How to Install an Interior Door

Changing out your interior doors can brighten up a room better than a fresh coat of paint. If you’re looking to replace existing doors in a space to match the current or even a new interior design look, we’ve got everything you need to know to complete the door removal and installation process successfully.

And be sure to check out our tips on everything you should know about a door before you purchase or specify a door at the bottom of this page.

Tools Needed

Before you start any project, it’s important to have all the tools you’ll need to complete the task on hand. There’s nothing worse than enthusiastically beginning a project only to have to make a run to your local hardware store to pick up some nails.

We’ve put together the complete list of tools you’ll need to remove and install an interior door.

  • Safety gear
  • Level
  • Chisel
  • Hammer
  • Screws
  • Wood filler
  • Sandpaper
  • Utility knife
  • Hims
  • Nail Gun
  • Putty knife
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Drill
  • Caulking gun
  • Screwdriver

How to Remove & Install an Interior Door

In the video below, celebrity designer Amanda Forrest shows you how to take a functional feature like an interior door and transform it into an opportunity to add light and freshen up the style of your home. Amanda, with the help of contractor Geoff Hobson from Hobson Woodworks Inc., will show you the easy steps to removing and replacing a pre-hung interior door to update any room in your home.

The installation process

Critical Questions to Answer Before You Buy or Specify a Door

Selecting the right interior door for a space takes careful consideration. Several factors in the rooms design, ceiling height, flooring type and more will have an influence on the size, shape and look of the door you need. Before you purchase or specify doors for your next project, make sure you know the answers to these important questions.

We’ve highlighted a few of the top questions below, but there are 10 questions in total that you should answer before moving forward with a decision. You can download all 10 questions and why they’re so important at the bottom of this page.

What other interior finishings are in the space?

It's important to figure out what types of interior finishing products will be used in the space before deciding on the height of the door. The architrave and crown moulding can have an effect on how the door fits into the frame, and you may end up with a door that is too tall for the opening. read more...

Interior design best practice says you should have at least 6 inches or more of space between the crown moulding and architraves—but we’ve seen some beautiful examples of breaking this rule, so don’t worry too much if you can’t quite accommodate the crown moulding and architraves you want with adequate space.

Additionally, the look of your door should match the look of your casing and any other interior finishing product in the room. If you’re looking for doors and finishings that go well together, the Metrie Finishing Collections offer several different looks of interior finishings each with coordinating doors to fit the style and needs of any space.

Before you choose the height of your door, check our list of possible interior finishings to include below to see if your door height will need to be adjusted to accommodate them:

  • Crown moulding: moulding that flares out when reaching up to the ceiling from the walls, creating a softer transition from wall to ceiling.
  • Casing: a type of trim that goes along the perimeter of the door (and windows) to cover the gap between the drywall and the door frame to give a clean, finished appearance. Casing is generally thicker than the baseboards.
  • Panel mould: this type of moulding is used to create the raised panel look on walls.
  • Architraves: a decorative casing along the top edge of the door, also known as a header, that extends past the vertical trim (casing) along the sides of the door. read less

What is the overall design scheme or feel of the space?

Interior themes play a significant role in selecting the right type of door for the space. Interior door styles can make small rooms feel larger and large rooms feel warm and cozy.

Your client may want a country theme with horse paintings dotting the walls, wood paneling, rawhide furniture and rustic tables. For this type of design theme, a country-style barn door that slides on a track can complete the design and match the space. Whereas a standard solid door in this type of space might miss the opportunity to complete the look of the room. read more...

When selecting the right type of interior door, think about all the design elements in the space. Then select the door that matches and complements these elements. The design theme could come from anywhere, from the building architecture itself such as the walls and woodwork or from a conversation piece in the space such as designs in a rug or furniture, the motifs in a painting, or even the craftsmanship used to create the lighting fixtures.

The main point is, don’t underestimate the impactfulness of a beautifully designed door and miss out on the opportunity to carry the look and feel of a room from top to bottom. read less

Do you need glass, and what kind?

Adding glass to interior doors is a great way to maintain the design flow in the house, while adding variety in door style

There are two types of common glass inserts used for interior doors: opaque and clear panes. You can design a space using clear interior doors to make small rooms appear bigger as well as draw in more light into dim spaces. read more...

Opaque glass inserts are common on doors where you want to allow the light to still pass through yet you want privacy. Often you will see opaque glass on pantry doors, closet doors and office doors. In addition, glass doors can also offer unique functionality to a space. read less


Get instant access to the complete list of 10 Critical Questions to Answer Before You Purchase or Specify a Door. Download it now.