How to Replace a Hollow Door How to Replace a Hollow Door
A hollow door is easy to install. However, it does have one major drawback: It is somewhat fragile and therefore more susceptible to damage than solid doors. Hollow doors can only take so much abuse before natural wear and tear degenerates into outright disrepair.
When door replacement becomes necessary, the first thing you need to do is to check the frame and make sure that there is no outstanding structural damage. Installing a new door into a damaged frame can cause even more problems in the long run.
When checking a wooden frame for damage, do a thorough inspection for rot, moisture damage and any seams or cracks in the wood. When checking a metal frame, be sure that it is not rusted or warped. Inspect the hardware reinforcements; check the welds, hinges and hinge reinforcements for soundness. If any of these areas appear problematic, you should probably install a new frame in order to ensure proper hanging of your new hollow door.
Step 1 - Remove the Damaged Door
Stand on whichever side your hinges are located. Working your way up from the bottom hinge, remove each hinge pin carefully. Tap stubborn pins lightly to loosen them. In order to prevent injury, have someone hold the door for you as you remove the final pins.
Step 2 - Size the New Door
Lay the old door on top of the new door. Trace the outline of the old door onto the new one with a carpenter's pencil. Plane the new hollow door to size, and make sure you leave 1/16 inch around the sides and top and 1/2 inch at the bottom for frame clearance.
Step 3 - Attach Hinges
Lay the old door back on top of the new one and mark the positions where you should attach the hinges. Chisel shallow recesses for the hinges. (First chisel the outline. Then dig out hinge-deep spaces.) Use the chisel on a low angle to prevent digging deeper than necessary. Scrape away remaining wood. Using the original hinges if you can, place the hinges and make sure they are level with the door. Use the drill to screw pilot holes and attach the hinges to the door.
Step 4 - Install a Doorknob and Latch
If possible, reuse the original doorknob and latch for an easier installation. Mark off all positions by taking measurements from the old door.
Step 5 - Paint Your Hollow Door
Paint the new hollow door at this time. Make sure to paint the top and bottom of the door as well, in order to block off moisture.
Step 6 - Hang the Hollow Door
Check the door for fit. You shouldn't find any loose hinge pins. Check swing and closure. Make adjustments as necessary.