We will replacing all of the doors in our house.
The current doors were cut very far up from the floor, leaving quite a gap
between them and the floor/thresholds below.
When I replace the new doors, I certainly don't want to cut as much off
when fitting them. What is the standard amount of space to leave between
the door and threshold? Is there a standard?
The standard is, the bottom of the door should clear any area or throw rugs and
If you have forced air heat or A/C with only central returns, many people find
a larger gap under the door provides for better air flow wnem bedroom doors are
The lock is usually located a standard distance from the
floor (36 inches if I remember correctly). Unfortunately,
floor coverings change and there could be 1 inch maybe more
difference in the thickness of floor coverings. Add in a
new subfloor covering and it can be even more in an older
If you are doing this yourself and buying doors with lock
holes already cut, be sure to first measure the distance
from the lock to where you want the bottom of the door. It
is possible that doors with precut lock holes may place the
lock so high that the door bottom will be too high without
cutting it. If you buy blank doors (no holes and no hinge
mortises) you won't have that problem.
Thresholds? Do all of the doors you have have thresholds?
You want the bottom as tight as possible without creating
problems. The bottom of the door should just barely drag on
carpet, should be at least 1/8 inch above hard surfaces, be
1/8 inch above a threshold without a seal, and will have to
be cut short varying amounts depending on the thickness of a
Doors may not hang straight and floors may not be level so
measure the clearance as the door swings open and then use
the minimum clearance point to determine door length. If
you have level and square problems, you may not want the
bottom of the door to be at a right angle ore even straight
to look good when closed.
On Fri, 31 Dec 2004 08:36:27 GMT, "George E. Cawthon"
Good info. I've measured the existing door frames and will need to take
very little off of the new doors. I was actually going to measure the top
of the door to the hole and compare that to the precut door to see what
would need to be taken off the bottom. It may be that I will need to take
a little off either end or possibly shave both ends a little. I can work
it out once I clamp old and new together.
A lot of our doors have small thresholds (tile to wood laminate). Even
when we closed the door on what was there when we bought the house (tile to
regular pile carpet with a window sill slab of marble as a threshold - I've
never seen that before.. very strange), the door was still cut high. From
the regular carpet, we went to berber and no threshold and then when we
redid the all of the floors in the house shortly after and went the
tile/laminate combo (not a stitch of carpeting in the house), the gaps
bigger still. So, already big gaps became even bigger when we got rid of
the marble under the doors and then removed the carpeting altogether.
Any good suggestions for cutting the hinge mortises or should I just use
the tried and true hammer and chisel? I sometimes find out about time- or
effort-saving tool ―ter= I've done the job. With as many doors as I need
to replace, I'd like to find out about it before I begin.
Thanks for all of the good info!
Well they make several things. One is a router template you set to your
hinge spacing and clamp it to the door then rout out the mortise for all the
hinges at once.
They also make the same kind of thing to do one at a time, and a hinge
marking chisel. That has a 3 sided chisel you set and it marks the outline
of the mortise and the depth.
But if all you are trying to accomplish is to delete a gap you might want to
consider other options. They make a door bottom that will slip over the
bottom edge of the door. Also you might want to just add a strip of wood to
the bottom and repaint the doors. Another option is to consider a pre-hung
door. All you do is strip out the old casing and plumb and level the new
one and everything fits, assuming you can plumb them.
About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
All good suggestions. I don't have a router, but I will definitely look
into the mortise chisel. I think I've actually seen one of those.
I had thought about adding a strip of wood to the bottom of the doors, but
we also wanted to update the look a little by replacing our current slab
doors with the newer raised panel variety. As for painting, that's another
issue altogether. The previous owners painted latex over oil without
priming or sanding - and we know what happens then. They also used a
roller so the doors have a roller texture on them. I'd rather just install
the new doors and paint them properly.
From many years experience. I agree with Rodger the best, cheapest, and
quickest way is to install prehung doors. No trying to match hinge mortises
and lock locations and no plaining new edges to fit old jambs.
I second this!
Just rip out the old, and slap in a new pre-hung. That is, assuming the
rough openings are standard size!
Life is too short to screw with cutting mortises for hinges, drilling for
locksets. I have done both way, pre-hung wins!
I think that while yanking everything out and putting in a prehung door may
look like the quickest method at a high level, as always, the devil is in
the details. There are still other considerations. I would still have to
score the paint around the moulding on both sides, pry off the moulding
while being careful not to create any damage to the walls, the paint, the
floors, etc., put in the new door - and this includes cutting down the new
case moulding as required to fit over the wood laminate in the bedrooms,
regrout, caulk around the moulding, touch up the paint, and deal with the
extra debris and cleanup. Plus, it's easier to transport 8 doors at one
shot than to transport prehung doors two at a time.
I can buy doors that are predrilled and there will be little to trim off
the doors themselves. Isn't it also easy to lay the old door on top of the
new one, match up the lockset holes, clamp them together, lop off what
needs to be removed and chisel out three small areas? I actually think
that's a lot less work than putting in a new prehung door. I hung two
doors in my previous house and it really wasn't that much trouble.
Easiest, maybe, but I would definitely not say the cheapest. A prehung
door costs a little more than double what just the door itself costs. Then
there's the matter of regrouting around the casing, touching up any paint
that I mess up around the moulding, accidental damage to the surrounding
floor, etc. Each method has its pros and cons. If I had carpeting all
around, I'd probably be more inclined to go that route, but I think any
extra time involved in hanging the doors themselves will pay off in less
work. I'm not in a hurry either. If I do one door every couple of weeks,
that's fine. I have plenty of other things to do around here.
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