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Installing a door closer on a recessed door (on the pull side).

Installing a door closer on a recessed door (on the pull side).

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  #1  
Old 06-08-15, 08:38 AM
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Installing a door closer on a recessed door (on the pull side).

I have a theater in my basement that is getting finished up, but I have a door problem. The door opens from the theater and swings into the snack room next door. Due to the acoustic treatments on the theater side of the door, the door frame is fairly wde. This means the door is recessed on the snack room side. Now I got some spring hinges on the door and it closes most of the way, but it doesn't quite close all the way. It rubs up against the carpet as it gets closer to closing.

I figured I would get a door closer to give it the extra force it needs to close all the way. Now I am not an expert with door closers, and I'm a little unsure of how they would be installed for my application. If I do a standard installation, does the part that attaches to the door jamb need to be flush with the door? That's what the drawings I see show, but that's not possible with the recessed door. Can it be offset enough to fit my recessed door?

Can anyone explain to me how to make this work, or alternative devices or techniques to help my door shut all the way?

Thanks.

Snack Room side (on the right) -



Here's the door in question:

Theater Side -
 
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  #2  
Old 06-08-15, 09:11 AM
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In your top picture I assume the door your talking about is the one on the right. Have you considered a storm door closer. They are designed to be mounted to between doors so they don't require much space to operate. You could also door closer where the body mounts to the door so only a small bracket goes to the frame.



You can also do a image search online for "door closer" and you'll see there are many styles available.
 
  #3  
Old 06-08-15, 09:29 AM
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Yes. I've already purchased a door closer, but I'm not sure how it would be installed with my recessed door. Everything I've seen shows it with the door being flush (or very close to) the jamb. Just like the picture you posted shows.

I don't think a storm door would be strong enough. This is a fairly heavy door. Also, as far as I am aware, storm door closers attach to the push side of the door. This wouldn't work for me.
 
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Old 06-08-15, 10:21 AM
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Your door should have been installed with the hinges flush with the interior side of the wall, (in your case, this would have been the snack room side of the wall) and any jamb extension should have been on the opposite side (theatre side) of the wall, so you should really consider changing that. Unfortunately, the way you have it is wrong.

You should probably cut the door bottom higher as well, as doors should never drag on the carpet. A weatherstripped threshold can be installed on the floor under the door if you want a tighter fit due to sound.

Once you correct the swing of your door, your door closer should have instructions on how to install it.
 

Last edited by XSleeper; 06-08-15 at 10:54 AM. Reason: whoops
  #5  
Old 06-08-15, 10:42 AM
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There is an extension on the other side for the stop as well. The hinges could not be installed flush to the interior side of the wall. The panels on the theater side of the door are 4" thick. I would have preferred opening into the theater, but finding wide throw hinges of the required size was not possible.

The hinges are recessed into the frame . Any solutions have to be made with how the door is installed currently.
 
  #6  
Old 06-08-15, 10:52 AM
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It is ALWAYS possible to install the door with the hinges flush with one side or the other. (in your case, this would have been the snack room side of the wall) Top picture, door installed flush with drywall. Opposite side would have an extension jamb that is a lot wider.

Sounds like you simply didn't want to move the door and you framed around it, which was a bad call. Sorry I don't have any better advice for you. Its hard to give good advice for a situation like this. Maybe someone else will pipe up.

They do make a bracket for door closers that mounts to the head on the closer side, which might help if you refuse to fix the door installation. Here is a picture link. The bracket may not be included with your closer, but the instructions should at least mention it... instructions usually show installation instructions for the 3 different ways you can install a closer.
 
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Old 06-08-15, 10:59 AM
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The door was built from scratch for the project. There was no wall there to begin with. The hinges could have been flush yes, but then I would have about 9 inches protruding from the door.

I do have the bracket for that kind of install, but obviously the door can't be opened through it.

It is a situation that calls for something not standard. I realize that. It's why I'm here asking for ideas.

I do wonder if the hinges can be adjusted somehow. There seems to be a slight gap at the top of the opening side. Maybe slight adjustments can lift that up some and alleviate the carpet drag.

I really need to take a closer look at exactly what is rubbing, and by how much. And I need to see if there are gaps/protusions with the hinge plates.
 
  #8  
Old 06-08-15, 11:04 AM
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Don't get upset Kevin, just look at the picture in the link above in post #6, as it is probably the solution to your problem. Notice in the picture which side of the door the closer and bracket are mounted on. (It is on the opposite side of the picture Pilot Dane posted.) I'm sorry to be the one to give you that bit of bad news about the door installation. Its not uncommon to see DIYers do things incorrectly, and I understand but it is what it is... don't shoot the messenger. A 9" extension jamb would have appeared normal, provided it was NOT on the side of the door with the hinges.
 
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Old 06-08-15, 12:32 PM
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Yeah I know, the closer installed like that is on the push side, but that's not an option here. The theater side has panels that extend 4" from the wall (and door). And the entire point was to make everything flush and clean on the theater side.

The 9" wasn't about the jamb, it was about the panels that would attach to the door. If the door moved towards the snack room then the panels would have to be that much thicker on the door in order to match up. Four inches was already challenging as it was. I had a contractor doing all the work, and we talked a lot about how to approach this door. I knew the door would be limited in how far it could open, and knew it wasn't an easy job because of the hinges needing to be "buried", but it was the best way to come up with getting the theater side to work how it needed.

Spring hinges were used because there couldn't be a handle on the theater side. It works almost perfectly, but doesn't quite make it closed (it actually takes a bit of force to hold it closed - which makes me think a hinge adjustment is in order either way). I do wish the contractor had trimmed the door a bit before hanging it and attaching the panels.

I think the function of a door closer would work too, if there is one that can be adjusted for varying jamb depths.
 
  #10  
Old 06-08-15, 01:32 PM
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The closer in Danes picture would probably work if you installed a block on the surface of the door to mount the closer bracket on. (An ogee bit could relieve the edges of the block to make it more decorative.)
 
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Old 06-08-15, 01:50 PM
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If it seems to be binding on the hinge side, check that the door stop isn't pushed too tight to the door. Also check that you still have some clearance between the door and the jamb. No clearance = more mortise. Also I would imagine you need more clearance between the barrel of the hinge and the jamb... if that's tight it rocks the door toward the latch jamb. A long screw through the hinge can sometimes pull the door tighter on the hinge side and give you more clearance on the latch side.

Doors often have a 3 bevel on the sides to make it easier to open and shut. Might need to plane it if the door seems a bit too wide. But I bet a long hinge screw would help.
 
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Old 06-08-15, 04:48 PM
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If a screen door closer is not strong enough I would look at why there is so much resistance. I'm not saying to use a screen door closer but maybe the hinges are not in line, the bottom is dragging a bit too much or it's scraping the jamb. I'm betting if you are inside the snack room and have someone close the door the last bit you'll see some flexing in the hinge area. A door closer might be able to close the door the last bit but the casing or door may be flexing with each use which could eventually damage something.
 
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Old 06-08-15, 05:54 PM
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I doubt a storm door closer will work. I had a commercial customer that tried to use them on bathroom doors and they would not allow the doors to fully open. Can't explain the geometry but it seems the thickness of the door affects how far they open.
 
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Old 06-08-15, 06:16 PM
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Yeah I doubt it too... esp since he doesn't want anything on the theatre side of the door.

ray, the bracket for a storm door closer has to be positioned about 1/4" away from the door. If the bracket is moved farther away it limits the swing of the door and increases the tension it takes to open the door. I don't understand the geometry either.
 
  #15  
Old 06-08-15, 09:04 PM
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The door is tight to the jamb near the bottom hinge. Not as much as the top. Also, the bottom of the door isn't completely flat. It is lower on the snack room side. If I could shave off a little bit, it should clear the carpet (which it only rubs at one point that seems to be a high spot on the floor).
 
  #16  
Old 06-08-15, 09:16 PM
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Tight to the jamb near the bottom means the bottom hinge is mortised too deep into either the jamb or the door. Hinges should feel flush with the wood once they are mortised and screwed in. Too deep could cause the door to want to spring open a little. Yeah, cutting the bottom might help with the carpet.
 
  #17  
Old 06-09-15, 05:00 AM
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Mortises can be shimmed. A couple of thicknesses of non corrugated cardboard under the hinge will often work.
 
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Old 06-10-15, 08:50 AM
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I added a couple of shims to the bottom hinge, and that helped. It isn't extremely tight against the jamb now. In fact, the spacing is quite a bit different. The door closes farther now, and doesn't spring back as much, but it still stops on the carpet and doesn't quite hold in the closed position.

Trimming the door at the bottom should alleviate the carpet problem, but I'm trying to figure out the best way to shave off a tiny bit without taking the door off of the hinges.

The door is also a little tight on the other side now. The corners of the fabric panels rub just a hair against the stop as they go by. I might consider reducing my shim from 2 to 1. Or shaving just a hair off the corner of the stop on that side.

Another thing I noticed was that the bottom hinge had to be forced a bit to slide in next to the stop, but I see no evidence of rubbing on the stop or door.

It's weird, the first time I forced the door close after shimming, it stayed shut tightly. And did that a few times as I was testing to see where there was rubbing. Then it stopped staying tight and would spring back just a bit, but a lot less than before.
 
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Old 06-10-15, 08:57 AM
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Then it stopped staying tight and would spring back just a bit, but a lot less than before
Check the hinge screws are tight. If necessary use longer screws.
trying to figure out the best way to shave off a tiny bit without taking the door off of the hinges
I use to use a belt sander with a very coarse belt. (if you need to do the bottom you may need to protect the carpet so the sander doesn't catch it. A flat piece of metal flashing may work. Or just use a rasp near the bottom.)
 
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