Door Installation


Old 04-25-11, 07:59 AM
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Door Installation

Hi Guys,
Looking for a little help on installing a door in our basement.
First, we are working on framing out our basement to put in a bathroom. The house was built in 1922, and we have pretty low ceilings. My question is about the door we plan on installing for the bathroom space.
The floor to floor joist ceiling is about 78", and we plan on lowering the finished ceiling by a 2x4 on its side to cover up the plumbing below the floor joists above.
My question is how to manage installing the door. Since it seems most doors come in the standard 80 inch size, we would obviously need to shorten the door. But I'm not entirely sure how to accomplish this.
And, what height should we make the door? Can we use a prehung door, or do we need to go with a slab door for an easier time cutting it down? If we cut down the door, is there a good way of cutting it on both ends so the handle doesn't end up at your knees?
Thanks for the help!
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Old 04-25-11, 03:07 PM
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Welcome to the forums!

I'm a painter not a carpenter so better advice will probably follow ........ but what I would do would be to buy a luan slab door, then cut off the needed amount from the bottom and rip a piece of wood off of a 2x to replace the style [?] at the bottom. You could remove the style from the cut off piece and remove but making a new one is easier. You would then cut the lockset at the desired height. If you don't want to route or chisel out the hinges there are hinges available that don't need routing out - they fold up against themselves similar to a bifold door hinge.
Old 04-25-11, 06:22 PM
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Well it depends how fussy you are, and how skilled you are at mortising hinges.

If you don't mind your hinges not being symetrical on the slab of the door, you can buy a prehung and cut it down.

If you use a stock prehung door and cut it off, it limits you to flat doors that have no panels. Since prehungs almost always come with the door knob bored, you will have to cut the top of the door off, then disassemble the jamb and cut the tops of the jambs shorter, then reassemble the jamb. As Marksr mentioned, if you have a hollow-core door, the top will need to be plugged with a solid piece of stock, which will be glued, inserted into the door, then you will clamp it for an hour or so until the glue dries. (If you can find a prehung that DOESN'T have the knob prebored, then you could cut the bottom of the door off, making the bottom hinge closer to the floor... but almost all box stores will have prebored prehungs).

Since you need to cut the top of the door off to keep the prebored knob at the standard height from the floor, the bottom hinge will be at the normal location, but the top hinge will be higher (by the amount you cut off).

If you want your hinges to be symetrical, so that no one can tell you cut the door shorter, then you'd buy some jambs and a slab and make your own frame, mortise your own hinge locations in both the jamb and the door, and then hang the door.

Hanging doors in this manner does take a lot of skill. I'd say it's about a 9 out of 10 on the DIY skill level. Prehung doors take most of the difficulty out of it, aside from disassembling, cutting and putting back together again. The mortising is the hard part.

I've got 8 french doors to hang on existing cased opening jambs tomarrow, and I'm not looking forward to it.
Old 04-25-11, 07:42 PM
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Mark and Brant have the right ideas. I read through the post earlier, but didn't have more to offer that was simpler. You're looking at almost a 75 1/2" door if you use top casing....that's short. It may look funky, but don't use standard casing, and it may not look too bad if you terminate the sides at the top and put a 1 1/4" piece across the top. Use 1x lumber ripped to a nominal width to cover the casing.
But, as stated it ain't no walk in the park.
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