If your home has worn out and damaged doors, or you’re simply looking to revamp your space with a new style, you’ve probably considered installing new interior doors. While this may seem like a large task, anyone can do this with the proper tools and knowledge. But how long does it take to install an interior door?
How long it will take to install an interior door depends on a lot of factors. If you’re an experienced handyman who plans on installing a prehung door, this can be done in less than an hour. If you plan on installing just a simple door slab, this could take anywhere from 3-6 hours.
In this article, I’ll discuss in more detail how long it takes to install an interior prehung and slab/blank door. I’ll also go over step by step in terms of how you can do this efficiently and in as little time as possible.
How to Install a Prehung Door
As we stated above, it shouldn’t take too long to install a prehung door for an experienced handyman. While this isn’t necessarily too complicated of a task, it’s recommended that you hire an experienced contractor for the job.
It’s also ideal to charge whoever you’ve hired to do the job a flat fee for the entire project, instead of an hourly rate, as the time it may take to install your interior door can rely on a lot of factors.
If you’re set on installing an interior door yourself, it’s possible if you have the time, patience, and tools to do so. Below, we’ll go over step by step on how you can properly install an interior prehung door in as little time as possible.
Remove Your Prehung Door From the Frame
Once you’ve picked up or received the prehung door you’ll be working with for this project, remove any and all the plugs and pins that are securing your door to the frame.
This makes it easier to install your prehung door within its designated location if you go in and secure the frame first. Ensure that the frame fits evenly and securely within its rightful area by accurately measuring the space.
Insert Your Shims
Once you have measured everything accordingly, you can begin to insert your shims between the frame and the wall in order to create a nice, square door.
- You should begin by inserting shims on the hinge side first, followed by laying down shims at the bottom so as not to put stress on the door. This also leaves room for the carpet or flooring that will sit underneath the door.
- By inserting the shims on the hinge side first, you’re ensuring that this side of the door will begin to plumb while removing any gap on the lock side of your door. Make sure that your shims are as close to the hinge as possible to receive the best results.
It’s important to note that shims are frequently used during this kind of construction and can be somewhat difficult to master and understand. Measuring your area as well as placing your shims down correctly is key to creating a square and functioning door.
Attach Door to the Frame
Once you’ve secured your frame and shims correctly so that everything is level, it’s time to attach your door to its frame.
- To secure your door to its frame correctly, make sure to take your door’s hinges and secure them well. Once you’ve fastened your door to the frame correctly by screwing in the hinges, you can insert your pins back into their rightful place in order to make the door swing.
- You’ll know you’ve secured your hinges correctly when your pins are able to fit within the hinges with ease and without any problem. During this time, it’s ideal to inspect your door to see how well it fits within the frame.
- You’ll want to ensure that there is a ⅛ inch (0.32 cm) of clearance on the strike side, as well as 1/16 inch (0.16 cm) clearance on the hinge side. It’s recommended that once you correctly secure the door to its frame and test it out, you then go in and shim the lock side of your door.
- Once you’ve repeated this step on the side of your door, your frame should be fully secure. Once you’ve tested out how well the door swings, as well as how easily it opens and closes, you’ve successfully installed an interior door on your own.
- You can then go in and install your doorknob, and once you’ve done this, you can give your door a few final test swings to ensure everything is working and moving properly. While there are many ways and techniques to install an interior door correctly, this is a great way to do it in order to save time and money.
If you’re more of a visual learner, the video below will allow you to watch as an expert carpenter installs an interior prehung door, and gives you three different examples in terms of how to do so:
How to Install a Slab/Blank Interior Door
Above, he went in-depth in terms of how you can successfully install a prehung interior door. The difference between a prehung and blank door is simply that a blank door is just a door. It does not come with any of the hinges, pins, or frame that a prehung door does.
Another difference between the two is that it does take longer to install a slab, due to the fact that there is more required of you in terms of assembly. The installation of a blank interior door can take anywhere from 3-6 hours, so it’s important to be mindful of that.
When installing a slab or blank door, most of your focus should be on the door itself, seeing how you won’t need to worry about the frame. Below, I’ll go step by step into how you can successfully install a slab door in as little time as possible.
Line Up Your New Door to the Existing Hinges
Once you have your new door and you’re ready to install, line up your slab into its desired location and ensure that it fits properly.
If your door fits, take a pencil and mark where the hinge sits on your new door. Marking these lines will make it easier for you to chisel away at the area you’ll need to create. Once you’ve successfully created a large and deep enough area, you can begin screwing your new hinge plate into place.
When all your new hinges have been securely fastened to the new door, it’s time to line them up with the existing frame and add the pins to keep the door secure.
Create a Hole for the Doorknob That’s in Line With the Strike Plate
Similar to markings you’ve created for the hinges, you’ll want to accurately mark where the doorknob will sit in order for it to meet the existing strike plate.
Once you’ve created a hole for the doorknob, you can make those same markings for the lock mechanism on the side of the door. Ensure that everything is even in order to create a functional door.
When you’ve created designated areas for your equipment, you can easily install the lock and doorknob within their desired locations to finish the job. While a skilled and experienced handyman can probably get this job done in less than 3 hours, if this is your first woodworking experience, it may take anywhere from 3-6 hours, as we stated above.
If you’re interested in watching a skilled carpenter install a slab on their own, the video below will give you the tools and knowledge you need to do this project as a beginner:
There are many factors that play into how long this task will take, such as the level of experience you have with installing doors, as well as whether the door is prehung or simply a slab.
While an expert carpenter can most likely install both kinds of doors in a short amount of time, someone with little to no experience with this kind of woodworking may take anywhere from 3-6 hours to do this kind of job successfully.