Six Frequent Errors to Avoid When Installing Internal Doors

man in light blue shirt holding oak door No matter whether you're restoring an old property, building a brand new one or just looking to give your home a much-needed makeover – there are numerous reasons why you might be looking to get some advice on internal doors. Taking the time to choose specific styles and designs, is the easy part – the hard part comes when you come to hang the doors. Choosing the perfect door is time wasted if you aren't able to install the door correctly, which is why we've created the following guide to show you how to avoid the common pitfalls to ensure your internal door looks and functions at its best for many years to come. 

Avoid Underestimating Opening Arcs

graphic explaining door opening cycles

Before ordering your door, you’ll first need to consider the trajectory of the opening door and if there is enough space for it to open comfortably. You’ll need to understand, how much space you'll need to open the door entirely.

If it’s an especially small room, moving items around within it, might not be an option. So consider these two points:

  • Doors open inwards most of the time, but cupboard drawers and the like will open outwards, so rooms of a particular shape may require little creative thinking, think pocket or bifold doors.
  • If there is an issue affecting the opening arc of your door, it may be resolved by handing it from the other side.

Avoid Providing Incorrect Measurements

man in blue measuring the length of a door

Whipping out a tape measure is pretty critical here – you don’t want to find yourself furiously sanding down a door that you’ve spent good money on. Keeping in mind two key points will help you collect the right measurements:

  • Before you order a new door to replace the one you intend to remove, you must ensure that you measure the frame and not the door which you’re substituting.
  • Investigate the door frame rebate. If the rebate in your door is 35mm, you'll need to order a replacement of corresponding thickness.

Avoid Over Trimming A Door

Sometimes your door may need a slight trim, especially if your measurements are ever so slightly off. But, you must be careful when you do this, if you must trim the door, avoid:

  • Trimming too much – if you trim too much you could end up cutting into the internal composition of the door which could weaken the structure.
  • Trim to suit the frame – if a door doesn’t look right after it’s hung, it is not wise to assume it is the door itself; it could well be the frame which makes the door look uneven. Unless you trim the door to fit the frame perfectly, gaps around the doors won't all be equal.

Avoid Installing The Door Upside Down

It sounds ridiculous, but it's much more common than you'd think. Some doors do look the same either way, so your mistake may not be detected. However, designs such as panelled doors have a clearly defined top and bottom section.

Larger panels are normally on the top, smaller on the bottom.

Avoid Choosing Incorrect Hardware

man attaching a door handle

Every time you purchase a door, it doesn’t come with any hardware, such a door handles etc. And this is because doors can be used in different ways, in different settings. For example, during renovation projects, some people may wish to use current doors and customise the hardware. Researching door hardware is just as important as the door itself, especially if you’re fitting a fire door.

  • Make sure you fit the handle and lock – should this apply – to the correct side of the door. If the door has a lock block, then use this side, otherwise you could be drilling into the hollow core of the door. But, this won’t be an issue if you’ve bought a solid core door.
  • Don’t try to save money on hinges. Remember, these are the very things that will keep the door attached.
  • Ensure the handle is about halfway up the door. It may look a bit strange otherwise.

Avoid Choosing the Wrong Finish

mans hand using a paint brush to apply finish to an oak door

Ensure you finish your door with the right product before you hang the door. If the door is primed or unfinished, double check you’re using paint, oils or waxes that are suitable for internal doors. Not using the right finish can cause veneered doors to delaminate after a reaction to the glue. You must make sure that any uncovered edges are correctly sealed and finished after the door is hung. Not doing this could cause moisture to seep into the door which could warp or twist the wood.   It’s important to remember how much time, money and energy you’ve invested into your renovation, new build or makeover and all before you’ve even bought your doors. Choosing your designs, styles and compositions is a process that takes time, which is why it is so vital to ensure that your doors are hung and adequately maintained. If you need help choosing your doors, why not pop down to our Lutterworth showroom. Take advantage of our vast range and the advice of our highly knowledgeable customer's services team. Or simply call us on 01455 502321 or drop us an email on and we’d be happy to provide you with advice.

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