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Old 02-06-2015, 05:07 PM   #1
5ynd1cat3
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Installing slab doors

Anyone ever done it? How much of a b!tch is it? CO wants rid of the ugly brown doors for white 6 panel. House was built in '55 so plaster walls and casing/frames are in good shape. I've done prehung before but never slab. Any pro tips?
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Old 02-06-2015, 11:51 PM   #2
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Do you know how to use a chisel properly? That's the biggest b!tch of it.
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Old 02-07-2015, 10:14 AM   #3
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Yeah I'm pretty handy with a chisel. My biggest issue is going from a plain Jane door to a 6 panel and getting the sizing right regarding the accents on the 6 panel. For the height/width I'm guessing I split the difference and trim off all sides to keep the panels centered? About how much material is available before I hit the hollow core?
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Old 02-07-2015, 02:36 PM   #4
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There's no reason the new door should be a different size than the one you're replacing. All doors are standard sizes unless there is a reason for a non-standard size. If your house was built properly, you can take any door from any house on your street and it will fit the frame perfectly.
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Old 02-07-2015, 02:39 PM   #5
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And exterior doors shouldn't be hollow unless it's a steel door. If you're using a 6-panel door that's hollow, that's an interior door.
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Old 02-07-2015, 02:59 PM   #6
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You're right but like I stated house was built in 1955. I'd bet anything that nothing in this house is 100% plumb and/or level. 60 years of weather, settling, etc will affect things. Existing door is 78 7/8 x 29 5/8. I'm thinking an 80x30 door won't fit, hence my query.

And yes, it's interior door, not entry.
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Old 02-19-2015, 09:06 AM   #7
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My main recommendation is to get a decent door, not the $30 cardboard slabs they sell at the big box store. Expect to pay in the $100-$200 range.

The size they tell you is usually the rough opening size, not the actual door size (which will be in fine print). That's probably the discrepancy you're seeing.

If you still need to trim, most doors will tell you how much you can trim off each side. I use a table saw, but you could also use an electric hand planer. You're not generally taking enough off that it's worth it to remove material from more than one side.

Buy one pre-bored for a handle/knob.

After that, it's just morticing the hinge, installing the handle, and getting the reveal equal. Don't forget to allow for the height of the finished floor / carpet.

If your existing frame is wonky (and door frames in old houses are seldom plumb), you'll need to shim the hinges slightly. You can buy door shims on Amazon (sized according to the size of your hinge, generally 3.5") or just make them yourself out of thick plastic or thin metal.

You'll probably spend more time finishing the door (painting/staining) than you will installing it. I suggest pre-finished if you can get a match to your trim color.
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