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How To Adjust Internal Doors | Multiple Guides

There are numerous issues you're likely to come across as a homeowner, one such problem being with your internal doors.

Interior doors get a lot of use over the years, from continual opening and closing to slamming and not pushing down the handle when closing the doors, they have a lot to contend with.

In this post, you'll find solutions to numerous issues, all of which can be solved quickly and easily without the need of a handyman. Of course, if you’d feel more comfortable hiring a handyman, this guide can help you properly communicate the problem for a swifter resolution.

Whatever issue you're experiencing with your interior doors, you'll likely find the answer here.

Why do doors need adjustments?

There are numerous reasons why you may need to adjust your interior doors. For example, if you've recently installed a new door it may have shrunk or expanded slightly in response to its new environment.

Another example would be if the door hasn't been fitted properly, you may need to make modifications to get it to sit properly within the frame.

Or quite simply, your problem may be the product of age. Over the years wooden doors can swell, shrink or warp in the door frame due to changes in humidity, the temperature of the room, continuous usage and more.

Rather than replace it entirely, a few simple adjustments can get things back to working order.

Fixing a hinge on a door

How do you adjust interior doors?

There are numerous routes you can take to adjust your door, depending on the source of the problem. The first thing you'll need to do is understand what part of the door is causing the problem. It could include:

  • The bottom of the door keeps catching on the carpet.
  • Some of the hinges are looser than the others, causing one half of the door to catch on the frame.
  • One part of the door is sagging, catching in the frame or not fitting into it at all.

There are various solutions from adjusting hinges to trimming the door. Let's take a closer look at these and go through how to adjust your door to fix the issue.

How do you fix a door that's catching on the carpet?

If you have to use considerable force when opening or closing the door, and you can hear it scraping against the floor, this can be easily solved by trimming the bottom of the door.

You can do this either by taking the door off its hinges and using a plane or saw to shorten it (there’s a really helpful guide here), or you may be able to do it with the door still in situ, depending on how bad the problem is.

If you don’t want to trim your door you can install rising butt hinges, here’s how.

How do you fix a dropped interior door?

You’ll know if your interior door has dropped because one corner won’t fit flush in the frame.

If your door is rubbing, sticking or has dropped, you can do one of three things:


Move the door hinge

This will shift the hinge closer to the door frame and should solve the problem. The good news is that you don’t have to physically move them, you simply replace the screws with much longer ones. You'll need a drill to accomplish this but once installed, it should create enough of a gap for the door to close properly.

Here's a video to show you how this is done: 


Trim the door

If that still doesn't solve the problem, another alternative is to force the door closed and look along the edge. There should be a clear gap between the door and the frame. Where there's isn't a gap, you'll have to take the door down and trim that area. Here’s a detailed guide on trimming an internal door to help. 

This second option would also be the solution if your door is hitting the frame in the middle.

If neither of these work, you’ll have to realign the door. Thankfully, this is quick and easy to accomplish.

How do you realign a door?

If your door has fallen out of alignment, and the other methods of resolution haven’t worked, you can try bending the hinges into alignment, which should solve the problem.

This is a quick and easy trick you can use to get things back on track. You'll need:

  • A long screw bit
  • 1x hammer
  • 1x crescent wrench.

Follow these simple steps:


Step One

Firstly, you'll want to remove the pin in the hinge that’s causing the misalignment. Do this by inserting the screw bit into the bottom of the hinge and using your hammer to knock the pin out of the top.


Step Two

Once the pin is out, lift your door so that it's perfectly aligned. You'll notice that the door hinge is a bit wonky, and you won't be able to get the pin back in with the hinges in this position.


Step Three

Use your crescent wrench and, while holding the door so that it's perfectly aligned (you may need to ask someone for help here), bend the individual door hinges until they are all in one smooth line.


Step Four

Reinsert the hinge pin. You may need to use your hammer to get it all the way back in. Your door should now be closing properly.

This video shows someone adjusting door hinges on external doors, but it’s so detailed we wanted to include it as part of our step-by-step instructions for your internal doors.

This solution will also work if your door tends to fall open even when it's pushed to.

How do you fix a door that has fallen off its hinges?

If your door has fallen off its hinges, you can fix this using a handheld screwdriver or drill, turning or drilling the screws clockwise until you feel them tighten.

If any of the hinge screws are turning but not tightening, you may need to replace them with a longer screw.

If it's the old screw holes and not the screw itself that's the problem, a common solution is to use matchsticks.

Do the following:


Step One

First, you’ll need to take the door down.


Step Two

Next, remove the heads of the matchsticks you’re using.


Step Three

Put some carpenters’ glue in the hinge holes that are causing the problem.


Step Four

Position the match sticks into the old screw holes and hammer them in until they are sitting tight. Sometimes one match stick will do, but you can use as many as you need to plug the hole.


Step Five

Once the glue has dried, snap off the parts of the match sticks that are now sticking out of the old screw holes so that they are sitting flush within the holes.


Step Six

You can then reinsert all the screws and the problem should be solved.

This video shows you how to do this:

Perfectly Aligned…

After reading this guide, hopefully, your door is fixed. You've achieved the perfect fit and everything is running smoothly again.

The thing with interior doors is that solving the issue once doesn’t mean it won’t crop up again later down the line. Maintaining your interior doors takes a few minutes.

Here are some quick and easy ways to keep your interior doors in tip-top condition:

Of course, if you’re door has seen better days, you may want to invest in an upgrade. At Express Doors Direct, we stock a wide variety of internal doors.

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