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Going from 50 year old luan to 6 panel bedroom door - how would you do it?

Going from 50 year old luan to 6 panel bedroom door - how would you do it?


  #1  
Old 02-26-23, 12:10 PM
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Going from 50 year old luan to 6 panel bedroom door - how would you do it?

Our kids have moved out of the house. My wife is having us redo our daughter's room. 1 of the things is replacing the 50 year old luan door that is shellac'd / natural wood.with a 6 panel door.

I wonder how you'd do that. I could think of a couple ways. Not sure which is right / what are the pitfalls for a novice handy person like myself, with not the best power tools

1) Buy a prehung door, unscrew the hinges from the prehung frame and install the new door in the old frame. That will likely require chiseling out the existing frame for where the new hinges are - the odds they are in the same spots vertically are unlikely? Wood putty the old chiseled hinge areas? And the same for the lock mechanism. If the prehung door is predrilled for a lock, the height likely won't match the existing cut out in the existing frame?

2) Buy a prehung door, take off the trim (on both sides of the door) (hopefully not breaking it) and take off the frame, install the prehung door on the frame. reinstall the trim you removed?

I suppose I could get new molding / trim, but then cutting it to the right lengths / angles is likely an issue : )

And then I'm painting the hall also if I take off the hall side molding.

3) Buy a slab door, new hinges and reuse the existing hinge cutouts, chisel the door for the hinges and drill the lock so it's at the height of the existing latch notch in the frame?

Thoughts on the best way for someone with limited skills?

1 thing that I wonder about is that I'd like to get a 'stock' prehung or slab door from home depot or lowes. The door opening is 30" wide. The existing door is 29 1/2" wide. When you talk about a 30" prehung door or 30" slab, are the doors - the slab and the prehung one - going to likely be 29 1/2". Or a true 30" wide door and the prehung frame inside width is around 30 1/2"? And the slab needs 30 1/2"?

My daughter and son in law had a double door opening in their recently built home (they didn't opt for doors in that opening, which was an option.. The frame measured 60" wide. They bought a 60" double prehung door set (not sure if it was in stock at Home Depot or ordered). Hung the doors in the existing opening - like #1 above. Turns out the doors were true 30" wide each. So now they have to trim the doors.
 
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Old 02-26-23, 01:06 PM
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#2 with new casing depending on what you have and how it matches
 
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Old 02-26-23, 02:18 PM
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Option #2 is the quickest and easiest. You will need a level and some shims along with basic hand tools. If you plan on reusing the existing trim you will want to be very careful when removing it. You can probably find a tutorial on YouTube. Look for one that covers what you want to do.


 
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Old 02-26-23, 05:44 PM
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Buy a new prehung door, remove your old trim and old door jamb, then install the new prehung and put the trim back on.
 
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Old 02-27-23, 04:17 AM
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Well, mine were only about half that age, but I did option #3 couple of years ago. Bought slab doors from Lowes (ones with latch holes pre-cut). Marked off the hinge points using old door as guide and mortised them carefully with my little trim router.
 
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Old 02-27-23, 09:21 AM
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Thank you all!

Certainly don't want to argue with the experts whose knowledge i AM asking for. That said, the majority says to take out the old door frame and use the one witih the prehung door (rather than just the prehung door and existing frame)!?That involves taking off the trim on both sides?! or just on the bedroom side? If I do the hallway molding also, that's another paint job to do : )

I know I came here looking for expert advice, so I am not looking to argue, but..... as a novice / not all that a precision worker, taking off the trim / getting through 50 years of paint jobs to do that to try to reuse the trim so I don't have to try to cut the angles accurately makes me nervous : )

And this is what the base looks like. Taking off the old door frame with carpet there... not too disruptive?

I do realize that using the whole frame and door solves the problem of chiseling for the hinges. And getting the door lock hole in the frame to match... I guess.... spackle, caulk and paint hide problems : )



 
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Old 02-27-23, 09:48 AM
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There is no perfect answer, each option has plus and minus results.

Installing a slab will save in trimming but ensures more routing/trimming.

Installing a pre hung eliminates all the routering/trimming but with a little more trim work using new/existing casings which are probably going to see some breakage when removed with all the paint and glue which puts you back into needed new material that may not match.

Footprint for new pre-hung is going to be similar.

No mater what option it's going to have to be painted after all the nail hole patching, new or re-use.
 
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Old 02-27-23, 11:34 AM
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If you buy a slab, you are going to have to use a tool to mortise the hinges (a router or a chisel and a mortise guide). If you mess up the mortise location then you have created even more work.

I'm a DIY homeowner and I have replaced every luan door in my hose with 6 panel wood (except for a couple of masonite closet doors). It really is a piece of cake and it should not take more than a Saturday afternoon.

Regarding the door casings. They are usually easy to remove. Here is what I do - if there are layers of built up paint, score it with a utility knife to break it free from the molding. Use a 5 in one tool or a putty knife behind a small flat bar or the claws on a hammer. That will allow you to put some prying force against the wall without damaging the sheetrock. Don't expect the nails to come off with the moulding, they will probably just pull through the wood - and that's what you want.
To remove the door jamb all you have to do is cut the nails holding it to the rough framing. A sawzall is great for this but you can also just pull the nails if you are trashing the old jamb.
After that it's just a matter of adjusting the door level and plumb and adding wooden shims between the jamb and the framing. Nail the door to the framing .
Once you do one you'll want to do them all.
 

Last edited by XSleeper; 02-27-23 at 11:49 AM. Reason: Removed link to another diy site
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Old 02-28-23, 12:14 PM
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@cwbuff yes! Lots of room to mess up getting the hinges set right : )

An afternoon for several doors?! Sounds nice!

And I DO appreciate the encouragement!! I guess 'cause I still have to paint the room and do other things in general that never seem to have enough time for... I'm a bit shy for most any of this. We're putting off the bedroom door replacement for now. (my wife pointed out 1 new door in hallway with other not new doors doesn't look the best.

But for my edification -
1) can you install the prehung door / frame without removing the trim on the hall side? That's just 1 less thing I have to paint. And we don't have hall paint, and it's over due to be repainted anyway. but till that happens, I don't want to see 1 door's frame messed up.

2) having carpet on 1 side of the threshold - any problem? They installed the carpet after the door was in, so I guess the frame will just slide behind the carpet / look the same as it does in the pic?

3) FYI - In trying to find pages on the web to describe to my wife the options, I stumbled on 1 that said that screwing the hinge side of the frame is better than nails because over time, the door / frame could sag?
 
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Old 02-28-23, 10:50 PM
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But for my edification
1) No.
2) Doesn't look like it but new and old materials could be slightly different.
3) Door is installed securely to framing, have never heard of anybody using screws.
 
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Old 03-01-23, 02:06 AM
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stumbled on 1 that said that screwing the hinge side of the frame is better than nails because over time, the door / frame could sag?
While it's commonplace to replace a few of the hinge screws with longer ones on heavy doors and exterior doors I don't recall anyone doing so on hollow core doors. I've painted over a thousand doors/jambs in new construction houses and don't ever recall seeing any screws in the jamb other than the hinges.
 
 

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