How to Repair a Rubbing Door

January 7th, 2020

There can be nothing more annoying than a sticking or rubbing door. Through reading and understanding this guide, you will learn how to repair this problem and put an end to the aggravation of hearing this noise every time your door opens and closes.

Let’s use for example, a bedroom door. It catches and rubs every time you open and close it.

We’ll take a closer look. There are many scenarios which can result in poor operation of the door.

One classic example is the door rubs on the top, or the latch side. Both can be fixed by adjusting the hinges in most cases.

If it is rubbing on the top, loosen the screws on the bottom hinge of the frame. Cut ΒΌ” wide pieces of dense cardboard (about the thickness of matchbook cardboard)the length of the hinge. Insert the cardboard behind the hinge at the back of the hinge pocket and tighten the screws back. This will bring the bottom of the door away from the jamb allowing the top to slightly drop down. You can add up to 3 strips of cardboard if necessary to move the door away from the top of the frame.

If the door is rubbing on the floor, you will have to cut the bottom of the door off with a circular saw. Most interior doors should have a clearance of 5/8″ from the floor to the bottom of the door.

When the door is rubbing on the latch side, close the door to see if it rubs at the top or the bottom. If it rubs at the top, loosen the top hinge screws from the frame and insert the 1/4″ strip of cardboard behind the hinge towards the back of the hinge pocket adding strips as needed.

Rarely should you need to cut the top of the door, but if you do, only shave it with a plane. If the door rubs extremely bad at the top, you will need to adjust the frame, not the door.

If the door rubs at the bottom on the latch side, loosen the bottom screws and insert the cardboard strips behind the hinge and toward the back of the hinge pocket.

Sometimes the door will be set so poorly that these adjustments cannot be made to move the door enough. In this case, the frame must be moved and set plumb and level.

Although you can bevel the inside edge on the latch side of the door to stop it from rubbing, I do not advise cutting the latch side of the door. This will cause problems with the operation of the door hardware.

There are situations when the latch hardware rubs on the frame strike plate. This will require removing the latch from the door and deepening the recess cut for the latch.

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