Replace Interior Doors in 4 Steps

Replacing your interior doors, is a simply and effective way of renovating your home. After you’ve found the perfect interior doors to replace the old ones, you can easily install them yourself. Here are four quick and easy steps to install a new interior door.

Tools Required

• Screwdriver
• Circular Saw (or Hand Plane)
• Combination Square
• Drill with extra long Phillips tip
• 2 1/8 inch hole saw
• 7/8 inch spade bit
• Centering bit
• Tape Measure
• Hammer
• Utility Knife
• ¾ inch and 1 inch chisels

Step One – Taking Down the Old Door

The first and most obvious step is removing the old door. You’ll want to stand on the hinged side of the door and remove the pins. Start with the bottom hinge and work your way up. You may want to have someone to help you to hold the door so it won't topple over once you remove all the pins. If a pin doesn’t come out easily, you can tap it out gently using a hammer and/or screwdriver.

Step Two – Getting the New Door Ready

Use the old door to figure out the size of the new door. Trace around the old door on the new one using a pencil to indicate where the new door will need to be trimmed. If you’re using the old doorknob and hinges, take note of how they are pieced together.
Once you have the new door ready, use a scoring tool and straightedge to mark the edges. Use a circular saw to cut the new door down to size. Remember to leave room for clearance. Generally, you will want leave 1/8 inch around the top and sides of the door, and 5/8 inch under the bottom.

Step Three - Installing the Hinges

Once your new door is cut to size, lay the old door on top of the new one to determine where to place the hinges. Use a combination square to transfer the mortises to the new door.

Chisel the hinges out by standing the door on its edge with the hinge layouts facing up. Do this by tapping the chisel to outline the mortise, then chisel out the cuts as deep as the hinge is thick. Use the chisel at a low angle on the flat side to prevent it from digging too deeply. Gently tap away the waste wood.

Check the depth by test fitting a hinge into the mortise. If it doesn’t fit, gently chisel away more wood until it fits snugly. Once it fits, use a drill to screw the hinges on.

Step Four – Installing the Door Handle

Mark where the strike plate hole meets the door edge, then position the door knob template to mark where the doorknob and latch will go. If you’re reusing the old door handle, take measurements from the old door.

Your instructions will let you know what size drill you will need if you are installing a new handle. If the handle does not have instructions, use a 2 1/8 inch hole saw, and a 7/8 inch spade bit to cut the latch’s edge.

If you are going to stain or paint the door, now is the time to do so. Let it fully dry before installing the doorknob and latch set. You will install the latch set first. Screw the latch to the door and then install any doorknobs.