Below you'll find some useful guides on how to fit internal doors and door fixings. Click on each expander to find out more or search the carousel above for more useful how to guides to help you complete your project.
Tools & materials required
How to fit a new door in a new frame
Some new doors have extensions to the stiles, known as horns. These stop the corners from getting damaged. You'll need to saw them off before you trim your door.
Top tip - Plane talking
When you plane the top or bottom of a door, work from both sides towards the centre to stop any splitting at the outer edges.
Measure the door frame (allowing for clearance) and transfer the measurements to the door. Plane equal amounts from the two side edges of the door to a maximum of 5mm.
If you need to trim more than 6mm excess wood from the bottom edge of your door, use a saw, then finish with the plane. Sand the cut edges with abrasive paper until they're smooth.
How to fit a new door to an existing frame
As the doors in many older houses aren't a standard size, you might need to trim a replacement door to fit or even have one specially made. You shouldn't cut more than 10mm off each side edge of a flush door (or 5mm off a panel door) or you'll weaken the structure. Also, it's worth bearing in mind that the old door frame may not be straight. Buy new hinges the same size as the existing ones or reuse the old hinges if they're in a good condition.
- Tape measure
- Sharp pencil
- Wood plane (hand or power)
- Hard point hand saw
- 25mm (1") Chisel
- Hammer or wooden mallet
- Drill (wired or cordless)
- 2mm & 3mm HSS drill bit
- Wooden wedges
- Wooden wedges
- Internal door
- 2-3 suitable door hinges
Step 1 - Measuring the new door to size
If the old door was a good fit use it as a guide for the new one. Lay the old one on top of the new one and pencil mark around it so you can see where to cut any excess of the new door. If you don't have the old door to use as a guide or perhaps the old door fit terribly, you'll want to use the frame to measure the fit of the new door. For this, it's easier to have two people - one on each side of the door. Hold the door up against the frame and run a pencil line down the door against the frame on the lock side to mark the trimming line.
Top tip - Holding the door up when measuring against the frame
The door needs to have a gap beneath it - keep this in mind when measuring the fit. Simply insert two wedges or screwdrivers underneath to keep it in place.
Top tip - Measuring the gap around the door
Ideally there should be a 2mm gap around the top and sides of the door. A flat two pence piece is a good way to judge this measurement.
Step 2 - Cutting the door down to size
The sides of the door are unlikely to need much excess removing, therefore, use a hand or powered plane to remove equal amounts from each side following the lines you marked. Keep checking the fit until its right. Smooth sharp edges with abrasive paper.
Top tip - Cutting down the height of the door
If you have to remove a large amount of excess wood from the height, cut from both the top and bottom of the door, measuring equal amounts, so you keep the symmetry of the panels. Keep checking the fit of the door and use a plane for finer cutting and Smooth sharp edges with abrasive paper.
Step 3 - Measuring the hinge positions
Once your door is trimmed to size, it's time to measure where the hinges go. Hold the door up in the frame using the wedges and 2 pence piece to make an equal gap around it. Draw pencil lines at the top and bottom of both existing hinge recesses.
Step 4 - Chiselling the hinge recess in the door
Hold one of the hinge flaps on the side of the door in-line with where you marked your hinge lines (previous step) and draw around the hinge flap with a pencil. With a chisel and a mallet, tap around the outline you've just drawn. Make sure the bevel (sloped edge) of the chisel is facing towards the waste wood. Next, make a series of cuts into the wood, horizontally across the width of the hinge recess to be cut out, at 5mm intervals to the same depth as the flap. Then knock out the excess wood using the chisel length ways against the cuts you've just made. This process can be seen clearer in the video found immediately after these steps. Check the hinge fits flush with the door and then screw the hinges into the place.
Top tip - Fitting the hinges to the door
Use one of the new or existing hinges to mark where the screws are going to go. Hold the hinge in the correct place and pencil a mark where the centre of the screw holes are, then simply drill a shallow hole using a drill piece that's slightly smaller than the screw diameter.
Top tip - Fitting the hinges to the frame
If you're using new hinges that are a bigger size than the original, then you may need to enlarge the hinge recess in the frame. Simply hold the new hinge up to the frame, overlapping the recess, and draw around the hinge end where the excess needs removing. Remove the excess wood using a chisel and mallet.
Step 5 - Hanging the door on the frame
Make sure you complete step 4 and fit the hinges to the door. Hold the door up to the frame using the wedges. To begin with, only fix one screw into the top of each hinge. With the first screws in place, check the door opens and closes easily and fluidly, so it doesn’t stick or resist, and if you’re happy, fix the rest of the screws in. Now everything's in place, check again that you are happy with how easily the door opens. If the door is not hanging correctly and is rubbing around the edges, try loosening the screws a little, as the tightness will effect the door movement. If the door looks like it's spaced evenly in the frame, except in one area where it catches, you may need to remove the door again and plane or sand off a bit more wood to resolve the issue.
How to maintain your internal door
There are many reasons to want to update your door; perhaps your current one is damaged or you just fancy a change. Doors make more of a difference to a room than you may think, so it’s best to keep them spick, span and shiny.
And as many as there are reasons, there are also numerous ways to update your look. Whether that’s cleaning, upcycling, painting, accessorising or stripping it back and starting again.
Here you’ll find all the ideas you need on how to maintain your doors.
Top tip - Door MOT
It's good to do little health checks every now and then and keep an eye out for feelings of sticking, squeaking or other issues.
Oil the hinges, not forgetting to wipe them down, whether they look like they need it or not and check for any signs of rust.
Check if the knobs turn easily and are latching into place correctly when closed.
These little niggles are easily fixed and help to keep your door looking and acting fresh.
Give them a good clean
Just like your carpets and skirting boards, you need to clean your doors regularly. They don’t have to be done too often but include them in your monthly cleaning schedule.
What you will need:
- A large bucket
- Clean, soft rags
- Hand sanitiser
- Floor covers
Start by dusting down the doors and wiping down the surfaces with a clean cloth before washing or adding any solution, and remember to change the cloth regularly. Never use a dirty rag to clean a wooden door as you run the risk of embedding dirt into the grain.
Before wiping down with a soapy, damp cloth, ensure you wring it dry to remove excess water, otherwise you'll be left chasing the running water down the door and on to your floor. This is why we recommend covering your floors with sheets.
When your doors are clean and mark-free, give them one final rub down with a dry polish cloth to buff out any water stains.
Don’t forget your door handles at this stage; they will need a good wipe down, too!
Top Tip - Use hand sanitiser to clean door knobs. These are regular touch points for hands and grubby fingers as every time you touch them, you are spreading germs.
Thinking of re-painting your door? Sometimes it’s best to strip it off and start again for a smooth finish.
What you will need:
- Safety Goggles
- Dust Mask
- Rubber Gloves
- Wire wool
- Dust sheets
There are many ways to do this, you can sand or use chemical/paint stripper. Here’s how:
Firstly, regardless of what method you choose, always wear safety equipment and put down dust sheets to protect your flooring and surrounding areas.
Sanding: Sand the paint down with the rough side for the majority of the paint, then as you get closer to the wood, swap for the soft side not to damage the foundations of the door.
Electric Sander: This is a quick and convenient alternative to hand sanding. Again, careful when you get closer to the wood so you don’t scratch and damage it.
When you’ve finished sanding, wipe down with a little solvent.
Paint Stripper / Chemical Stripper. This is a fast and effective way to remove paint but can be dangerous, so follow the instructions on the pack carefully and always wear gloves
Spatula / Paint scrapper. These are particularly useful if the door has a lot of layers of paint that could come away more easily than other methods. When the paint has been scraped off, much like removing wallpaper, sand with the soft side and wipe with a cloth.
Giving a new lick of paint can really breathe a new lease of life into wood, but behind every good paint, is a good base…
Start by using a wedge to hold the door open when applying primer, undercoat or paint.
Start with a good primer, this helps the paint dry evenly and gives a smooth and consistent layer which helps correct flawed, uneven or porous surfaces.
Top Tip - If you’re unsure of whether to strip the paint from your existing door and start again with a primer, or just give them a lick of paint, here’s how to work out what’s the best. Take a piece of heavy-duty tape and apply to your door, pat down so it’s tightly on and then pull it off. If the paint flakes off, your door will need to be stripped down and started again. If a powdery substance comes off, just wash the door with a little solvent and if nothing happens, you’re good to add paint.
Apply like paint, fill in the edging and then use long brush strokes for the door face.
Next, an undercoat. This is a lighter paint that acts as a cushion between the primer and paint. Think of it as a non-slip mat. Adding an undercoat is a forward thinking task as when it comes to painting your doors in the future, it will be easier to rub down with a good undercoat.
Now you can get to the painting. When doing so, always follow the wood grain for a smooth and even finish and wipe the doors in the same direction as the grain. Leave to dry and apply another coat for a lasting, glossy finish.
Top Tip - Leave the door wedged open for 24 hours from your last coat, otherwise you run the risk of the door sticking when you open and close the door in the future.
There are many ways to update the look of your home without having to pay lots of money for new items. Why not add some personality to your fixtures and paint them in a different colour to the standard white gloss? Or, if that sounds too scary, why not add pops of colour in areas you may not have thought of, like down the edging of the door. This pop of colour would then only show when the door is open, it’s a real point of interest.
Another way to add pops of colour is to use a contrasting shade on the ridges of your door panels. This adds an area of interest and is a great way to let your creativity loose without going over the top.
If you’re quite happy with the colour of your door but feels it’s lacking a little something, you could update the door handles. There are many different styles to choose from, whether you want to give it a sleek and chic modern look or add interest with vintage door knobs, these modest modifications can make a big difference.
Don’t forget door accessories, such as door stops. B&Q have got a wide range to suit any style and personality.
If you’ve changed your doors, don’t throw your old one away. It can become a whole multitude of things, including shelving, a table, a room divider or anywhere your imagination can take you. Upcycling is really having it’s moment in the spotlight. You can find an inspiration from anywhere - why not check out our Pinterest boards for ideas and know-how.
Go on, show off your doors, they can do more than you’d think!
How to fit an internal door handle
Get to the grips with how to fit an internal door handle, including changing the latch to make sure you’ve got your home improvements in hand.
New handles are a great way to update any door and are also a good way to show off your style. Do you prefer a sleek and chic modern handle or an authentic, vintage inspired door knob? Whatever you decide, we can give you step-by-step instructions on how to get the look that’s right for you.
Step 1: Tools for the job
- Rotary Tool
- Drill and bit
- Safety Goggles
- Sharp pencil
Step 2: Fitting the latch
Top tip - Sitting on a stool can help when you’re working at this height.
The latch plate is the piece of metal that slots into the door frame so is an integral part of how the handle works. With the door closed, make a note of where the centre of the existing latch-keep is on the face of the door. With a tape measure, transfer this mark to the edges of the door and mark the centre point.
Drill a hole in the door edge with the correct size flat wood bit, making sure the hole is the required depth for your chosen lock or latch. Remember, always wear safety goggles when drilling, sawing or chiselling.
Position the lock or latch into the drilled hole and draw around the perimeter of the faceplate. With a sharp 18 millimetre chisel, start by making cuts around the pencil outlines you made earlier.
Remember, be careful when chiselling in the same direction as the grain. Gentle cuts will avoid the grain splitting. Chisel out the wood to the requirements required for the lock or latch faceplate. Then measure the distance from the faceplate of the latch or lock to the centre of the spindle hole.
Transfer this measurement to the face of the door, central to the hole you’ve drilled for the latch barrel. Using this mark as the centre point, and with the correct size wood flat bit, drill a hole through the door.
Top Tip - Stop drilling just as the drill tip appears through the other side of the door. Using this small hole as a guide, swap sides and drill again. This helps to avoid splitting the wood and damaging the door.
Next, place the latch in position, drill pilot holes for the latch plate and screw in place.
Step 3: Fitting the handle
Now, place a handle on to the spindle.
Use one hand to hold the handle in place and with the other drill in the screws for the back plate. Specific instructions will come with the handle as an extra guide. Give the handle a quick test and repeat the process on the other side of the door for the other handle.
Insert the handle spindle according to specific instructions.
And that’s it, you’re done.
Don’t forget to check the door opens and closes properly and the latch locates correctly. If not, retrace your steps and repeat. Practise makes it perfect.
How to fit a door hinge
Two hinges are usually enough to support an internal door. But in the humid environment of a bathroom or kitchen, you should fit three to stop it from bowing. Hinges fit into recesses of an equal depth in the door frame and stile. But you'll need a very sharp wood chisel with a wide blade to mark them.
Top tip - Testing the fit
Before you test-fit your door, partially hammer four nails into the frame at the depth of the door to stop it falling through.
Start by marking the position of the upper hinge on the stile, 175mm from the top edge of the door. The lower hinge should be 250mm from the bottom edge. Stand the door on its side edge with the hinge edge at the top. Then hold each hinge on its marked position with the knuckle sticking out from the door. Draw round the hinge flap with a sharp pencil.
To mark the depth for the hinge recess, use a marking gauge. Or hold a hinge flap level with the edge of the door and mark the depth with a pencil.
Cut out the hinge recess using a sharp, wide-bladed wood chisel and wooden mallet. Cut the ends first and then make a series of cuts along the length of the hinge to the right depth.
Use the chisel to take off the surplus wood and trim the recess to its level.
Test-fit the hinge in the recess and trim it again if you need to. Do the same for the other hinge. Then put each hinge flap in its recess and drill pilot holes into the screw positions. Insert the screws with a screwdriver to fix the hinges to the door.
Get someone to help you to hold the door in the open position in the frame, with the hinge flaps against it. Then put two screwdrivers or wooden wedges under the door to raise it to the correct height to clear the floor. Make sure the hinge knuckles are parallel with the frame and then mark the frame with a pencil. After that, take the door off and chisel out the hinge recesses in the door frame in the same way as those in the door.
Wedge the door open and check the hinges fit into the recesses. Adjust them if you need to. Drill pilot holes and screw the hinges to the frame using just one screw per hinge. Check to make sure the door closes smoothly. If it's straining against the hinges, undo the screws and pack out the flaps with cardboard. If it rubs on the latch side of the frame, make the hinge recesses slightly deeper. Finish off by putting in the remaining hinge screws.
How to fit a doorstop
When you close a door, it should rest against a doorstop and fit snugly. If you're fitting a doorstop, remember to allow enough room for coats of paint if you're planning to paint the door or frame.
Measure and cut the doorstop for across the top of the door. Then shut the door, position the strip and partially knock in some 30mm nails to hold it.
Open the door and finish knocking in the nails. They should be roughly 300mm apart. Repeat the process for the strips at either side of the door.
How to fit a door latch
Door latches, locks, knobs and handles come in all shapes and sizes, including reproductions of many traditional styles and designs.
Top tip - Door details
Door furniture isn't just about function. Choose from a huge range of designs to complement the style and materials of your interior.
Use a pencil and try a square to measure and mark the middle point of the centre rail on the side of your door.
Centre the latch on this line. Hold it in place and draw around it. Use the try square to transfer the dimensions to the edge of the door.
Measure the depth of the latch and mark this measurement with a piece of tape on a wood cutting bit the same diameter as the latch (in this case, 22mm). Drill a hole to the correct depth (as far as the tape) in the edge of the door, making sure to keep the drill level in line with the door. You can clean out the debris with a narrow chisel or suck it out with the nozzle of a vacuum cleaner.
Hold the latch in the correct position on the side of the door and, using a bradawl, mark the position of the handle spindle. Do the same on the other side of the door.
Use a drill with a wood to make a hole at the marked position. This should be big enough to give the handle spindle plenty of clearance. Drill from both sides into the latch hole that you've already made.
Slide the latch into the hole on the edge of the door and mark the position of the rectangular edge plate with a pencil.
Score around the edge of the plate with a craft knife. Try and use one of these, because if you opt for a chisel, it's very easy to split the wood accidentally.
Remove the latch and cut out a slight recess for the rectangular latch plate with a chisel and mallet.
Refit the latch, insert the handle spindle and make sure it turns freely. Adjust the hole, if you need to. Screw the latch plate into position and sand off the pencil marks you've made.
To fix the handle plates to each side of a door, start the screw holes with a bradawl, then put in the screws. If the spindle is too long for the thickness of the door, secure it in a vice and saw it to the right length with a hacksaw.
Close the door so the latch is touching the frame, and then mark its position on the frame with a pencil.
Hold the striker plate in position and mark the shape on the frame. Make sure you include the central cut-out area. After that, use a narrow chisel to cut a recess for the latch and a wider one to cut around the outer shape. Finally, pare away the wood to the depth of the striker plate.
How to fit the architrave for a door
Architrave is the timber moulding that hides the joint between a door frame and the wall. It's made up of three lengths of moulding, a top and two sides, joined with mitred corners.
Hold a length of architrave beside the door frame and mark the internal height of the door frame plus 3mm. This is the position of the internal edge of the mitred corner. Cut the mitre at the marked point on the architrave using a mitre saw or a mitre block and a panel saw.
Nail the architrave in place with panel pins. Measure and fit the other two lengths of architrave in the same way.
Secure the mitred corners by nailing across them with a panel pin. To avoid hitting your fingers, hold pins with long-nosed pliers as you begin to drive them.
Tap the pin heads below the surface with a nail punch.