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Explore our handy guides to help you select and install your new doors
Selecting the doors to install in your home is confusing at the best of times but when you start throwing around words such as flush doors, bi-fold doors, and composite doors it can get even more baffling to know which to pick. Thankfully, we’ve got just the guide for you. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the types of doors we have available, read on for the ultimate guide on the different types of doors for your home.
There are many types of internal doors so we’ll go over the most popular designs and their jargon to help make the decision simpler.
Flush doors are one of the most minimalistic door designs. They feature two plain faces that don’t have any kind of design on and are commonly found in contemporary homes. Flush doors are commonly available with three different core types – solid, hollow or stave.
A solid core is exactly that – solid. A sheet of material, such as particle board or foam, is used to completely fill the space between the two facings and the result is a simple door with good strength, added insulation, and great sound-proofing qualities.
Hollow cores feature only the most minimal of support between the two door panels. This is often in the form of corrugated cardboard in a lattice or honeycomb pattern. Stave core flush doors are the mid-point between solid and hollow and usually horizontal slats going all the way down the inside of the door. Hollow and stave door designs give the appearance of a solid wood door without the hefty price tag.
Panel doors are the types you’re most likely to come across as their simple silhouette and patterns means they fit into almost any style of home. They’re also a very affordable option and can be as intricate as you like, featuring designs that vary from two to twelve panels. The beauty of panel doors is their versatility. They can be completely solid wood, or have glass pane panels to allow some light through.
Finally, we have cottage doors. Although they fit perfectly within their namesake style of home, cottage doors aren’t just for old fashioned houses and make great, rustic additions to more modern abodes too. Made from multiple planks that stretch from the top to the bottom of a doorway, cottage doors are a great addition to period and contemporary homes alike.
Bi-fold doors can be installed indoors or on an external wall. They’re ideal for small spaces as they fold open sideways rather than swinging out (or in) to a room or garden. They fold up neatly and help to preserve precious floor real estate. Installing them in a dining room can help give the impression of a large open plan space when guests are over, or they can be closed for a more intimate atmosphere. They’re also popular choices in offices as a way to block off meeting rooms and work spaces. Bi-fold doors are available in uPVC and wood so you have loads of choice and options.
Another great space saver, sliding doors fit in well with both period and contemporary homes alike. These doors are usually mounted on a track above the door frame to allow them to slide from side to side. For narrow hallways and small bedrooms, they’re the perfect choice as they don’t take up valuable floor space but can still have the same design as a flush, panel, or cottage door. They’re all about versatility.
Measuring for a door may sound like a simple task, but you’d be surprised how many customers come to us with incorrect measurements. For example, many customers assume that you measure the actual door, when you’ll actually be measuring the space available in the frame. Make sure you don’t trip up on simple mistakes by following our simple guide below.
Accuracy is the key to success. We at Leader Doors recommend that you measure using millimetres to ensure that you get the best fit.
The trick is to measure the space between each side of the frame in two places - the top, the middle and the bottom. You’d be surprised at how much the width can change across these three points! We advise that when choosing the width of your door, take the widest measurement and deduct 2mm from either side to ensure an easier fit.
Make sure you take the type of flooring you have into account when measuring the height - if you have a carpet, your door must be able to skim over the top. Measure from the floor or carpet right up to the underside of your door frame. Remember, if you’re measuring for an exterior door you may need to take room for draught excluders into consideration - these can be up to 25mm in height.
Doors tend to fluctuate in size and thickness, but the average is around 35mm thick. Once you’ve taken the height and width of the door, measure the thickness. Be aware that you may have to use thinner doors for interior doors.
Not all internal doors in your house will be the same size or thickness. Make sure to measure each door individually, just in case.
Once your brand new internal door arrives from Leader Doors, you’re going to need to consider how to treat your door to keep it in tip top condition throughout its lifetime. All of our internal doors are built to last, but require treating if they’re going to keep up with daily use from your household!
Think about every time you’ve slammed a door in a hurry, your kids have hammered on the door while playing, pets have scratched and scrabbled on the door to get into a room they’re not supposed to be in. If your internal doors aren’t treated, pretty soon they’re going to start showing their age!
Treating your doors doesn’t mean you need to go kinder on them, if anything it means that you can go on using your internal doors as normal, they’ll just be much more prepared for it! Make sure that you apply a protective oil or varnish before you fit the door, and then simply keep reapplying the treatment once every two or three years to keep on top of the condition.
Don’t worry if you’re not sure how to treat your internal doors, we’ve got a few tips for you to get your started!
Depending on the finish of your door, the way you treat it will slightly differ. For example:
Pine doors can be treated with a lacquer, varnish or polyurethane, or they can be primed and painted depending on your preferred choice. Care should be taken to use thin coats, to avoid prolonged drying time. Always ensure that the door is coated on all faces and edges.
Make sure that everything else in the room is protected by laying down dust sheets, dressing appropriately in old clothes, and covering up any glazing, door hardware or door architecture with masking tape. Remember to open a window if possible to keep the area well ventilated!
Lay your door flat on two trestles so that no runs will set. Stir the oil or varnish well, and transfer a small amount into a paint tray to make it easier to cover your paint brush.
Check that the door is clean and dry by brushing it gently with a microfiber cloth. Use your paint brush to apply a thin layer of treatment to the door using long, even strokes. Make sure that you go with the grain of the door! If you’re using an oil based treatment, wipe away the excess using your microfibre cloth.
Leave your door to try – this should take around 4 hours but make sure to check the instructions on your chosen treatment. Once dry, you’ll need to look for imperfections in a process called ‘denibbing’. Take a finishing pad and denib the whole surface of the door with a small amount of pressure.
Repeat the process for the second layer, then turn the door over and complete the other side of the door. Take some time to oil the other edges of the door including the top and sides during this time for additional protection.
All you need to do now is maintain the condition! Check up on the condition of your doors once every few years, paying particular attention to any damaged areas. You can clean or even sandpaper over any damaged areas before applying a new coat of oil and your doors will soon be returned to their original condition
Whether you’ve just finished painting a door or you’re looking to replace your internal doors to give your interior an uplift, hanging doors in the right way is crucial in ensuring it will open and close seamlessly. With this handy guide, it doesn’t have to be hard work and you’ll learn how to hang an internal door in no time.
If the old door was a good fit, it can be used as a guide to trim down the new one. Lay it on top of the new door and mark around with a pencil so you can see where you may need to trim down any excess. Trim down the door using a saw and smooth sharp edges with abrasive sandpaper.
Once your door is trimmed to size, measure where the hinges will go. Hold the door up in the frame using wedges and pennies to make an equal gap around it. Mark the position of the existing hinge.
Using these marks to position your hinges, draw around each one with a sharp pencil. Measure the thickness of the metal hinge plate and make a line on the face of the door. Using a sharp chisel and mallet, cut around the pencil marks of the high recess. Then, holding the chisel at 45 degrees, make a series of stepped cuts approximately 5 mm apart ensuring each cut is made to the depth you’ve marked for the hinge plate. With the chisel flat side down, remove the wood from the new hinge recesses and position the hinges.
Using the hinge as a guide, drill pilot holes for each screw in the hinge plate. Drilling pilot holes for screws helps to prevent the wood from splitting. Using a suitable screwdriver, fix the screws in place and fully tighten.
Position the door at 90 degrees to the frame and position the wedges beneath the door. To begin with, only fix one screw into the bottom of each hinge. With the first screws in place, check the door opens and closes easily and fluidly, so it doesn’t stick or resist. If you’re happy, fix the rest of the screws in.
Now everything’s in place, check again that you are happy with how easily the door opens. If the door isn’t hanging correctly and is rubbing around the edges, try loosening the screws a little, as the tightness will affect the door movement. If the door looks like it’s spaced evenly in the frame, except in one area where it catches, you may need to remove the door again and sand off a bit more wood to resolve the issue.
You can now fit your door handles. Head here for a guide on how to fit a door handle.
We hope that these simple instructions have helped to guide you in hanging a door. If you’re yet to find the door of your dreams, or the ease of this DIY has encouraged you to look for new doors for your entire home, explore our full range of doors.
A question asked by many and easily misunderstood. How do I trim down my door? And that being said, By how much can I trim down my door?
Well look no further, because we have put together a step by step guide on how you can safely and easily trim down your door to a professional standard. At first thoughts it may seem like a simple “Cut and Go” job but without the right knowledge and guidelines it can easily go wrong.
Prior to trimming your door we suggest having all the required tools to hand so that you can complete the job in one go without any worries. In addition to the tools, having a suitable surface to work on is a must, preferably something with enough surface area and strength to hold the size & weight of your door. Once you’re setup, you’re ready to go.
As with most, if not all engineered doors, there are limitations on how much you can trim from the veneers. The construction of an engineered door is manufactured in 4 parts; the core, the lippings, the front/back faces and the solid veneer. The lippings are the solid edges that border the bottom and both sides of the door, giving the particleboard core inside it protection. Usually this is around 12mm thick (Though some are thicker, so be sure to check), and with 12mm thick lippings, we recommended trimming a maximum of 8mm from each side. If any more than this is trimmed this will void the door’s warranty and risk ruining the veneer. (However there are ways around this, explained later.)
With all engineered doors we recommend the lippings are only trimmed until there is a minimum of 4mm left on all sides. (If you’re unsure, just ask us!)
Assuring your door is secure and you have all the tools at hand, it’s time to make some guidelines. You’ve decided on how much you need to trim, keeping in mind the restrictions, you can take a tape measure and mark out your required thickness at either end. (Note: be sure to even out your thickness from both sides of the door)
With a straight edge or long rule link up the two markings to a perfect line, this will be your scoring line. Using a Stanley knife, score back down the line, making a fine indent into the lipping.
Why you may ask? Creating a scoring line ensures that your door doesn’t splinter when planed or cut.
Now that your guideline is ready you’re one step closer to trimming your door.
You should use a planer or circular saw with an edge guide attached, this will allow you to set your tool of choice to cut perfectly straight down the score. To be completely sure of this, a sheet of plywood can be clamped in place which the cutting guide will run smoothly along and remain in the same position as you trim/plane the door.
Quick tip: Using masking tape above the scored guideline will prevent any damage towards the door when using a Planer or Circular Saw.
When you’re sure that everything is ready to go, you can make a start on trimming down your door. If you’ve decided on using a planer, set the provided guide in place against the plywood and begin. Starting at the left side, plane down the lipping to the centre of the door and then again from the right. Carrying out this technique will effectively reduce the risk of the veneer splintering. Slowly but surely you will have shaved the right amount from the lipping and your door will now be ready to finish or hang.
If you have decided to use a circular saw, though the process may be quicker, paying more attention to the cut is crucial. Splintering is a big factor when using the saw and is caused by the blade teeth exiting the timber as you cut. Making sure you have already created your score line in the veneer, will help to avoid this. Next, starting from whichever side feels most comfortable to yourself, begin to run the circular saw through the door, using the plywood guide to keep in a straight line. In one single motion you will reach the end of the cut.
After the cut, there are only a few things left to do before you’re done. Using a fine 140 grit sandpaper, sand along the newly cut side, rounding off any sharp edges and possible splinters.
Note: Pre-finished doors will need to be re-finished where applicable. Also note, we highly recommend that all doors must be pre-finished before hanging to protect them from bowing, warping and splitting when exposed to humidity and temperature changes throughout the year.
If you’re looking to trim more than the recommended 8mm maximum from your door, there is the option to do so. However this is a much more technical job which will require the skills to successfully achieve the right cut. With a precise cut to remove the lipping from the door, you have the option to cut down the door as you please. Despite that being said this lipping must be re-attached to the door using a wood adhesive to ensure the protection of the door.
Have any further questions? Please don’t hesitate to give us a call or chat to someone right now using our user friendly Live Chat service.