How to install doors yourself

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Any door installation begins with a choice, but before choosing, you must first decide on the size of the doors. How to make measurements on their own or using the services of professionals, everyone decides for himself. But it’s better to think twice, as all unforeseen expenses will have to be covered.

How to install doors yourself

If you are confident in your ability to work with a tape measure, when measuring, you need to take into account a margin of 10-15mm. Such a minimum distance, between the door frame and the doorway, will be required for future foam filling. Also, the table of construction GOSTs will help determine the size of the doors.

“Dimensions of doorways in internal walls and partitions” (GOST 6629 – 88)

brand height, mm width, mm
21-13 2070 1310
21-12 2070 1210
21-10 2070 1010
21-9 2070 910
21-8 2070 810
21-7 2070 710

But, unfortunately, in practice, the dimensions of the openings do not always coincide with the requirements for them. And we should not forget that the dimensions of foreign doors do not correspond to the standards adopted in Russia. And given that most firms selling doors give a guarantee for their goods only when installed by their own specialists, problems with measurements, in most cases, disappear by themselves.

Self-installation of doors will require from you a simple set of tools (plumb line, building level, hammer, hacksaw, screwdriver, drill), as well as some consumables (screws, wedges, spacers, foam).

Preparatory work

We start by removing the old door and removing an at least old door frame. And even if the wooden box is in good condition, it is better to replace it with a new one. Since adjusting the purchased door to the “someone else’s size” is extremely difficult, and will not give you anything but wasted nerves and time.

If an apartment (house) is being overhauled, new doors should be installed only after changing the floor covering. And at the same time, preferably before the start of painting. In any case, you need to know the real floor level in advance. In the meantime, only the upcoming wall decoration (leveling, plastering) will allow the walls to be aligned taking into account the already installed door frame.

Preparatory work

The doorway, after removing the old box, is carefully cleaned, all construction waste is removed. If the walls are concrete or brick, it is necessary to drill holes for wooden plugs, into which pins or nails will then be inserted (hammered).

Assembling the door frame

Most often, boxes are sold disassembled, but boxes are also produced in a finished state. That is, they are already assembled, the doors are hung on them, and the hinges are adjusted accordingly. In this case, the buyer only needs to install the box in the opening..

If the box has yet to be assembled, then it is assembled on a flat surface using self-tapping screws or ordinary nails 70 – 90mm long. To avoid cracks in the beams, the joints are pre-drilled with a smaller drill. And when using self-tapping screws, PVA glue is additionally applied to the joints.

Assembling the door frame

The assembly of the frame is carried out in such a way that there is a small gap of 3 – 4 mm between the door frame and the leaf. The hinges are usually cut 200mm from the top and bottom edge of the door. But the manufacturer’s recommendations should be taken into account, since ultimately, the reliability of the doors themselves will depend on the correct location of the hinges. After the position of the hinges on the door leaf and frame is marked, sockets are cut out for them. For most doors, two hinges are enough, but in order to hang heavy doors, you will have to install 3 or more hinges.

Box installation

The most popular way to install a door frame is with polyurethane foam. And to get increased strength, the box is additionally secured with anchor bolts. In cases where the door frame does not have a threshold, it is necessary to cut out the spacer and use it to rigidly fasten the bottom of the frame. After the installation is completed, this spacer will be removed.

If the door frame does not fit in width, instead of widening the opening, you can try to reduce the width of the vertical beams themselves. But no more than 10 – 15mm, while trying to cut more from the bar, which will have a lower load. That is, we “take” less from the vertical beam on which the hinges will be attached.

Box installation

After the door frame is ready for installation, it is inserted into the opening and secured with wooden wedges. Using the same wedges, the box is carefully measured and positioned in compliance with all verticals and horizontals. When using anchor bolts, vertical beams of the box are drilled in 2 – 3 places. When the box is fully aligned, the corresponding holes in the wall are drilled through the holes in the box. Then anchor bolts are hammered into them and tightened.

Before finally fixing the door frame, first make sure that it is correctly installed. If all planes are correctly aligned, the doors should not spontaneously open or close..

The installation of any door frame is complicated by the need to fit the specific width of the wall or partition. But some of the problems with installing door frames can be avoided if you purchase a frame of a special design. We are talking about the so-called “euro box”, which is also called compensation or expansion. Its feature is the presence of a set of strips and special grooves, with which you can set the required box width.

Fixing the box

Now the door frame is installed, it remains to seal the cavities between the frame itself and the opening. Previously, cement mortar mixed with tow, bitumen, mineral wool was used for these purposes. But with the advent of polyurethane foam, the old ways of sealing cracks are a thing of the past. The foam is not only convenient to use, but also significantly facilitates the entire process of performing such work.

Before starting to fill the voids, protect the door frame from possible foam. This is done due to the fact that the foam is extremely difficult to remove. If you can still try to remove fresh foam from the surface with a solvent (or alcohol-containing liquid), then solidified foam can only be mechanically removed. In other words, you will have to literally rip it off. Therefore, the door frame (possibly the door), before working with foam, is pasted over with masking tape, film or newspapers.

Since the foam tends to expand strongly (by 50 – 300%), and in addition, is capable of creating significant pressure during expansion, it is necessary to take some precautions. First, the opposite sides of the box should be reinforced with internal spacers. Secondly, in order to maintain a working gap, a suitable insert is inserted into the doorway (between the door and the frame). For example, you can use a suitable strap of cardboard (length 200cm, width 2cm, thickness 3mm). And, thirdly, in order to prevent possible deformation of the box, it is advisable to fill the voids in two stages: first, the foam is applied only pointwise, and after it has set (1 – 3 hours) the remaining cavities are filled.

Before applying the polyurethane foam, the outer side of the box and the opening are moistened with water. This is necessary to improve the adhesion of the foam to the surface and also to accelerate the chemical reaction of the foam itself. The full drying time of the foam depends on the conditions of use, as well as its quality, but in general, the process of its hardening will take from 3 to 24 hours..

Installation of platbands

When the foam is completely dry, its excess is cut off, and protruding wedges are sawn off. The platbands are cut at a 45 degree angle and fastened with small nails (4mm). Some materials (MDF) from which the platbands are made will require preliminary drilling of holes. Otherwise, the nails simply won’t fit. It is most convenient to start with the installation of the upper platband, and then move on to vertical ones, moving from top to bottom. Platbands are fastened with furniture nails (or “liquid” nails) at an approximate distance of 100 – 150mm from each other.

Installation of platbands

In cases where a significant distance is formed between the box and the opening (in width), it is eliminated with the help of bars of the required length (“doborov”). The bars are attached to self-tapping screws through pre-drilled holes. When gaps appear between the opening and the bars – add-ons, they are filled with the same polyurethane foam.

On this, the main work on installing the doors can be considered completed. And if during the assembly and installation all the necessary rules were observed, and no serious mistakes were made, the new doors will serve you for many and many years.

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