DIY Hacks: How to Fit an Interior Door |
DIY Hacks: How to Fit an Interior Door

DIY Hacks: How to Fit an Interior Door

It's easier than you think

Written by –
Jess Ng
on March 16th 2018
Born and raised in the UK, Jess is NONAGON’s resident historian turned marketer turned writer, drawn to Hong Kong by the lure of dim sum breakfasts and bustling city life. A foodie who loves to cook, food occupies 70% of her brain 90% of the time. When not eating, Jess can typically be found buried in a book or obsessing over making NONAGON’s Instagram #feedgoals.

When it comes to revamping a room, painting the walls or installing new flooring are common paths to renovation. The problem is, they both require so much effort – what if you want change without the hassle of moving all your furniture around? You could hang new curtains perhaps, or maybe install a new piece of artwork on your walls, or how about fitting in a brand new door?


Changing out your doors can instantly revitalize a room. What’s more, this DIY project is easier than you think – easy enough to complete in an afternoon at least thanks to our easy-to-follow step by step guide. Here’s how to fit an interior door.

Pimlico home renovation: Hallway with check carpet details and map artwork |

Step 1: Choosing a Door

Door sizes tend to come in three standard widths: 2ft 3in (686mm), 2ft 6in (7262mm) and 2ft 9in (838mm).

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Remember, there is usually a limit to how much you can trim a door (typically 10mm in total), so it’s important to know the exact measurements for your door frame.

Step 2: Cut the New Door down to Size

If the old door was a good fit for the frame, use it as a guide to see how much you need to trim from the new door. To do this, simply lay the old door over the new and mark around in pencil.

How to Fit an Interior Door: White minimalist hallway with wood bench and greenery |
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If you would prefer to start from scratch, hold the new door in the door frame and mark a 3mm gap between frame and door for each side. Cut the new door to the correct height using either a hand plane or circular saw.

Step 3: Preparing the Hinges

Hold the newly-trimmed door in the door frame and mark the exact position of the old hinges onto the door edge.

Bedroom with bold blue walls and detailed wood panels |
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For those not using the old hinge positions, the standard bearings for hinges on a door edge are 15cm down from the top and 22.5cm up from the bottom. For a heavy door, or in rooms where there is a humid environment (e.g. bathroom or kitchen), you may want to consider putting in a third hinge; this should be placed equidistant from the other two.


Lay the new door on its side and position the hinges according to the marked positions. Draw an outline around the hinges, making sure to include their inward depth. Using a mallet and chisel, and adhering to these markings, make a small recess for the hinges to sit in.

Step 4: Fixing the Hinges

Ensure the hinges fit flush to the new door and mark screw holes. Use these marks to drill screw holes and use screws to secure hinges in place.

How to Fit an Interior Door: Bright hallway with blue door and green tiles |
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Position the door and fix the hinge flaps to the hinge positions on the door frame. You may need someone to hold the door whilst you do this. Alternatively, you can use floor wedges to support the weight. Screw the hinges in place.

Step 5: Preparing the Latch

First, mark the position of the latch on the side of the door using the existing strike plate for guidance. If there is no existing strike plate, measure 1m between the bottom of the door to the bottom of the latch plate instead. Position the latch accordingly and draw around its outline in pencil.


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Measure the depth of the latch and use tape to mark this on your drill bit. Drill a hole to the correct depth, making sure to keep the drill level in line with the door. Using a chisel, scrape out any debris.

6. Preparing the Door Handle

Hold the latch in the correct positioning on the side of the door and mark the hole for the handle spindle. Repeat on the other side.


How to Fit an Interior Door: Minimalist hallway with white door and wood floor |
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Using a drill bit that is a little wider than the spindle, make a hole in this marked position. Drill from both sides to prevent the wood from splitting.

Step 7: Fixing the Latch and Handle

Insert the latch and, making sure it’s level, mark around the position of the rectangular edge plate.

How to Fit an Interior Door: Minimalist bedroom with white door and bed |
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Score around the rectangular edge plate with a craft knife. Then remove the latch and chisel a small recess for the rectangular edge plate to sit in. Refit the latch and position the handle spindle in the prepared hole, ensuring it can spin freely. Screw the latch plate into position. Fix the handle plates to either side of the door.

Step 8: Fixing the Striker Plate

*Ignore this step if using an existing striker plate.


How to Fit an Interior Door: Classically elegant hallway with dark paneled walls and door |
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Close the door so the latch is just touching the door frame. Mark this position (top and bottom) on the door frame. Using these markings, hold the striker plate in position against the door frame and mark the shape. Following these markings, chisel a recess for the striker plate to sit in. Chisel a deeper recess for the latch. Secure the striker plate into position.

For more step by step DIY hacks check out our easy guide to hanging curtains!


Looking for design inspo to fuel your home revamps? Then head on over to our Instagram and Pinterest and make sure to follow us!


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