Shortening an Interior Door

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Prehung interior doors should allow a 3⁄4" gap between the bottom of the door and the floor. This gap lets the door swing without binding on carpet or floor covering.

 

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Overview

Prehung interior doors should allow a 3⁄4" gap between the bottom of the door and the floor. This gap lets the door swing without binding on carpet or floor covering. If a thicker carpet or a larger threshold is installed, the door may need to be shortened.
Shortening a hollow-core door requires a few more steps because the door consists of multiple pieces. Depending on the width of the cut, the pieces may need to be cut and then reassembled.
If the door is solid wood, material can usually be removed by planing the edge, using a hand plane or power plane.

What You'll Need

Tools:

Tape measure
Hammer
Screwdriver
Utility knife
Sawhorses
Circular saw
Chisel
Straightedge
Clamps
Carpenter’s glue

Materials:

Tape measure
Hammer
Screwdriver
Utility knife
Sawhorses
Circular saw
Chisel
Straightedge
Clamps
Carpenter’s glue

 

Step 1

How to Cut Off a Hollow-core Interior Door-Step 1

With the door in place, measure 3⁄8" up from the top of the floor covering and mark the door. Remove the door from the hinges by tapping out the hinge pins with a screwdriver and a hammer.


Step 2

How to Cut Off a Hollow-core Interior Door-Step 2

Mark the cutting line. Cut through the door veneer with a sharp utility knife to prevent it from chipping when the door is sawed.


Step 3

How to Cut Off a Hollow-core Interior Door-Step 3

Lay the door on sawhorses and clamp a straightedge to the door as a cutting guide.


Step 4

How to Cut Off a Hollow-core Interior Door-Step 4

Saw off the bottom of the door. The hollow core of the door may be exposed.


Step 5

How to Cut Off a Hollow-core Interior Door-Step 5

To reinstall a cutoff frame piece in the bottom of the door, chisel the veneer from both sides of the removed portion.


Step 6

How to Cut Off a Hollow-core Interior Door-Step 6

Apply wood glue to the cutoff frame. Insert the frame piece into the opening of the door and clamp it. Wipe away any excess glue and let the door dry overnight.


 
 

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