Simple Steps to Hanging a Blank Door Slab

Whether you need a new interior door because of cosmetic damages or you’re looking to replace all of your dated interior doors with a fresh new look, changing them out can be a trick and not so much of a treat if you’re not sure how to do the job. Installing prehung doors may seem like an easier route, but with the additional costs, labor and materials needed, it’s a much bigger hassle to use prehung than a blank door slab. Use this guide to hanging a blank door slab in your home and you’ll save money, time and materials.

1. Remove the Old Door- Pop the hinge pins out using a hammer and nail punch and remove the old door. Take off the hinges by removing the screws. Don’t mix up the screws or hinges, so label them if necessary to remember their exact order when it comes time to replace them. Remove the handle and striker as well. Leave all the hardware on the existing frame opening.
2. Insert New Door into the Old Frame- Using a few blocks of wood and a dozen or more wood shims, insert the door into the opening so that the left, right and top of the door has a ¼”+ gap of equal space between the blank slab and the frame. This part is where a helper on the opposite side of the door comes in handy.
3. Make your Mark- Using a sharp pencil, lightly mark the edges of the blank door slab where the hinges on the frame begin and end. Mark the opposite side where the center of the striker plate meets the blank door slab. Now remove the blank door slab and place it on a set of sturdy sawhorses, covered with a towel to prevent marring the surface of the new door.
4. Router the Hinge Pockets- Using each of the 2-3 hinges from the old door, place them on your fresh marks and trace out the pattern. Set a plunge router to the depth of the hinges width and make each hinge pocket carefully freehand.
5. Attach the Door- Reattach each hinge in the correct pocket and attach the door to the frame with the hinge pins. Be sure the door swings correctly and has the correct reveal. You may need to bump each hinge up or down gently with a hammer to ensure they fit perfectly.
6. Hole Saw the Handle- Using a hole saw kit for an interior door, cut out the center of the striker hole on your previous mark. Measure from the edge of the old door handle hole to the edge of the new door and transcribe that measurement onto your new hole so that the center of the striker bore aligns with the center of your handle bore. Make a mark on both sides of the door and drill halfway through door or until the center drill bit of the hole saw comes through the door from the other side. Hole saw through the other side of the door and you’ll prevent the nasty splitting that can occur when you plunge the hole saw through the door in just one direction.
7. Reattach Hardware- Put your old (or new) handle back onto the door and check it for working accuracy. Ensure the door opens, closes and locks correctly and adjust the hardware as necessary.

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