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How to fit an Interior Door - DIY Tip 17


Ok, so now that you have some quality doors from we can begin.




Most doors have a stamp on the top of the door to tell you, but not always. If unsure try tapping down the face of the door in the area where the latch will be fitted and about 50mm in from the edge and listen for any differences in tone.

Stand the door in front of the door frame or within the door frame if possible, decide where the door may be tight to the frame and mark these areas with a pencil, there should be a 2mm to 3mm space each side between the edge of the door and the frame.


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To adjust the door by small amounts use a plane, work the plane from the edge (face) of the door towards the middle of the thickness of the door, do the same from each edge until you get the door edge level and to the size you require.

If using the existing hinge recesses in the frame you should offer the door up to the frame making sure you have allowed for clearance at the top of the door and between the frame and then mark the position of the top and bottom of each hinge position against the door, make sure you look at the depth of the frame hinge recesses and allow for this when deciding how deep to recess the hinge in the door.

When cutting the hinge recesses try and cut a small saw draft across the width of the the recess at the top and bottom of each recess and every 25mm within it; this prevents the recess splitting beyond the hinge size when chiseling the recess to the required depth.




Next, fix the hinges to the door. Offer the door up to the frame and try fixing one screw only into each hinge. Slowly tighten the screws until you are happy with the outcome. Fitting only one screw per hinge as a temporary measure will make it much easier to remove the door for further adjustment. When happy with the outcome, fix all screws.


Tip: Any screw will go in to the door or frame much easier if you put a tiny amount of soap on the thread.


Next, drilling out the spindle. The spindle is the bar that goes through the door and connects between each handle. Place the latch against the face of the door and make sure the face of the latch is level with the edge of the door. Mark through the latch spindle hole with a pencil and drill through this mark from one side of the door to the other... DO NOT  allow the drill bit to completely go through the other face of the door. Take the drill and drill through from the other door face to prevent splintering of the door faces.

Next, drill through the edge of the door making sure the drill is perfectly lined up with the centre of the previously drilled spindle hole. Make sure you put a piece of tape on the drill bit, with the edge of the tape set at a position which relates to the length of the latch being used - this prevents you drilling too deep in to the door.


Tip: try not to go for the easy option of buying a "door pack" which normally consists of cheaper door handles, interior latches and hinges that are normally too small for any reasonably weighty door.


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When buying a latch you should make note of the fact that if your handle is not a lever type handle and has a Ball with a round rose (the rose being the backing plate part of the handle) you will require a deeper latch of at least 75mm, otherwise your hand will be too close to the edge of the door when closing it and could result in injury. Remember to also note that if you are using a Ball type handle with round rose, a deeper latch may need to be fitted on the new door at a different position from the old latch to avoid the handle being too big for the door stile (the stile is the term used for the side rail of any door).


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