How to Hang an Interior Door in 4 Steps

By: Walter Curtis  | 
It's not as hard as you think to install an interior door.
©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Key Takeaways
  • Installing an interior door is manageable with the right tools and preparation, especially if you're using a prehung door which comes set in a frame.
  • Essential steps include ensuring the door is level and plumb in the rough opening, securing the jambs with finishing nails, attaching the molding and sealing the wood to protect it from moisture.
  • The process involves tools such as a level, cedar shingle shims, a hammer, finishing nails, wood putty and wood sealer, making it possible to complete in a few hours.

Hanging or installing a door isn't as difficult as it may seem. Replacing an existing door is easy if the new door core is the same size. Installing a door in a new par­tition wall is also very easy if you buy a prehung door so you don't have to build the door frame yourself. In fact, you probably can tackle this home improvement project in an hour or two if you have the necessary materials and tools ready.

What You'll Need

Here are the tools you'll want to have on hand to hang an interior door:


  • Prehung door
  • Level
  • Cedar shingle shims
  • Hammer
  • 16d­ finishing nails
  • Nail set
  • Wood putty
  • 10d finishing nails
  • Wood sealer
Installing a Prehung Door

Prehung doors are the easiest to install. These doors come already set in a frame, and one side of the frame has been trimmed with molding. Usually, the hardware has been installed, too, making the process even easier.To buy a prehung door, you need to know the size of the rough door opening. There are approximately 3 inches at the side jambs and 11/2 inches at the head jamb for fitting purposes.


1. Plumb the Sides

Set door into rough opening and vertically level, or plumb, door jamb sides, filling any gaps at top and sides with cedar shingle shims.


2. Nail the Jambs

Nail head and side jambs to rough framing, using 16d finishing nails. Countersink nail heads into face of jambs with nail set. Fill holes with wood putty.


3. Nail the Molding

Nail finished casing or molding to doorway with 10d finishing nails. Countersink nail heads, and fill with wood putty.


4. Seal the Wood

Apply wood sealer to both sides of door and top, bottom, and side edges. Seal casing and door moldings, too.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I ensure the door swings smoothly without sticking?
Adjust the hinge screws and check the level of the door. Sand down any areas where the door may be sticking against the frame.
What should I do if the prehung door frame doesn't fit the opening exactly?
Use shims to adjust the frame within the opening for a snug fit, ensuring the door is plumb and level before securing it with nails.

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