Replacing one or more interiors doors represents a cost effective way to enhance the appearance of a room. Whether you want to change out the door leading from the kitchen into the dining room or install new doors in the master bedroom, one of the decisions you have to make involves doing the project yourself or contracting with a pro that has years of experience replacing interior doors.

The do it yourself route saves money on the project. However, it is important to determine whether you have the skills and knowledge to make an interior door replacement project as seamless as possible.

In other words, you should refer to a pro’s secrets to replacing an interior door.

Choose the Right Type of Door

According to the experts at ETO Doors, the first step is to select the type of door that makes the best match for a room’s interior décor. You have to consider several factors such as functional qualities that include fire resistance and sound transmission. In addition, aesthetic appeal matters to enhance the appearance of a room.

You have a large list interior door types to consider.

  • Solid wood
  • Faux wood
  • Pocket Accordion
  • French
  • Sliding
  • Bifold

Next Comes Style

Like people, homes have unique style DNAs that should be considered when the time comes to replace one or more interior doors. Here are a few style options to match the type of interior door you have chosen to install:

  • Flat
  • Two-panel
  • Six-panel
  • Arched
  • Molded

You also can request a customized style that complements the appearance of a room’s interior décor. Many door manufacturers provide customers with an online tool that creates different customized interior door styles.

Accurate Measurements

Despite all the attention to detail paid to the type and style of interior door, many homeowners make the common mistake of either not measuring for door size or measuring an inaccurate door size. The result is an attractive door that finds its way into the basement for permanent storage. Make sure to measure and re-measure to obtain the right door size. One of the most common door sizes is 30 inches wide by 80 inches tall.

Slab or Pre-Hung?

Now, we come to the part of the process that involves making decisions based on your DIY skills. A slab interior door must exactly match the jamb. You have to mortise the hinge locations, as well as bore for a lockset. Adjusting for width and length disparities typically is beyond the skill set of inexperienced do it yourselfers. Installing a pre-hung interior door eliminates the need to possess advanced DIY skills. However, you still have to install trim casing or molding, as well as level the door to ensure the perfect fit.

The Interior Door Replacement Process

Replacing an interior door requires you to follow a few steps that unfold in a logical order.

Remove Current Door

After accurately measuring the current door, remove the pins located in the hinges to remove the door from the frame. If you plan to use the same handle and hinges for the new door, you need to remove the components for adding to the new door.

Make Changes for the New Door to Fit

Despite taking accurate measurements, the new door might require a little work to get it to fit snugly in the frame. A sander or a planer should help you make minute reductions in the width and/or the length of the new door. Make sure to put the trimmed side on the hinges.

Cut Mortises

Secure the new interior door into the jamb to achieve the most secure fit. Mark the top and bottom of the locations where the hinges go, and then work with a door hinge router and template to cut the mortises for each hinge.

Paint Like a Master

With the door secure, now is a good time to paint the door. Although it is standard practice to match the color of the door paint to the color of the trim, you can think outside the design box by creating a unique appearance for the door. Just makes sure not to overwhelm the central design theme of the room.

Hinge and Hang New Door

Drill pilot holes for the location of each screw. Make sure to use the screws that came with the hinges. Otherwise, you run the risk of drilling into the metal that forms a hinge. With a strong shim, set the door in the frame and screw the other side of the hinge into the jamb.

All that is left to do is drill holes for installing the latch and handle. You should have a door lock installation kit that explains how to drill the holes for both door components.

Final Thoughts from a Pro

Although some do it yourself homeowners have what it takes to replace interior doors, you might be better served enlisting the help of a professional contractor or someone that has experience installing interior doors. You complete the home improvement project quicker, as well as eliminate the type of mistakes that can make you go back to step one in the interior door replacement process. In addition, a licensed and certified home improvement contractor can recommend the type and style of interior door that does the best job of enhancing the interior décor of a room.

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