How to Fill Gaps Between a Prehung Door and Door Opening
LESLIE: Now we’ve got Leslie in Nebraska on the line who’s dealing with an oversized oak door. What happened? Did it grow?
LESLIE IN NEBRASKA: What I did was – I live in a 100-year-old, German bungalow-style house.
LESLIE IN NEBRASKA: And I changed the doors. It had been remodeled and it just had the flat, hollow-core doors in it. I changed them out for solid – for oak doors. And in one room, the door now – the hinges are in the very corner, as it were. But at the bottom, it meets and at the top, there’s about a ½-inch gap where we put wedges. So I’m wondering how to trim that out appropriately.
The original doors had 1-by trim with the flat board on top so they butt against the board on the top. And I’m wondering what I can do to make this work.
TOM: So, if I understand this correctly, you purchased a prehung door, you installed it into the old opening. In order to make it fit, you had to shim it in quite a bit. And as a result, now you have large gaps between the prehung and the old door opening. Is that correct?
LESLIE IN NEBRASKA: Correct.
TOM: Alright. So, you need a wider trim, obviously; that’s where you’re going to have to start with this.
Now, the most traditional trim is clamshell – which is, I think, quite boring – 2½-inch or 2¼-inch wide, surrounds the door. A more interesting way to do this might be to trim it off with a two-piece trim. So what you could use is you could use a piece of baseboard molding as the first layer of trim. So this would give you a wide molding all around the door.
And you could make this as wide as you have to. Baseboard molding is usually either 2½ inches or 3½ inches wide. So you treat – use that as casing, if that makes sense. And then on top of the outside edge of the baseboard, you can put corner molding. And so it becomes sort of – its outside corner mold, so it becomes stepped. So, the fluted part of the baseboard is against the hinge and then it steps up at the end with the outside corner molding. And this gives you sort of a two-tiered casement arrangement all around the entire door.
This can be very, very attractive. I once did an entire house like this and it looked really good. Gives you a lot of dimension and it kind of brings you back to the day when all the moldings around doors were done in a really fancy way like this and gives that particular door a lot of personality.
LESLIE IN NEBRASKA: Thank you so much for your help.
TOM: You’re welcome, Leslie. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.