Grand Opening: An Interior Door Installation Guide for Every Room

What do you do with your charming pre-owned home when the previous owners never got around to updating the eclectic mix of interior doors? You can only ignore mismatched doors for so long.

It’s an excellent time for a new DIY project!

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If the thought of selecting and installing doors in your house feels a little overwhelming, you’re in the right place. We’ve put together a guide to interior door installation that should make the project easier and more enjoyable.

Take a minute and read the guide before you hang your first door!

First Things First

Some homeowners want a door, any door will do, but is that really what you want? For the person who wants their new interior doors to make a statement, taking care to select the right doors trumps the quick-fix.

When you choose new doors, you create the mood and style of your home’s interior. You have a wide range of options, including:

  • Paneled
  • Barn Doors
  • Louver
  • Pocket Doors
  • Bi-Fold
  • French Doors
  • Glass-Framed

The most common doors are passage doors. They come in pre-hung or slab style. We’ll talk a little more about passage doors later. 

One idea to keep in mind is consistency. Since your interior doors connect the spaces in your home, keeping the materials and style consistent creates a flow between rooms.

We like solid doors for bedrooms and bathrooms where you want tranquility and privacy. If you’re installing a door in a sunroom or separating a living room from, say, an office space, glass doors make an excellent choice.

When You Want a Blank Slate

Once you determine your door styles, you can get down to the business of ordering. Isn’t that how it works? You choose the look you want and find your favorite door in the online catalog.

There’s another step. For this post, we’ll keep the focus on passage doors.

The fun of an interior door installation project isn’t only that you get play with tools. Most people enjoy giving their home a fresh, updated look. Both slab and pre-hung doors will do the job.

If you’re looking for a blank slate where you can customize hardware and doorframe, go with a slab door.

Slab doors come in either solid wood or hollow core. They work for rooms where you want to install an unusual door type or style. Slab doors also make a good choice when you don’t need to replace the existing door frame.

A slab door may take longer to install since you attach the frame and mount the hardware. If you prefer a ready-made door complete with frame, hinges, and handles, consider a pre-hung door.

Ordering Pre-Hung Doors

While pre-hung doors may sound enticing because someone has already done most of the work, let’s take a step back. You’ll need to know a minimum of two things when you order your doors:

Ordering the correct size and set-up depends on how well you do your homework. Even a small mistake here could mean your door ends up propped up against a wall in your basement.

What Is Standard Interior Door Width?

Residential building codes do some of the sizing work for you. All interior doors must meet the height requirements set by the International Residential Code. The magic number is 80 inches tall, or 6 ft. 8 inches.

As far as width, most door manufacturers offer 24”, 28”, 30”, 32” and 36” wide doors.

If you or someone in your household has a mobility issue, consider installing 36” doors. These allow enough space for a walker or wheelchair to pass through.

Are you replacing a current door? If so, measure that door from top to bottom, and then, left to right. Make sure you also measure the door’s thickness.

Next, measure the width of your door jam along with the height and width of your frame. Be careful that you don’t include the trim when measuring.

When taking your measurements, the last step is to add 2 inches to the measurement you took for the door’s width and 2 inches to the height of your doorway opening.

Now, you have a rough-in measurement.

Why You Should Consider Installing In an Existing Frame

We mentioned earlier the benefit of choosing slab doors if you’re looking for a door you can customize. There’s another plus to ordering a blank slab door.

While it’s not impossible to tear out the old frame, it does add a significant amount of time to your installation project. If you can work with the existing jamb, you’ll not only save time, but you’re able to leave the trim intact as well.

Door specialists at Baird Brothers Fine Hardwoods suggest getting the required tools together before you start the installation. If you’re a seasoned DIYer, you likely have most of these:

  • Hammer
  • Chisel
  • Utility Knife
  • Square
  • Hole Saw
  • Drill

In the next section, we’ll go over the installation steps.

How to Install Interior Doors the Easy Way

When we say easy, we don’t mean it’s easy for a child to do the job. It’s not a difficult project, but you’ll want to bring a good amount of patience to the table. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a door that not only looks off-kilter; it won’t open and close correctly.

To make things easier, use the old door as a sort of template. Line the doors up and, using a light touch, clamp them together. Next, mark the hinge openings and lockset holes on the new door.

Use your chisel and utility knife to mortise the hinge openings on the new door. Next, stand the door upright and use your hole saw to bore out the holes for the lockset.

Now, you’re ready to mount the hinges. If you inherited the old door from a previous owner who trimmed it, you now have the option to close the gap they left on the floor. Otherwise, go ahead and hang the door.

If everything sets up correctly, take the door down and do the finished work before rehanging.

Ready to Start Your Interior Door Installation Project?

You can update interior doors anytime, spring, summer, winter, or fall. With the upcoming fall and winter holiday season right around the corner, why not go ahead and check interior door installation projects off your to-do list?

If you’re not sure you want to tackle the job yourself, you can always check with your door supplier and find out about interior door installation cost. Sometimes, it’s better to hire a professional.

If you’ve enjoyed this article, we invite you to keep browsing our blog. We’ve put together a collection of helpful tips and information about interior and exterior doors for your home.

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