How to Cut Down Interior Doors

Lead Image for How to Cut Down Interior Doors
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 20-40
What You'll Need
Tape measure

Sometimes, particularly if you have just had new carpets fitted, or have just painted the boards, you may find that your interior door no longer fits easily inside the frame. The door may simply be stuck fast in a thicker plush, or you may find that the frame itself is now too thick to accommodate the door. In addition, humidity in a new shower room can cause the wood of the door to expand, making it difficult to open after you have used the shower, something that can get a bit annoying if it happens all the time.

You can correct this by cutting the door down to size so that it fits easily into the frame again. You will have to be careful how you cut the door, as mistakes can be unattractive, but getting this job done doesn’t need the assistance of a professional if you have some basic home improvement skills. All you have to do is follow a few simple guidelines to get the job done quickly and easily.

Measure the Door

The first step is to take the measurements of the door and decide how much you wish to cut the door down by. Remember that you are only removing enough to free up the movement of your interior door, you don't want to end up cutting off so much from the top and bottom that your kitchen ends up looking like a saloon. If you need to remove a little from the side, take a measurement here to calculate exactly what needs to be done.

Remove the Door

Remove the door from its hinges. Open the door to its fullest extent, and using a screwdriver, take the door and the hinge away from the frame. The hinge may be old and might require a little bit of tugging, or some leverage before it moves, but it should come away eventually. Lay the door down on the ground, on some old newspaper.

Cut the Door

Once the door removal is completed, you will have to begin cutting down the door. Mark your measurements on the door using the tip of your screwdriver. You can measure both sides so that you have a clear line between the side that fits into the frame, and that which does not. You should then begin sawing away. Take off as little as you can get away with, and keep checking with the frame that you need to remove more. If you take too much, you will end up with a door that allows drafts into a room.


Before you finish the project you will have to file down the door. You can use a metal file, or you can try a little bit of sandpaper. Make sure that the bottom of the door is smooth and even, and then install the door back onto the frame, using new screws if necessary.