the aesthetics point of view.

Don’t plane the whole amount of wood off in one go, keep trying the door in the door frame to check its fit, it is very easy to remove the wood, but you cannot stick it back on if you have planed too much off!

How to mark hinge positions on a new internal door

When the new door is cut and planed to size it is ready to have the hinge positions marked out. The hinge recesses on the door frame and door edge can also be cut using your wood chisel and hammer.

Place each of the hinges on the door frame where the originals were fixed in place, mark out around the new hinge with your pencil and cut out an appropriate recess to suit the new hinge with your wood chisel and hammer (see Fig 1). Whenever you are using the wood chisel, hold it with the bevelled edge facing the wood that will be removed (see Fig 2). Mark the fixing holes of the hinges on the door frame and drill small pilot holes (1/8″ 2mm) as straight as possible, for the screws, to reduce the chance of the wood splitting. Fix the new hinges in position, preferably with cross head screws.

Door frame marked out, excess wood removed and new hinges fixed in position

Use chisel with the bevelled edge against the wood that will be removed
Use a wood chisel with the bevelled edge against the wood that is to be removed.

Position the new door against the door frame, resting it on wedges at what will be its final fixed height (see Fig 3). The hinge positions on the door edge can now be marked out, try to get some assistance to hold the door in place whilst you mark the door edge. You can now cut the appropriate recesses in the door edge to accommodate the hinges, as with the door frame, mark the hinge fixing holes and drill small pilot holes for the screws. Now you are ready to hang the door in position.

Hinge positions marked on door edge

How to hang a new internal door in position

Now all the preparation work for fitting the hinges is complete, you can either fix the hinges to the door frame, or as I prefer, fix them to the door edge. For the time being fix the hinges in position using one screw in each of the hinge centre fixing holes, in case any adjustments have to be made.

Position the door against the door frame, and as before, rest it on wedges so it is at the correct height on the door frame. Fix the hinges in position temporarily with single screws in each side of the hinge. Check the door closes flush in the door frame and the gap between the door edges and frame is around 1/8″ (2mm). When you are satisfied with the fitted door, the remainder of the screws can be screwed in to hold the hinges in place (see Fig 1 ).

Door temporarily fixed in position

Now the door is ready to have the latch and handles fitted.


Credit: B&Q