How to Trim a Door

Wood doors are a classic and timeless addition to any home, bringing warmth and sophistication to your living spaces. However, installing internal doors may require adjustments to ensure a perfect fit. This guide will explore the step-by-step process of trimming wood interior doors, focusing on solid and hollow core doors.

To trim a door, you will need:


Step 1: Assess the Fit:

Before diving into the trimming process, it's crucial to evaluate the fit of the door. Check for any interference with the door frame, floor, or other surfaces. If your door sticks or has trouble opening and closing smoothly, it's time to consider trimming.


Step 2: Gather Necessary Tools:

If you decide trimming is necessary, you'll need the right tools for the job. For cutting, you will likely require a hand/circular saw and a planer or sander to create the right finish. Ensure you have an accurate tape measure or ruler and the correct safety equipment, such as gloves and goggles.

Check Speedy Hire to hire any equipment you may be missing.


Step 3: Measure and Mark:

Measure the amount you need to trim from the door carefully. Keep in mind that it's usually best to trim a small amount at a time to avoid over-cutting. Use a pencil to mark the cut lines on both sides of the door to ensure accuracy.


Step 4: Make the Cut:

Different tasks will require different approaches when trimming an interior door. We have split up this step into mini guides for some of the most common cuts you will need to make in a door.

  • Trim the Side of the Door:

If the door is rubbing against the door frame on one side, you must trim that specific side. Remove the door from its hinges for easier handling. Carefully follow the marked cut line using a circular or hand saw. Take your time to ensure a straight and clean cut.

  • Trim the Top and Bottom:

The process is similar when dealing with issues related to the top or bottom of the door. Remove the door and trim small amounts at a time. Remember that trimming the top or bottom can impact the overall balance of the door, so it's essential to maintain symmetry.

  • Addressing Hinge Pin Interference:

In some cases, hinge pins may be causing the door to bind. If this is the issue, focus on the side of the door with the hinges. Remove the hinge pins and trim the door as needed. Be cautious not to remove too much material, which can affect the door's stability.

  • Trimming a Hollow Core Door:

Trimming a hollow core door requires a slightly different approach. Begin by removing the door and placing it on a stable work surface. To prevent splintering, score the cut line on both sides of the door using a utility knife. This will help achieve a clean cut.

  • Score the Bottom of the Door:

When dealing with hollow core doors, scoring is particularly important. Score along the bottom cut line to prevent chipping and splintering. This step ensures a neat and professional-looking finish.


Step 5: Sand and Finish:

After trimming, use sandpaper to smooth the edges and create a polished finish. This step is essential for both aesthetic and functional purposes, as it prevents the door from snagging or sticking.


Step 6: Reinstall and Test:

Once the trimming and finishing are complete, reattach the door to its hinges and test its opening and closing. Ensure that the adjustments have resolved the fit issues, and the door moves smoothly within the frame.


Trimming wood interior doors is a skill that can enhance the functionality and appearance of your living spaces. Whatever your task, it's manageable with the right tools and attention to detail. Speedy Services provides a range of equipment for hire, making the process more accessible and efficient. By following this comprehensive guide, you'll be able to trim your wood doors with confidence, achieving a perfect fit for your home.

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