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Are you installing a new door and want to ensure that your spacing is accurate? Door spacing is important to make certain the door opens and closes properly. If so, you've come to the right place. We've researched fitting interior and exterior doors to create this guide to help you hang your door correctly the first time.
The space at the bottom of an interior door should be 2 inches if the floor is unfinished and between 3/8-inch and 3/4-inch on a finished floor. Exterior doors should not have a gap underneath after the threshold and sweep are appropriately adjusted.
What about the spacing required around the rest of the door? And what about screen doors? Keep reading to learn all about the standard measurements required to install doors properly.
How Much Space Between Sides and Top of Interior Door?
Interior doors should have a 1/8-inch gap along the top and each side. The spacing requirements for interior doors are important to allow the doors to open and close properly. The spacing for interior doors also helps to distribute heat and air conditioning evenly throughout a home.
Flexible Spacing for Flooring
The type of flooring you're using can interfere with the door's swing, making it difficult to open and close. It can also cause damage to the flooring if the door rubs against it when in motion.
Thick, plush carpets tend to interfere more than thinner materials like hardwood, laminate, and tile. Pay attention to the gaps beneath the door compared to the thickness of your flooring.
How Much Space is Needed Between Interior Door Casing and Floor?
The trim or casing around an interior door should end where the finished floor begins. A slight gap between 3/8-inch and 3/4-inch depends on your flooring situation.
The jamb of a pre-hung interior door should extend to the subfloor without a gap. The finished floor should be cut around the jamb and run underneath the door.
How To Install Interior Doors
If you lack the tools or are uncomfortable installing a door, you should call a professional for help. If you're a handy person and you're confident that you can install the door yourself with some help, check out these videos on how to install an interior door, whether it's pre-hung or just the slab.
This video will show you how to install a pre-hung door:
This video will show you how to install a slab:
How Much Space Between Sides and Top of Exterior Door?
Exterior doors should also have a gap of 1/8-inch on each side and along the top; however, these doors will have weather stripping, a sweep, and stops to prevent drafts and weather from entering the home.
When an exterior door is shut, you should not be able to see any gaps around the door slab. An exterior door with gaps is in need of adjustment, replacement, or new weather stripping.
No Spacing Under Exterior Doors
An exterior door is built with a threshold or sill as part of its jamb. The threshold with a special weather stripping called a sweep closes the gap between the floor and the door to prevent the elements from getting in. Most thresholds are adjustable, raising up to meet the bottom of the door for a tight seal.
How Much Space is Needed Between Exterior Door Casing and Floor?
The trim, or casing, around an exterior door should also end where the subfloor begins to ensure there are no gaps. The jamb for the exterior door includes a threshold, so it should be set against the subfloor, and the finished flooring should come in contact with the sill. The exterior trim around an entry door usually ends at the threshold.
How To Install an Exterior Door
Exterior doors are a little tougher to install than interior doors; their size alone can make them frustrating. Seek professional assistance if you are uncertain about this project. For help installing an exterior door, these videos will come in handy.
This video will show you how to install a pre-hung exterior door:
This video will show you how to install an exterior door slab:
Exterior Door Has Gap at Top - How to Fix It
A gap at the top of an exterior door is in need of immediate attention to avoid raising heating and cooling costs. First, try tightening the hinges to see if the door hangs better.
If that doesn't work, try replacing the old weatherstripping with new material. If you still notice a gap after trying both of these, consult a professional for guidance; you may need to replace your door.
How Much Spacing is Required Around Screen Doors?
Screen and storm doors require a 1/8-inch gap on the sides and top and a 3/8-inch gap at the bottom. These doors usually include a special, surface-mounted sweep that helps cover the gap beneath the door and deter debris and bugs. Make sure to measure the right opening when investing in a screen door; the screen door is installed inside the entry door's exterior trim.
How To Install Screen and Storm Doors
Screen and storm doors are fairly simple to install if you have the right equipment. Storm doors have glass, which can make them pretty heavy, so you may need an extra set of hands to ensure safety during installation.
For help installing a screen door yourself, check out this handy video:
What Are The Spacing Requirements for a Barn Door?
Barn doors are a little more complex than standard doors. You should always follow the installation instructions for the door and hanging equipment when installing a barn door. Generally, they will still have a 1/2-inch gap between the bottom of the door slab and the floor.
Should a Door Frame Touch the Floor?
Yes, the door frame, or jamb, should be in contact with the subfloor. Exterior doors may use a thin sill plate or flashing material between the floor and the threshold to prevent moisture from reaching the subfloor. Interior doors do not need the same weather protection, so they can contact the subfloor directly.
How Do I Fix the Gap Between Door and Jamb?
The quickest and easiest method to fix a gap between a door and jamb is with weather stripping. You can contact the manufacturer of your door to see if they sell genuine replacements, or you can purchase a multitude of different types of weatherstripping that you can cut to size. For a gap at the bottom of your door, try adjusting your threshold before replacing the sweep.
This weatherstripping will work great for any exterior door, and it's available in a variety of sizes. Click here to check it out on Amazon.
Do Hinges Make a Difference?
Hinges don't typically make a huge difference in the standard measurements, with a few rare exceptions. Double barrel styles and other bulky types of hinges can have a small impact on the measurements required to create a successful swing. Make sure to check your hinges to see if you will have to account for extra spacing.
Interior Door Alternatives
If you need a quick and easy interior door solution, there may be an easier option that requires less finesse than installing a new door. Try unique ideas, like room dividers, to block doorways with style. Another option is accordion doors, which you can install with a screwdriver, tape measure, and a hacksaw.
LTL Homeproducts Accordion Door
These accordion doors are simple to install, even for homeowners. Click here to see it on Amazon.
Opening New Doors
Now that you know all about the spacing requirements for doors, you can start looking at new doors or working on adjusting your existing doors. Remember to check your measurements carefully and to be sure you measure the appropriate areas. Have fun updating your home!
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If you need more information on how to repair door issues, check out our article "How To Fix A Cracked Door Or Door Frame."
If you want to learn more about accessorizing new doors, take a look at our article "Should The Doorbell Be On The Left Or Right?"