How to Install an Interior Door
Learn how to install an interior door the easy way! A pre-hung door along with an EZ Hang installation kit makes this project a breeze!
When I purchased my split-level home a few months ago, I knew I wanted the “lower level” to become my workshop. There were two problems: 1) it was carpeted, and 2) it had no door.
Sawdust is a thing, and I didn’t want it going all over the house, so adding a door was a must. Luckily, it’s actually a pretty easy project, given you purchase the right things.
There are two types of interior doors available: door slabs, which are just the door, and pre-hung doors, which come installed in a frame.
I purchased a pre-hung door, because the doorframe wasn’t already prepared for a door. What I mean by that, is that there wasn’t any stop trim, or grooves for the hinges, or striker plate installed. If those things had been in place, I might have purchased a slab.
You’ll need to decide what makes the most sense for your doorframe. I’ll only talk about pre-hung doors from this point on, since I have no experience installing a slab door.
When buying your prehung door, the size you purchase should be 2″ smaller than your doorway opening. For example, my doorway was roughly 32″ wide. I purchased a 30″ prehung door to fit this space.
Because of this, you’ll want to remove the trim and measure your doorway before purchasing the door.
You’ll also need to decide the type of handle you want, and whether it should lock. I chose a traditional turn-style handle, because it matched all the other handles in the house.
My dad then pointed out a lever-style handle would’ve been more practical, since those can be used when your hands are full. Oh well.
Note: This blog contains affiliate links. If you click and make a purchase, I may receive compensation (at no additional cost to you.)
- Pre-Hung Door – Take note of whether the door you buy is bare, primed or painted. I purchased a primed door, which meant I still had to paint it before hanging.
- EZ-Hang Installation Kit – This kit is less than $5, and makes hanging the door much easier. Get it.
- Scrap Wood – For shimming door.
- Door Handle – This does not come with the door.
- Large Level – Mine was 5′ long.
- Prybar and Hammer – For removing the trim.
- Construction Adhesive and Brad Nails – For reinstalling trim.
Installing the Door
Step 0: Remove the Trim
A hammer, prybar, and some patience were all it took to get the trim off the wall. Simply hammer the prybar underneat the trim, then slowly pry up.
Then measure your doorway. My doorway was 32″ wide on the top, and 31 1/2″ wide on the bottom. I was really worried about this, since the doorway is suppose to be a full 2″ larger than the door.
However, it worked out just fine. I’m not going to guarentee that will always happen, but if you have a similar measurement discrepency, it might be okay.
Step 1: Draw a Plumb Line on Wall
Special Note: Plumb = the vertical version of “level”
On the side of the wall the hinges will go, arrange your level so that it makes a plumb line about a half an inch away from the wall. Mark this line with a pencil.
Your line might not be a half inch away the entire strech of wall if the opening isn’t plumb. That’s okay.
Step 2: Test Door Fit
Before attaching any of the brackets, test and make sure your door fits into the doorway. My door was a little too tall, so I trimmed the bottom pieces of the frame with a circular saw.
Step 3: Attach EZ Hang Brackets to Doorframe
The EZ Hang Kit comes with seven brackets. Three go on each side, and one goes on top.
I spaced the side brackets out evenly, then screwed them into place.
Step 4: Attach Door to Wall
This is where the line you drew at the beginning comes in handy. Place the door in the doorway, and line the lines on the bracket up with line you drew on the wall.
Full disclosure: I did a bad job of this.
My line was too close to edge of the doorway. The correct thing to do would be to take the door off, and redraw the line further away. Instead, I just screwed my brackets in so that they were all about 1/4″ off my line.
It worked, though. My door was plumb.
The EZ Hang Kit advertises that shims are unneccessary. That could be true, but I found it easier to use shims to make sure my brackets/line were aligned correctly. That way, I didn’t have to hold the door in place and drive the screws in at the same time.
Step 5: Add Handle
I followed the instructions that came with the handle, but it can be summarized like this:
1. Screw striker plate to doorframe.
2. Screw latch to door. (Note: my door didn’t come pre-chisled, so I did a mediocre job chisling a hole for this.)
3. Insert handle on one side.
4. Insert handle on other side. Screw in place.
Step 6: Reinstall Trim
I reused the trim that I had taken off at beginning, securing it in place with construction adhesive and brad nails.
If your trim job looks less than perfect (mine usually does,) grab some white caulk to fix the gaps. Caulk goes a long way!
What is going on with your paint job?? It’s driving me nuts!
Taking off the trim significantly dislodged much of the paint job (and then I pulled it off.) I’m not too concerned – my next project is painting the room anyway, so I’ll fix it then. In the meantime, sorry you have to see it!
Can this be done with one person?
A single person can install a door by themselves. I did.
Is this as easy as it looks? Or should I hire someone to install it?
I ran into no significant difficulties, and think installing an interior door is a DIY-able project. However, if you have a really difficult situation (strange sized doorway, the doorway isn’t plumb, etc) it could be worth hiring a pro.
The other time I might hire a pro is if you don’t have the tools to fix small issues. For example, I used a circular saw to trim the bottom of the doorway, and an orbital sander to sand a few places at the bottom of the door where it rubbed the floor.
If you don’t have those things, it might just be cheaper to hire it out, and let a pro take care of everything for you.
I learn better with videos. Do you have a video of this tutorial?
If you do DIY regularly, you probably have many of the things you need on hand. I certainly did, which cut down my cost significantly. Here’s what I purchased:
|EZ Hang Kit||$5|
Admittedly, I purchased pretty much the cheapest door possible – if you buy a nicer one, the cost will obviously go up!
This project was low-key stressing me out before I started it. But it turned out to be a lot easier than I thought it’d be.
I’m so excited to have a door… and to reduce the sawdust floating around the main floor of the house!
If you found this helpful, or think you might be installing a door sometime soon, be sure to save this project to Pinterest so you can find it again later!