Replacing Hollow Doors with Slabs

I have a 1951 vintage house and I've started a campaign to change all the hollow core doors to 6 panel doors. Because of various settling and trim issues, I've decided to change the doors only and not the frames.
The original trim carpenter did a great job. The side to side gaps are 1/32 or less. Obviously the doors are heavily beveled to make this possible. Unfortunately over the years, various home owners have taken their toll on the top and bottoms of the doors. The worse offender is the 1 3/4" gap at the bottom of a closet door, that is off square by over 1/2" across the face of the door.
My question, a couple of the frames are out of square by 1/4" over 18". Should I hang the doors square, or make the gap fit the frame?
Second question, what is the normal door gap? Should I be shooting for 1/8" on the sides and top? For the bottom I'm using 1/2" off the flooring.
Thanks, Bernie
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Bernie Hunt wrote:

They had hollow-core doors in 1951? I thought those were a late-50s innovation. All the houses I've ever seen that are older than me (a 1956 model), had paneled doors.
-- aem sends...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
I'll be glad to send you a few if you like, hahaha.
Bernie

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Mon, 30 Jun 2008 19:56:07 -0400, Bernie Hunt wrote:

If you can, get the jambs square. It seems that it would be easier to square the jambs than to make the door fit an opening which is not.
I just measured some prehungs in my circa 1990 vintage house. There appears to be about 1/16" clearance at the hinge and 3/16" at the latch. The top is 3/16" and the bottom just brushes across the carpet.
I suspect the bottom dimension is a personal choice: whatever looks good yet remains functional.
--

=================================================
Franz Fripplfrappl
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

3/16" is a little large - 1/8" is a nice figure to shoot for.

Not always. If the house has central heat via ductwork and a central return it's a good idea to leave a bit of a gap at the bottom to facilitate air movement.
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Finish carpenter apprentices are taught that the proper door gap is a nickel at the latch and top and a dime at the hinge. No bevels are permitted. Hinge spacing used to follow the 7" (top) and 11" (bottom) rule, but with modern prehung doors that could vary. For your problem doors, it may be worth the time and effort to find a way to remove the trim undamaged and use prehung assemblies. You might otherwise waste a half day or more trying to fit a new door into an opening that is not square, plumb or level. The out of kilter opening could have some structural issues that could then be remedied. Good luck.
Joe
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
If I take off the trim, then I'll just retrim the hallway. I need to hang crown in there anyway. The out of kilter is due to the house having a center steel beam running down the center of the center hallway. All the rest of the structure is wood, so the house sags on either side hinging in the middle of this hallway. I consulted a local engineer about this before we bought. He laughed and said every house built in the 50s in this section of town has this problem and to just live with it or rebuild most of the house. The strutural movement happened 20 30 years ago, so everything done since then would be disrupted.
I'll have to think about going with prehungs. That brings up a whole different problem of special ordering all the doors because wider jams are needed for the plaster.
Bernie
wrote:

For your problem doors, it may be worth the time and effort to find a way to remove the trim undamaged and use prehung assemblies. You might otherwise waste a half day or more trying to fit a new door into an opening that is not square, plumb or level. The out of kilter opening could have some structural issues that could then be remedied. Good luck.
Joe
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'd think about jacking up and shimming the rest of the house to straighten it. It's amazing what you can do with a car "floor jack" and a 4x4 or three.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If the out of square doors don't look objectionable now, use the existing door as a pattern to cut the new one. Depending on your skill levelMost people wouldn't notice a slightly out of square door. Some people wouldn't want to open a can of worms by removing the existing trim and jambs just to replace them with no improvement in function (change in hardware excepted).

1/8" on the latch side and top. The hinge leaf is mortised flush and usually leaves a heavy 1/16" on the hinge side.
This is an excellent article from The Journal of Light Construction - perfect for your needs: http://tinyurl.com/4gzy2j
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Went through the exact same exercise two years ago, and I don't regret it. Make sure you add a middle hinge to the jamb. I don't regret using the original frames, and the casing is like new. Otherwise, you'll end up redoing your baseboards, too.
I find that 5/8" under the door is enough for AC and heat to make it through. I have HW floors and no carpeting.
Not sure what you mean by square, but the doors are heavy enough to where if they're not perfect, they'll "fall" open or closed. I had to redo a door by chiseling the mortise deeper at the top, and shimming out the bottom, because the hinge jamb wasn't plumb.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Following up, I got out the accurate measuring tools today and checked out the worse one of the four. The sides are very parrallel, within 1/64 along to whole height of the door. The problem is the header is 1/8" high on the right side over a 24" door. I set up an accurate sled for the circular saw, poor mans Festool, hahaha and trimmed the angle. Maybe from square with the door you could tell, but with the narrow hall, I don't think anyone will notice. Door fits nice and snug and looks good. I will have to rip/plane both sides tomarrow to get a 3/16 total side to side gap. My understanding is that with the 1/8 and 1/16, I don't need bevels. I may put a 1 to 2 deg bevel just for fun.
Bernie

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I put bevels on every door. It keeps the door from having to be planed after it's finished when things move due to changes in humidity.
Why would you have to rip/plane the hinge side? Is the door opening that much undersized?
R
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.