how to install interior prehung doors

Interior prehung door installation
Tools Needed
1 Nail gun or hammer
2 6-foot level
3 Driver or drill
4 Tape measure
5 ¾-inch chisel
6 Philips-head screwdriver
7 Retractable plumb bob
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Materials Needed
1 Safety Glasses
2 Gloves
3 Garbage Bag
Total Cost
$25-$100
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Estimated Time
4-6 Hours
Skill Level: Expert
The total cost and duration may vary when hiring a handyman!

Project Overview

Person Installing A Prehung Interior Door

Doors are precision instruments and should consistently and easily snap into their latch, clear their jamb, and swing almost effortlessly on their hinges. The fine and precise tolerances required to achieve this level of performance explains why installing a pre-hung interior door is often deemed a true measure of a carpenter’s skill.

A pre-hung door simplifies and expedites the installation process, but let me tell you that the term pre-hung is actually a misnomer. The door and jambs need to be carefully adjusted and calibrated to account for any shortcomings in a wall’s frame. 

Step-By-Step Instructions

1

Check for the Rough Opening

Rough Opening On A Prehung Door

Place your 6-foot level on the floor in your doorway. In case the side of the hinge is lower than the side of the latch, slip the shims under the nearest jamb. Keep adjusting until the bubble of the level is in the center. Pin these shims to the floor using a nail.

You don’t need shims in case the latch side is lower. Check the trimmer studs and your walls for plumb with a plumb bob. Also, check the face of the trimmer to ensure it is squared in reference to your wall. Lastly, by measuring between them and make sure the trimmers are parallel.

2

Shim the Trimmers

Prehung Interior Door

On the jamb, measure the distance from the jamb’s bottom to the center of every hinge. Carefully place marks on hinge locations using a trimmer by measuring down from top of the shims. Fasten your plumb bob to the top side of the hinge trimmer measuring the space between the trimmer and the string at every hinge location.

 Put overlapping shims where the gap is small. Adjust the thickness of the shims to 1/8-inch, and fix them using a finishing nail. Measure the space between your plumb bob string and the shims. Place a pair of overlapping shims on the other 2 hinge locations. Adjust the thickness of each pair until the space between the string and shims is equal to the gap on the first pair. Tack each of the pairs to the trimmer and shave off its ends with a sharp knife so they do not protrude across the drywall.

3

Fit the Door into the Opening

Fitting A Prehung Interior Door

Lift your door and placing it into the opening and gently push the jamb of the hinge tightly against the shims that are fastened to the trimmers. Fasten an 8d nail through the hinge-side casing exactly three inches below the level of the miter, deep into the trimmer.

Holding a level against the casing’s face, adjust the jamb out and in. In case your wall is plumb and the casing rests nicely against it, pin 8d nails through its surface at other 2 hinge locations. However, If your wall is out of plumb, which makes it difficult for the casing to rest against it, start shimming on the back of casing at the locations of the hinge to make your door plumb. Drive the nails through the shims and casing and into the trimmer. Using tapered wood wedges, fill up any gaps between the wall and the casing.

4

Anchor the Jamb

Jamb Of A Prehung Interior Door

Place a few shims between the trimmer and main jamb on the side of the latch, located at the top of your door. When they are nearly in contact with the jamb’s back, tack them firmly to the trimmer using 8d nails, without exerting much pressure. Now drive extra pairs of shims a couple of inches below and above the strike plate and above the jamb’s base. It is important because the jamb can flex without the shims.

5

Adjust the Reveal

person measuring the space at the top of a door

Check the reveal or horizontal gap, between the head jamb and top of your door. It must be uniform from right to left and about 1/8- to 3/16-inch wide. If required, adjust this gap by gently pushing the head casing. Fix this gap with an 8d nail; drive it near the top of your door.

Then check the thickness of the vertical gap between jamb on the latch and the door. The thickness should be about the size of a nickel. You can adjust it, by grabbing the casing and moving the jamb by your hand. To check the leading edge of the door, close and open it, pick the one that rests comfortably against the stop and clears the jamb. Fix this gap by driving nails at every 16 inches through the latch casing into the trimmer, ensuring your reveal stays consistent.

6

Replace Hinge Screw

set of hinges and screws for an interior door

Replace the center screw located at the top most hinge leaf with a long screw to fully penetrate the trimmer. This will prevent your door from binding and sagging.

Starting from the bottom, firmly push the split jamb’s edge in the groove located inside the main jamb. Tap these 2 jambs gently together with your hands. Fix the casing on each side of the miter located on the wall, at a distance of 20 inches along the casing. Hold both the jambs firmly together by driving 8d nails into the trimmers through the stop. Avoid nailing into the head jamb.

7

Mount the Hardware

person screwing in the strike plate for a door

Using the screws tack the strike plate into the mortise. If the mortise is smaller than the plate, place the plate on the surface of the jamb, highlight it using a marker, and chisel the highlighted area. Slip the bolt of the latch into the respective bore and tack the plate in the mortise on the edge of the door using the screws.

Fit a pair of knobs on each side of the latch bolt, then drive and tighten the screws that hold these knobs firmly together. Listen attentively for the latch as it slides into the strike by closing the door. Close the door again and if it rattles, slightly flex the prong located on the strike plate toward the stop. If the latch fails to catch, try bending the prong in the opposite direction and tighten the screws.

Conclusion

Now, your interior door has been properly installed, rest of the stuff is merely aesthetic. You can finish or paint the door however you choose. Just tape around the jambs and casing as it’s important.

How To Install Interior Prehung Doors

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    Cedar Color Modern Style Prehung Hollow Core interior Door
    Insideout interior doors come in a dazzling array of styles and colors. Choose from French, panel, bifold, barn or pocket doors. There are dozens of pre-painted colors to choose from, and all doors come primed so you can paint them for yourself if you want. Material types to choose from include composite, fiberglass, or hardwoods like mahogany, cherry, and oak. There are three standard sizes to choose from, or you can customize in ½” increments.All doors are a breeze to install and come with all necessary screws, as well as pre-attached steel hinges in the optimum configuration. Replacement doors are available for damage or marring that occurs during shipment, and a limited warranty covers normal wear and tear on frame, hinges, and door surfaces.
    Price: $30.00
  2. Cherry Color Contemporary Style Prehung Hollow Core interior Doorview
    Cherry Color Contemporary Style Prehung Hollow Core interior Door
    Insideout interior doors come in a dazzling array of styles and colors. Choose from French, panel, bifold, barn or pocket doors. There are dozens of pre-painted colors to choose from, and all doors come primed so you can paint them for yourself if you want. Material types to choose from include composite, fiberglass, or hardwoods like mahogany, cherry, and oak. There are three standard sizes to choose from, or you can customize in ½” increments.All doors are a breeze to install and come with all necessary screws, as well as pre-attached steel hinges in the optimum configuration. Replacement doors are available for damage or marring that occurs during shipment, and a limited warranty covers normal wear and tear on frame, hinges, and door surfaces.
    Price: $69.99
  3. Fir Color Modern Style Slab solid Core interior Doorview
    Fir Color Modern Style Slab solid Core interior Door
    Insideout interior doors come in a dazzling array of styles and colors. Choose from French, panel, bifold, barn or pocket doors. There are dozens of pre-painted colors to choose from, and all doors come primed so you can paint them for yourself if you want. Material types to choose from include composite, fiberglass, or hardwoods like mahogany, cherry, and oak. There are three standard sizes to choose from, or you can customize in ½” increments.All doors are a breeze to install and come with all necessary screws, as well as pre-attached steel hinges in the optimum configuration. Replacement doors are available for damage or marring that occurs during shipment, and a limited warranty covers normal wear and tear on frame, hinges, and door surfaces.
    Price: $226.00
  4. Cherry Color Traditional Style Prehung Hollow Core interior Doorview
    Cherry Color Traditional Style Prehung Hollow Core interior Door
    Insideout interior doors come in a dazzling array of styles and colors. Choose from French, panel, bifold, barn or pocket doors. There are dozens of pre-painted colors to choose from, and all doors come primed so you can paint them for yourself if you want. Material types to choose from include composite, fiberglass, or hardwoods like mahogany, cherry, and oak. There are three standard sizes to choose from, or you can customize in ½” increments.All doors are a breeze to install and come with all necessary screws, as well as pre-attached steel hinges in the optimum configuration. Replacement doors are available for damage or marring that occurs during shipment, and a limited warranty covers normal wear and tear on frame, hinges, and door surfaces.
    Price: $30.00
  5. Fir Color Modern Style Prehung Hollow Core interior Doorview
    Fir Color Modern Style Prehung Hollow Core interior Door
    Insideout interior doors come in a dazzling array of styles and colors. Choose from French, panel, bifold, barn or pocket doors. There are dozens of pre-painted colors to choose from, and all doors come primed so you can paint them for yourself if you want. Material types to choose from include composite, fiberglass, or hardwoods like mahogany, cherry, and oak. There are three standard sizes to choose from, or you can customize in ½” increments.All doors are a breeze to install and come with all necessary screws, as well as pre-attached steel hinges in the optimum configuration. Replacement doors are available for damage or marring that occurs during shipment, and a limited warranty covers normal wear and tear on frame, hinges, and door surfaces.
    Price: $275.00
  6. Oak Color Rustic Style Slab solid Core interior Doorview
    Oak Color Rustic Style Slab solid Core interior Door
    Insideout interior doors come in a dazzling array of styles and colors. Choose from French, panel, bifold, barn or pocket doors. There are dozens of pre-painted colors to choose from, and all doors come primed so you can paint them for yourself if you want. Material types to choose from include composite, fiberglass, or hardwoods like mahogany, cherry, and oak. There are three standard sizes to choose from, or you can customize in ½” increments.All doors are a breeze to install and come with all necessary screws, as well as pre-attached steel hinges in the optimum configuration. Replacement doors are available for damage or marring that occurs during shipment, and a limited warranty covers normal wear and tear on frame, hinges, and door surfaces.
    Price: $249.00
  7. White Color Modern Style Slab solid Core interior Doorview
    White Color Modern Style Slab solid Core interior Door
    Insideout interior doors come in a dazzling array of styles and colors. Choose from French, panel, bifold, barn or pocket doors. There are dozens of pre-painted colors to choose from, and all doors come primed so you can paint them for yourself if you want. Material types to choose from include composite, fiberglass, or hardwoods like mahogany, cherry, and oak. There are three standard sizes to choose from, or you can customize in ½” increments.All doors are a breeze to install and come with all necessary screws, as well as pre-attached steel hinges in the optimum configuration. Replacement doors are available for damage or marring that occurs during shipment, and a limited warranty covers normal wear and tear on frame, hinges, and door surfaces.
    Price: $184.50
  8. Oak Color Traditional Style Prehung Hollow Core interior Doorview
    Oak Color Traditional Style Prehung Hollow Core interior Door
    Insideout interior doors come in a dazzling array of styles and colors. Choose from French, panel, bifold, barn or pocket doors. There are dozens of pre-painted colors to choose from, and all doors come primed so you can paint them for yourself if you want. Material types to choose from include composite, fiberglass, or hardwoods like mahogany, cherry, and oak. There are three standard sizes to choose from, or you can customize in ½” increments.All doors are a breeze to install and come with all necessary screws, as well as pre-attached steel hinges in the optimum configuration. Replacement doors are available for damage or marring that occurs during shipment, and a limited warranty covers normal wear and tear on frame, hinges, and door surfaces.
    Price: $275.00
  9. White Color Traditional Style Slab solid Core interior Doorview
    White Color Traditional Style Slab solid Core interior Door
    Insideout interior doors come in a dazzling array of styles and colors. Choose from French, panel, bifold, barn or pocket doors. There are dozens of pre-painted colors to choose from, and all doors come primed so you can paint them for yourself if you want. Material types to choose from include composite, fiberglass, or hardwoods like mahogany, cherry, and oak. There are three standard sizes to choose from, or you can customize in ½” increments.All doors are a breeze to install and come with all necessary screws, as well as pre-attached steel hinges in the optimum configuration. Replacement doors are available for damage or marring that occurs during shipment, and a limited warranty covers normal wear and tear on frame, hinges, and door surfaces.
    Price: $184.50
  10. Cedar Color Classic Style Prehung Hollow Core interior Doorview
    Cedar Color Classic Style Prehung Hollow Core interior Door
    Insideout interior doors come in a dazzling array of styles and colors. Choose from French, panel, bifold, barn or pocket doors. There are dozens of pre-painted colors to choose from, and all doors come primed so you can paint them for yourself if you want. Material types to choose from include composite, fiberglass, or hardwoods like mahogany, cherry, and oak. There are three standard sizes to choose from, or you can customize in ½” increments.All doors are a breeze to install and come with all necessary screws, as well as pre-attached steel hinges in the optimum configuration. Replacement doors are available for damage or marring that occurs during shipment, and a limited warranty covers normal wear and tear on frame, hinges, and door surfaces.
    Price: $47.99
  11. Fir Color Traditional Style Prehung Hollow Core interior Doorview
    Fir Color Traditional Style Prehung Hollow Core interior Door
    Insideout interior doors come in a dazzling array of styles and colors. Choose from French, panel, bifold, barn or pocket doors. There are dozens of pre-painted colors to choose from, and all doors come primed so you can paint them for yourself if you want. Material types to choose from include composite, fiberglass, or hardwoods like mahogany, cherry, and oak. There are three standard sizes to choose from, or you can customize in ½” increments.All doors are a breeze to install and come with all necessary screws, as well as pre-attached steel hinges in the optimum configuration. Replacement doors are available for damage or marring that occurs during shipment, and a limited warranty covers normal wear and tear on frame, hinges, and door surfaces.
    Price: $176.95
  12. Fir Color Traditional Style Slab solid Core interior Doorview
    Fir Color Traditional Style Slab solid Core interior Door
    Insideout interior doors come in a dazzling array of styles and colors. Choose from French, panel, bifold, barn or pocket doors. There are dozens of pre-painted colors to choose from, and all doors come primed so you can paint them for yourself if you want. Material types to choose from include composite, fiberglass, or hardwoods like mahogany, cherry, and oak. There are three standard sizes to choose from, or you can customize in ½” increments.All doors are a breeze to install and come with all necessary screws, as well as pre-attached steel hinges in the optimum configuration. Replacement doors are available for damage or marring that occurs during shipment, and a limited warranty covers normal wear and tear on frame, hinges, and door surfaces.
    Price: $249.00
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Questions And Answers

Are interior doors secure?
Interior doors can be very secure. You can get interior doors which have handles that do not lock. However, you can also install knobs that have a locking system as well.
Should you install new interior doors?
If you are wondering whether you should install new interior doors, the answer could be based on different factors. If your current interior doors is broken, falling off the hinges or not providing the style you want, yes, you should get a new interior door.
How do you determine the swing of a door?
There are a few ways that you can determine the door inswing. One is to enter the door with your back facing the hinges. This will have you standing in the doorway sideways. If the hinges are on your left side, the door is left-hand. The right side means right-handed.
How do you measure a door opening?
To get this measurement, you first take off the casing from the top and sides of your door. Then, measure from inside face of one stud to the other. Write down your measurement. Then, measure from bottom of header to subfloor. Write down that measurement.
How do I frame an interior door?
To frame an interior door, you first need to get the measurements of your door. Then, you will get wood to cut to the size for surrounding the door. Nail or screw those into place around the door.
What is the average price of an interior door?
With the cost of installation, interior doors could be around $500. If you are only purchasing the door, depending on which one you choose to get, the price could be an average of $100 to $350.
What is the rough opening for a double door?
The rough opening for a double door has a general rule. You will usually take the average door and times both the width and the height by 2.
How do you measure for a Prehung door?
Measure stud to stud at the frame top, bottom, and middle. Use smallest measurement. Measure stud top frame to the floor on right side and then the left. Use smallest measurement. Now measure the jam depth, the typical is either 6 9/16 inches or 4 9/16 inches.
Are interior doors stylish?
Interior doors can be very stylish. There are different styles for interior doors such as classic, rustic, basic, elegant and more. You can choose the style you would like for each room in your home.
How do you measure interior doors?
To measure interior doors, you start with the opening’s width on top, bottom and middle. Write down the smallest number. Take casing off if you didn’t already do that. Measure from floor on right and left to the base of the door’s header. Write down the smallest height.
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