How to ease a sticking door

Sticking doors can be quite a tricky problem to solve. The first thing you need to do is figure out whether the door really is “sticking” or whether the problem is with the hinges, screws or latches. It’s a good idea to check latches and oil the hinges before taking any drastic action. If that solves the problem, great! You have just saved yourself a lot of work. If not, you probably do have a sticking door. Read on for some tips on how to solve this problem.

Sticking doors occur when the door is no longer a good fit for the frame or the flooring. Sometimes, a door sticks because it has been hung incorrectly. In other cases, the door sticks because it has become warped by heat or humidity. The door may take up moisture and swell, causing it to no longer fit snugly into the frame.

A third cause for sticking doors is a change in flooring material. If you measured your door when you had hardwood flooring, and then installed deep-pile carpet, you may find that the door drags over the carpet when it is opened. This could damage the carpet if the issue is not corrected quickly.

Fixing Sticking Doors

To fix a sticking door you will need:

    A screwdriver
    Paint or varnish (to ensure the door looks good once it has been sanded down)
    Sandpaper
    A plane (if heavy correction is needed)

Before you start work, make sure that the door is not damp. If you correct the sticking issue while the door is damp, you could end up with a large and unsightly gap when the door dries out.

Depending on how badly your door is sticking you may just need to sand it down, otherwise you will have to plane the door down

If the door isn’t sticking too badly then sandpaper may remedy it.
If not then the door will need planing down!

To correct the issue:

Check all parts of the door, including hinges, screws and contact plates. Make sure that these are OK before you start making any irreversible changes to the door itself.

Determine exactly where the sticking occurs and mark these areas with chalk or a pencil.
If you’re lucky, the area that’s sticking will be at the bottom of the door, and you can fix the problem by placing sandpaper under the door and moving it back and forth.

If the door is sticking at the visible side, sand down the problem area. Do not sand the door frame. Check the fit of the door frequently. If you plan to paint or varnish the door when you are done, remember that this will add about 1/2mm to the size of the door, so you will need to leave a little extra space.

If the side that is sticking is the part where the hinges are, you will need to remove the door to sand it down. Work slowly, and check the fit regularly to ensure that you don’t accidentally remove too much.

If you need to remove a door from its hinges, unscrew the bottom hinge screws first, and place a wedge under the door so that it is held securely in place. Be careful, especially if you are working alone; doors can be surprisingly heavy when they are removed from their hinges!

This post was written by UK Oak Doors who supply a beautiful range of both exterior and interior doors to compliment your home.

Call Ted & The Team

For quality workmanship by time-served Joiners:

Call Ted & The Team on 01745 362444

One thought on “How to ease a sticking door

  1. Jon says:

    99 times out of a 100 you will find yourself having to ease the underside of the door, more than likely this is because whoever has hung the door has not sealed the bare timber underneath (why bother, you can’t see it – nobody will know!).
    If you do ease the underside of the door or are hanging door then get a coat of paint or stain on the edge underneath – this will help to stop water getting in which in turn will reduce the likelihood of the door swelling!
    Thanks for the guest post UK Oakdoors!

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