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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I noticed yesterday that the door in one of my rooms has started scraping the floor. It is starting to make an arc on the floor in the area close to when the door is closed.

I looked at the top of the door and it is lower on one side (the side of the knob, away from the hinge). I looked at the hinges and the pins seem to be in their places.

I'm not sure what the culprit is, but I can somewhat lift the door with the knob and it doesn't scrape the floor. Though when I lift, I can feel that the door does lift up a bit, so I'm guessing it maybe something with the hinges. I tried tightening the screws of the hinge to the wall but they felt tight.

I'm no handyman by any means and would appreciate help as to figure out what is happening and what would be the best way to fix it.

Thanks.
 

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When you lift the door, is there slop in the hinges?
You said you tightened them...with what? hand held or screwgun?

My first trick with these is to insert a longer screw (3") in the top hinge that goes through the jamb and into the framing.
 

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+1

:thumbsup: on the longer screw at the top hinge into the casing and door frame. Maybe even 2 longer screws in the top hinge spaced apart. Also check the screws into the door edge and replace them if necessary. Use an impact driver if you have one, to get them in tight. If not, be careful not to round out the screw heads. A square drive screw is best, a Deck screw is better than a Drywall screw. ;) bill
 

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Is your home old? Try lifting the door and see how much slack there is.If its considerable and while lifting open and close it while lifting.If it clears ok then its probably the hinges especially if the house is real old.You have a few options,like shimming the bottom hinge or replacing the hinges.Pull the pins to see if they are worn.
 

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The problem may be foundation settling or the hinges may be loose. If the hinges are loose you can remove the screws and insert a wooden match stick in the holes with a little glue and re-install the screws. In either case I would take the door down and cut a quarter inch off the bottom of the door to make sure the door doesn't rub the floor again. There should be more clearance on an interior door than that. When you cut it cover the spot with masking tape so the saw doesn't mark the door. Also I first score it with a utility knife on the cut line so the wood doesn't splinter from the saw.
 

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Me 3, place a longer 2 1/2" screw in the top hinge that reaches through the jamb and into the framing. The wood in the framing is probably rather hard and you may even hit a knot, so pre drill with a bit that is smaller than the screw shank. Hopefully, you have a battery drill or driver so you can drive the screw with enough power to pull the jamb a little to lift the sagging door. This isn't easy with a hand screw driver.

Only think about cutting the bottom of the door as a last resort. Cutting a small taper off the bottom of a door requires some special techniques. 9 out of 10 times the long screw will do the job. When that doesn't work, you can often place a thin piece of cardboard, like a match book cover, under the leaf/leaves of the bottom hinge. If that along with the long screw doesn't work, new hinges along with shimming and long screws may work. Exhaust these possibilities before cutting the door.
 

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The problem may be foundation settling or the hinges may be loose. If the hinges are loose you can remove the screws and insert a wooden match stick in the holes with a little glue and re-install the screws. In either case I would take the door down and cut a quarter inch off the bottom of the door to make sure the door doesn't rub the floor again. There should be more clearance on an interior door than that. When you cut it cover the spot with masking tape so the saw doesn't mark the door. Also I first score it with a utility knife on the cut line so the wood doesn't splinter from the saw.
I'm chuckling at this response but in a nice way.
Your info is very informative, Steve but reminds of a story.

I was asked to repair a scraping door in a Law Office conference room.
The door was 2-1/4" thick, 40" wide and 7 feet tall made from oak..heavy.
It was on the fifth floor and all work had to be done in the basement which meant taking the door off, getting it on the service elevator...and well you know the rest......
The lawyers were adamant about telling me how to plane down the bottom of the door and how it just started scraping and the building is old and blah blah lawyer talk....

So....I get ready to pop the hinge pins to remove the door but I first lifted the door to look for any slop.
There is was.....the door was so heay, it wore down the barrel about 1/4". :huh
So I went to the truck, grabbed 3 or four washers, drove the pin out. lifted the door, inserted the washers so they lined up with barrel holes and reset the pin.
Done!!!!

Point of story.....Before you make this a huge project, look at the simple stuff first.

BTW.I suggested new ball bearing hinges. But the Cheepass Lawyers said the washers were just fine.
I said great! Give me a call next year. I've got plenty of washers and don't mind getting paid every time I do that 5 minute fix.
 

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If you have an old house, you might want a larger gap than the minimum needed to clear the floor.

If the room is heated or cooled with forced air.....

And if there is no dedicated cold air return.....

I'm guessing the room can be hard to heat or cool with the door closed.

Old houses with forced air and no room returns need a large gap under the door to serve as the return. Last year sometime I saw something about how to calculate the size of the desired gap at Green Building Alliance's website. Since big gaps are not very sound proof some people build baffled air passages to connect one room to an outter hallway. I think I saw plans in an old copy of Fine Homebuilding.
 

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I'm chuckling at this response but in a nice way.
Your info is very informative, Steve but reminds of a story.

I was asked to repair a scraping door in a Law Office conference room.
The door was 2-1/4" thick, 40" wide and 7 feet tall made from oak..heavy.
It was on the fifth floor and all work had to be done in the basement which meant taking the door off, getting it on the service elevator...and well you know the rest......
The lawyers were adamant about telling me how to plane down the bottom of the door and how it just started scraping and the building is old and blah blah lawyer talk....

So....I get ready to pop the hinge pins to remove the door but I first lifted the door to look for any slop.
There is was.....the door was so heay, it wore down the barrel about 1/4". :huh
So I went to the truck, grabbed 3 or four washers, drove the pin out. lifted the door, inserted the washers so they lined up with barrel holes and reset the pin.
Done!!!!

Point of story.....Before you make this a huge project, look at the simple stuff first.

BTW.I suggested new ball bearing hinges. But the Cheepass Lawyers said the washers were just fine.
I said great! Give me a call next year. I've got plenty of washers and don't mind getting paid every time I do that 5 minute fix.
Not everyday is soooo satisfying,LOLOL
 

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Lots of good advise here
Personally I would first take a look at the striker opposite of the hinges. If you can see where it's been gradually Hitting lower and lower it's a safe bet
a couple 3" screws in the top hinge will bring it back to normal. Don't go over board on this one.

Sent from my iPhone using Wood Forum
 

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I start with an evaluation of how the hinge leaves are oriented to the jamb and the edge of the door. IOW, are they flat, or are they recessed or protruding.

A condition like described could be that the upper hinge plates are protruding, which over time could be forcing the handle side down. So, the fix may be to shim out the bottom leaves to a flush or slightly proud position, and/or recess the top hinge slightly. Sometimes a combination of these variables make a difference.

It's possible that the hinges are just worn out which will allow the door to drop. Worn out hinges certainly won't raise the door.:laughing:






.
 

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I noticed yesterday that the door in one of my rooms has started scraping the floor.
Causes include:
Hinges failing
Screws coming loose
Door Jam failing (least likely)
House moving
Gnomes coming in in the night and repositioning the door

You can fight the gnomes.

If it's the mouse moving you should be able to observe signs of it elsewhere in the building.
For that, pull the door and cut from the bottom.
 

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Causes include:

If it's the mouse moving you should be able to observe signs of it elsewhere in the building.
For that, pull the door and cut from the bottom.

Or just buy a cat.... :laughing: (sorry, I couldn't resist)

You don't tell us how old the house is or whether the door is solid or if it has a frame and panels. After checking to insure its not worn pins or hinges needing longer screws, make sure its not the pieces of the door that are weak and letting the door sag.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
When I tightened the screw, I used a handheld screwdriver.

I'm not sure what a slop is? But the upper hinge area of the door looks like where the movement is taking place. I can't see for sure because I'm on the other end of the door when I lift the knob.

The home is old, so it probably is the hinge area or the wood that the top hinge is screwed on to.

Now when you guys say 'a couple 3" screws in the top hinge', does this mean adding a couple of screws to fortify the top hinge onto the wall? If so, I noticed that the holes in the metal hinge plate are pre-made, I think there are 3 holes, does this mean you make new holes onto it?

If you can, please explain what/where the washers went?

Another question has to do with the floor. There are a few scrapes on the floor, is there a way to fix/clean/remove this?

Thanks, the replies have been helpful and I'll know what to look for.
 

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door hinge theory

Joe tape a piece of cardboard in 2 places top and bottom ,to a corner in your house making it as straight with the walls as possible. If you raise up on the outer lower corner as you would lift on the handle of the door it will have the same effect as tightening the upper hinge. This will eliminate the scraping you have. If you loosen the tape on the upper corner the door will sag toward the lower outboard corner.
Do not drill new holes :no: just remove the existing screws one at a time and replace them with at least 2 longer ones. It should cure the scraping, unless the hinge is so worn that the "slop" can't be removed using this process, in which case you'll have to replace the hinge.

The other possible issue as suggested, is that the side frame and rails are loose and it's the door itself which is sagging. That's a whole 'nother discussion. ;) bill
 

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By the way, have you done any work on the floor itself recently?
 

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When I tightened the screw, I used a handheld screwdriver.

I'm not sure what a slop is? But the upper hinge area of the door looks like where the movement is taking place. I can't see for sure because I'm on the other end of the door when I lift the knob.

The home is old, so it probably is the hinge area or the wood that the top hinge is screwed on to.

Now when you guys say 'a couple 3" screws in the top hinge', does this mean adding a couple of screws to fortify the top hinge onto the wall? If so, I noticed that the holes in the metal hinge plate are pre-made, I think there are 3 holes, does this mean you make new holes onto it?

If you can, please explain what/where the washers went?

Another question has to do with the floor. There are a few scrapes on the floor, is there a way to fix/clean/remove this?

Thanks, the replies have been helpful and I'll know what to look for.
What everybody means is remove the screws on the top hinge and put 3" screws in their place so the screws will go through the jamb and into the 2x4 stud in the wall. The washers are intended to be put behind the bottom hinge so the door is pulled in at the top and pushed out at the bottom. This will have the effect of raising the side of the door with the knob. I still think the door is too close to the floor. Whatever problem you have will eventually return. When I install an interior door I usually make a 1/2" clearance at the bottom.

Assuming you have a hardwood floor the simplest fix would be to use some Old English Scratch Cover for dark wood. A better fix would be to clean the floor with a wax and grease remover and coat the spot with varnish with enough coats to smooth it out sanding it between coats. The best fix would be to refinish the area sanding the scratches out but getting the right color back is difficult even for an experienced finisher. If its a old house with dark floors, probably Mixwax Jacobean or Dark Walnut would be a start for color. It would take a lot of trial and error to color a spot and get it right. Also sometimes the old finish is yellowed so you would have to seal it orange shellac to get the color correct.
 

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If you decide to trim the bottom of the door, don't make the mistake I did. When we moved into our present house we put new carpet in. One of the doors then rubbed on the higher carpet. I took the door down and trimmed it. When I put it back up it still rubbed . I scratched my head, took it down and trimmed it again. I put it back up and it still rubbed.. I was scratching the other side of my head when I noticed about a one inch gap between the top of the door and the door frame:furious:
 

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Joe,

What everyone is trying to say is to (Literally) move the top of the door jamb closer to the stud behind the door jamb. Typically a house is framed with an opening for doors that is about 2" larger than the door. This extra room allows for a door jamb to be installed. Immediately you're thinking what is all the extra space for?

Well the extra space is taken up by the door jamb or 3/4" on each side and uses 1-1/2" of the extra space. The rest of the space is used for shims. The shims are used to make the door jamb plumb and square. Nails are driven through the door jamb and shims to hold the door jamb in place.

The door jamb is not that strong, being made from one by material. Over time the weight of the door pulls on the top hinge and gradually moves the jamb away from the originally installed position.

By taking one of the hinge screws out of the top hinge are replacing the screw with a 3" screw you are connecting the hinge to the underlying framing of the house. As the screw is tightened the top of the door jamb moves toward the house framing AND this lifts the bottom of the door below the knob away from dragging on the floor.

First lubricate the new screw. You can use paraffin (candle) wax or liquid soap (Palmolive DW soap) or a softened bar soap. (Avoid dry wall screws (too brittle) and galvanized screws (too much friction when turning) for the replacement screw.) Install the new screw until it just touches the hinge. Then turn the screw about 1/8 of a turn at a time. Check the fit of the door between each 1/8 of a turn. You don't have to move the top hinge and door jamb very much. You are going to move the door jamb probably not much more than 1/64", maybe 1/32".

Key points, lubricate the screw and just a little at a time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks guys, now I get it.

Looking back, I must've sounded quite naive, which I am when it comes to carpentry and woodwork. Thanks for taking the time out to explain things clearly.

Much appreciated.
 
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