Hanging Internal Doors

The easiest door to hang is a new one that precisely fits an accompanying new frame. It is much harder to make a door fit an existing frame. I would always get an experienced joiner to hang doors because if they are not hung perfectly, with everything in the right place, you end up with a door that will never shut properly. There are several kinds of door that can be used internally.

Hollow Doors

These consist of a wood fibre core sandwiched between two layers of board, with a solid lock block at the point where the handle is attached.

Solid Wood Doors

These are heavier and (unless they are very cheap) have a gratifying sturdiness. Softwood is generally painted or stained (depending on the quality of the wood) and used for most interior doors, while hardwood is reserved for doors that make a grand statement, as it is more expensive. Generally, new frame and panel doors are not supplied with ironmongery, so you will be able to choose your own.

Reclaimed Doors

You can get old doors from a reclamation yard or reuse the existing doors in your house. Paint or strip and oil them, bearing in mind that if they are softwood, they would have originally been painted. There are companies that will take your doors away and dip them in baths of paint remover. I personally do not recommend this as soaking a door to this extent can sometimes make it warp and may dissolve the glue.

There Are Various Types Of Hinges Available For Doors:

Butt Hinges

These are most commonly used for hanging ordinary doors, and need a shallow recess cut in the door and the frame.

Projecting Hinges

These allow a door to swing back 180 degrees to lie against the wall.

Parliament Hinges

These also allow a door to swing 180 degrees back against the wall but they have a smaller knuckle than a projecting hinge. Although these look better, they are weaker. If the internal door doubles as a fire door, check that the hinges have a fire certificate.

Choosing Hinges

When choosing hinges, besides considering price and quality, think about the weight, height and thickness of the door. It is important that the hinge fits the door properly. When screwed to the door, it should either reach across the stile (vertical side) of the door completely, or leave at least 3mm showing.

If you have fitted automatic door-closures, this adds 20% to the weight of the door. Does the finish of your chosen hinge (chrome, brass, aluminium, stainless steel, imitation bronze etc.) match that of the rest of the door furniture? Will the material you have selected rust? Check whether you need left or right handed hinges and be sure to buy the correct ones.

Door Furniture

There are many types of door decoration. Every style is available, from Louis XIV, Queen Anne and early Georgian to Regency, Victorian, Art Deco, and of course plenty of contemporary designs as well. Knobs or handles, locks and latches all have to be chosen.

It’s worth looking on the Internet, or visiting a local ironmonger or good DIY store, to browse through the various options, taking the period and style of your house into account when choosing.

Tip: Remember that a knob needs to be fitted with a longer latch than a handle, otherwise your knuckles can get scraped as the door opens.

Door System

Sometimes a door system is wanted that can be used to divide a large room occasionally without taking up too much space. Sliding doors are ideal if there’s limited floor space, as furniture can be placed close to them. These use an upper track and floor-mounted guides that have to be installed.

Bi-fold doors also work on a track and need less room to open than a regular door. Multi-fold doors work on a track and fold back until they are no wider than the wall. A potential disadvantage is that they are necessarily very thin, so provide little insulation.

In my experience, cheap mechanisms never seem to work properly. It’s worth spending that bit extra for a smooth operating system. The best option is to have a hollow wall so the door can slide back into it.

Use inexpensive flush fire doors and plant on an MDF sheet template to outline recessed panels and then detail with beading.

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