Replacing an Interior Door Is Easier Than You Think
This past year our homes have not only been our family living space, but also our home offices and school workspaces. If your interior doors are sporting a style from the 80s or just don’t cut down on the noise, it may be time to update them.
Upgrading your interior space by replacing hollow-core doors with sturdy, sound-reducing solid-core new interior doors will not only update your space but also help provide the quiet space you need to focus or relax.
The best part? Replacing an interior door is a home DIY project you can easily take on yourself! Here are some easy-to-follow steps to help get you started.
- Measuring tape
- Table or circular saw
- Speed square
- Utility knife
- Block of wood
- Door lock installation jig
- Door paint and paint brush
- Screw driver
1. Measure the Existing Door & Door Frame
Before choosing your new doors, measure the existing door and doorframe so that you can purchase new doors that are the correct size (don’t worry if they’re not exact… one benefit of solid doors is that you’ll be able to trim the sides to achieve an exact fit).
After selecting and bringing home your new stylish doors, take precise measurements of the existing doors and door frames. Remove the hinge pins and lift the existing door out of the doorframe.
2. Mark & Trim the New Door
It’s a good idea to mark and carefully trim the bottom of the new door to fit the existing door frame… remember the old saying, “Measure twice and cut once?” Mark where your cuts need to be made, and carefully using a table or circular saw, trim any excess to ensure your new door is the exact same size as the existing door.
3. Measure & Mark Hinge Placement
Place the existing door on top of the new door. Using a square, mark the top and bottom of each hinge on the new door. This will make sure your hinges are placed correctly for hanging later.
On the old door, measure the distance from the edge of the door to the edge of each hinge. Use the same measurements for each hinge on the new door. Finally, line up each hinge inside the marks on the new door and trace the outline.
4. Score & Chisel the Hinge Mortises
Use a sharp utility knife to score the mortise (kind of like taking a layer, or recess, out of the door) for each hinge. By scoring the mortise, you’ll create a nice clean line to prepare for chiseling.
Using a steady hand, chisel out the mortises for each hinge. You should continue scoring the mortises with a utility knife as you remove each layer of wood. Stop when the hinge height matches that of the mortise depth.
5. Install the Hinges
To make sure you don’t damage or dent the hinge, place a block of wood over the hinge and tap the top of the wood to place the hinge inside the mortise. Mark the center of each screw hole then secure the hinges in place with screws.
6. Mark & Cut Out the Door Knob Latch & Lever Holes
Use a door lock installation jig to bore holes in the door for the door knob’s latch and lever. Using a door lock installation jig secures to the door and helps make sure the door hole and latch holes align properly.
Before you pick up the hole saw, use the existing door as a guide to measure the distance from the top of the door to the centre of the latch. Use this mark to line up your door lock installation jig. Now go ahead and pick up your hole saw to bore the holes… when you’ve cut about ¾ of the way through the door for the lever, cut the rest of the way from the other side. This will help you avoid tear-out and potential damage to your door.
7. Mortise & Chisel for the Latch Plate
Remember how you had to chisel out a bit of the door for the hinge plates? Well now you need to do the same thing for the latch plate. Chances are your door lock installation jig kit included a handy template and cutting bit for mortising the latch plate. Similar to when we used the utility knife to score the door for the hinge plate, the bit will be used to remove some material from the door to create an outline for the mortise.
Use a sharp chisel to remove the rest of the material for the latch plate mortise. When all mortises are created, seal all of the bare wood with a coat of paint that matches the door.
8. Hang Your New Door!
After the paint dries, screw the latch plate to the door. Install the door knob (latch and lever) according to manufacturer instructions.
It’s now time to install the new door in the doorframe! Give the door a test and yourself a hearty pat on the back. Your home now has beautiful new, sturdy doors that will help you find a little more peace and quiet.
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Our Project Experts are always ready to help answer your DIY questions. From selecting the materials needed to finding the tools for the job, we’re here to help.