Guide to Leveling the Underside of a Door

Is there anything more aggravating than purchasing a magnificent new door, hanging it up, and then realizing that the bottom of the door is adhering to the floor?

Or perhaps you've encountered a minor issue with your door that has gradually worsened over time and is now causing a significant problem?

Alternatively, maybe you have recently installed new carpets and they are impacting the functionality of your door.

Fortunately, this is not necessarily a problem with the door itself, but rather a simple solution exists. All you need to do is remove the door from its frame, shave the bottom, and reinstall it.

We have provided clear and concise step-by-step instructions for you to follow. However, before we delve into that, we would like to address some frequently asked questions regarding door planing.

If you prefer to skip directly to the detailed instructions, please click here.

A door plane is a handheld device that you run along one edge of the door to the center, and then repeat the process from the opposite edge to achieve a smooth surface. This process results in a slightly shorter door. The more planing you do, the shorter and thinner the door becomes.

A planer is used when you need to remove an extremely small amount of material from a door, an amount that would not be feasible with a saw, for instance.

An example of when a planer may be necessary is if you have an older door frame that has warped over time, or if the door itself has warped, causing it to jam. This issue may also affect only one side of the door, resulting in sticking or catching on the floor when attempting to open it.

Initially, this may not seem like a major problem, but over time it will become increasingly annoying and could even cause damage to your flooring.

The advantage of using a door plane is that it can be employed on any part of the door, including the sides, top, and bottom.

That being said, the instructions provided later in this post specifically address planing the bottom edge of the door to prevent sticking when opening. However, the same process can be applied to other parts of the door.

A door can be planed due to the presence of a lipping, which is a separate piece of wood attached to the door. Different doors come with lippings of different sizes.

This distinction is crucial because you can only remove or trim a certain amount from the lipping. Removing too much material can result in irreparable damage to the door, necessitating its replacement.

Before you remove your door or pick up a hand plane, make sure to check the maximum amount you can safely remove without compromising the integrity of the door. If you are uncertain, it is advisable to contact the manufacturer for guidance before commencing the planing process.

If you purchased the door from us, please feel free to reach out for advice. We are more than happy to assist you in any way we can.

Another option for fixing a sticking door is to use sandpaper. This approach is typically employed when attempting to shorten the door while it remains in its frame, rather than removing it from the hinges, planing it, and then reinstalling it.

Yes, it is possible to use a hand planer on a hollow core door, as long as you do not exceed the recommended amount to be removed from the lipping. This will help prevent any potential issues.

There are two methods for trimming a door that is catching on the floor when opened or closed: trimming a door that has been removed from the frame and trimming it while it is in place. We will guide you through both procedures.

If you choose the planing method, you will need to remove the door from the hinges. Here is a step-by-step guide:

- Gather the following tools and materials:

- Painter's tape

- 1x hammer

- 1x nail set

- 1x pencil

Step one: Take note of the exact location where the door is catching on the floor. It may be helpful to use a pencil to mark the problem area.

Step two: Utilize the hammer and nail set to manipulate the hinge pins, dislodging them from their position between the hinges.

Step three: Remove the door (which may necessitate assistance from a second person) and securely place it on a stable surface. Apply painter's tape to the bottom of the door to safeguard the surrounding paint or finish.

Step four: If the door is only catching on a specific area, employ the block plane (or potentially an electric planer) and commence at the farthest point from the center. Apply gentle and consistent pressure in a straight manner towards the problematic center section of the door.

Step five: Reinstall the door and test its functionality by opening and closing it. If any issues persist, repeat steps one to four until the door operates effortlessly.

We understand that this process may seem time-consuming and you may be tempted to remove a larger portion each time. However, we advise removing only a small amount at a time. It is crucial to avoid excessively planing the wood and inadvertently causing an uneven door, which would only exacerbate the problem and make resolution more challenging.

Step six: Once you have successfully hung the door, you may need to repaint or finish the sections that were planed.

Step seven: Once you are satisfied with the outcome, reinstall the door into its frame.

If you do not have an additional set of hands available for assistance, an alternative option is to sand the wooden door in its current position. Here is the procedure:

Step one: Determine the problematic area by opening and closing the door.

Step two: Place the sandpaper with the grain side facing up, angled in the area where the door sticks during opening and closing. Move the door back and forth to allow the abrasive action of the sandpaper to rectify the issue.

Step three: Repeat this process until the door moves smoothly when opened and closed.

And that concludes the procedure.

Whether you decide to use a planing tool and remove the door or opt for sanding the door while it hangs, we hope that these methods assist in resolving your door sticking predicament.

Vibrant Doors is a reputable provider of superior, visually striking exterior and interior doors available in a diverse array of styles. Explore our selection for competitive prices and prompt delivery.

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