How to fit an internal door kit

How to fit an internal door kit

Albert, Manager of a gardening service, Leicester

Guide written by:

Albert, Manager of a gardening service, Leicester

Hanging an interior door should be a straightforward task for even the least experienced DIYer so long as you choose the right door kit and install it with care. From taking measurements and adjusting the door to fitting the hardware and trim, read on to find out how to hang an interior door.
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Internal door kits: a simple and effective way to hang a door

Hanging an interior door kit: simple and effective

When it comes to replacing an internal door you have a couple of options – you can either replace the door itself or change the door and door frame entirely.

The first solution means having to find an internal door with the same dimensions as the one already in place which isn't always easy. A wide range of doors is available and each has its own specifications when it comes to size, hinge placement, and so on. Unless you're willing to call in a carpenter to make a custom-made door, you are probably best off buying a full door kit.

Choosing a door kit is a great way to ensure your door will slot perfectly into place and work correctly right away. The process is fairly straightforward but it's important to follow the all steps carefully!

Door dimensions and swing direction

Door dimensions and swing direction: picking the right door

Internal doors come in a range of designs, from solid doors to panelled doors, as well as a variety of materials. In short, there is a door to match every room style and layout. But before you start work, you'll need to choose the right door kit for your needs.

Of course it's important to pick a door that you like the look of, but that's not the only factor to consider. The dimensions of the door kit must match the size of the door opening.

Check that the height and width of the door kit are slightly smaller than the door opening itself. The thickness of the door must be the same or slightly thinner than the door opening. It is also very important to check that the swing direction works with the room.

Steps

In this guide, we'll lay out the steps to installing a timber door kit, complete with casing and architraves, in a plasterboard wall. Here are the main steps to follow to hang a door and door frame:

  1. Check the swing direction and measure the door casing

  2. Dry fit the door casing and adjust as required

  3. Insert shims around the door and fit the casing in the opening

  4. Hang the internal door and fit the door handle

  5. Fit the architrave around the door

Please note that if you have to store the door kit before you install, it's best to keep it in its packaging and store it flat in a dry area away from sunlight. This will allow the door to adjust to the humidity level of the room and help it to retain its original dimensions.

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Tape measures

1. Check the swing direction and measure the door opening

1. Check the swing direction and measure the door casing

The door casing is the fixed part of the installation that lines the door opening while the door is the mobile component. The casing should measure a few centimetres less than the door opening itself.

Position the door casing in the gap where it will be installed ensuring it is the right side around and that the swing direction is suitable for your needs and the layout of the room.

Generally speaking, the door should open inwards since it is easier to push rather than pull the door to enter a room. Check that the floor is level using a spirit level.

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Spirit levels

2. Dry fit the door casing and adjust as required

Dry fit the door casing and adjust as required

  • Start by trimming the base of the door casing as required, taking care to ensure that the jambs (the vertical pieces) are 0.5cm longer than the door at the base. Please note that if you are planning to fit a new floor, you must account for the thickness of the new floor when taking your measurements. Furthermore, if the floor is not level you will have to take this into account when cutting the frame. For example, one door jamb may have to be a few millimetres higher than the other to keep the door level.

  • Take the door off the hinges so you are able to fit the casing in the opening. Please note that door casing often comes with one or two battens stapled onto the framework. If these parts don't get in the way of the hinges, keep them in place. These battens are designed to act as braces to keep your door jambs parallel and the casing square.

  • Position the casing in the opening, placing the jambs on 2mm shims. This space constitutes the expansion gap.

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Spirit levels

3. Insert shims around the door and fit the casing in the opening

Insert shims around the door and fit the casing in the opening

At this stage, check the following parameters to ensure your casing is in the correct position:

  1. Plumb: check that the casing is vertical, centred and lined up properly in the door opening.

  2. Square: check that the door head (the top part of the casing) is square with the jambs (the vertical parts).

  3. Level: check that the door head is perfectly level using a spirit level.

Use a measuring square to ensure the door jambs are square with the door head. Make adjustments as necessary then check once again that the door is square, plumb and level. Once you have adjusted and checked these measurements again, place shims in the gap between the door casing and the door opening. You will need 2 to 4 for each door jamb and 1 to 3 above the door head. The role of these shims is to keep the door casing in the correct position right down to the millimetre. To do so, drive the shims into place one by one alternating sides as you go.

Mark out your screw holes. Fit your drill with the correct drill bit and drill through the casing. Next, fit the drill with a countersink bit with the same diameter as your screw heads and drill a few millimetres into your holes. Your screw heads should sit snugly in the countersinks. To finish off, insert your screws and cover up the holes with screw caps.

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Drills and combi drills

4. Hang the door and fit the door handle

Hanging the door on the hinges

Hanging the door on the hinges

You can now hang the door on the hinges. The hinges may already be in place on the casing and door. Otherwise you will have to screw them into place yourself, taking care to align them correctly. Check the door opens and closes as expected and prepare to fit the door handle. Door kits often come with hardware provided and this should include a door handle or knob, and perhaps even a lock.

When choosing an internal door kit, be sure to check if the door handle and lock are supplied with the door. If you have to buy them separately, make sure that the hardware you are looking to purchase will be compatible with the door.

Fitting the door handle and lock

Hanging the door on the hinges

If the door handle has been provided, follow the installation instructions. The basic steps are as follows:

  • Insert the spindle into the hub of the door handle (the square-shaped hole).

  • Put the rose or backplate into position by sliding the handle on to the door spindle.

  • Do the same for the plate and handle on the opposite side.

  • Tighten the screws on both sides of the door.

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Internal door handles

5. Fit the architrave around the door

5. Fit the architrave around the door

Nearly there! All that's left to do is to fill any gaps around the door casing using expanding foam and to fit the architrave. But do take care as this final stage is crucial if you want your door to look seamless.

  • Protect the door casing and the surrounding wall with masking tape and carefully remove the shims. Next, apply expanding foam between the walls and the casing. After the product has cured (approx. 2 hours; follow manufacturer's instructions) cut any excess material.

  • Measure the exact height of the door jambs and head. Transfer these measurements to your architrave and cut to size. Use a mitre box to cut mitre joints into the ends of the architrave so you have 45° angles where the vertical pieces meet the horizontal piece.

  • Apply adhesive to the back of your architrave and glue the pieces into place. Hold each piece in place for a few seconds to ensure the glue adheres properly.

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Adhesives

How to hang an internal door and door frame

Hanging an internal door and door frame is a relatively straightforward process. However it does involve a fair amount of lifting – even interior doors are heavy and cumbersome!

Required skills

Required skills

You will need to know how to take measurements and check the door frame is square, plumb and level. You should also be able to identify the surface material and choose the right types of screws to match. Additionally, you will have to use a drill and a mitre saw, or a handsaw and mitre box.

Time required

Time required

Half a day, approx. (including curing time for expanding foam)

Number of people required

Number of people required

Given the weight and size of the door, 2 people will usually be required for this job.

Safety and workwear

Safety and workwear

This list is non-exhaustive; be sure to match your safety and workwear to the task at hand.

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Mitre boxes
 
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Guide written by:

Albert, Manager of a gardening service, Leicester

Albert, Manager of a gardening service, Leicester

For several years I have been running a garden service with a clientele of both individuals and companies. I manage a team of gardeners and ensure the creation and maintenance of green spaces. At the same time, I bring my expertise to my clients in terms of the maintenance and improvement of their gardens. In fact, as a trainee and working in the hospitality industry at the beginning of my career, I focused on landscaping in a local community where I acquired solid technical skills through in-house training and the follow-up of major projects in a rapidly changing town. On a personal level, I am equally oriented towards the art of gardening. With my wife, I created our garden from start to finish and I maintain it carefully, the same goes for the vegetable garden. As for DIYing, it’s not to be outdone. Yes, gardening is also tinkering: pergolas, huts, pavements, fences, and so on...There is always something to do in a garden. After working well together, my wife and I are proud of the result and delighted to be able to take full advantage of a friendly and warm environment. So, let us give you advice and help you in your choice of tools, maintenance, or the improvement of your garden, nothing could be simpler.

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