How to hang a rec room door

When building your own rec room, hanging a door can prove to be the most difficult part of the project. Planning and the proper tools are a great help.

First, make sure that the stud that the door will be hung on is straight. Even if the framing is up and you find that this particular two-by-four is not straight, it may save time and future problems if you replace this stud. 

The proper tools are also important.  Besides the standard equipment, such as screwdriver, saw and wood plane, you will need a dial saw or expansion bit and a butt marker. If you have only a door or two to hang and don’t have the above-mentioned tools, it may be less expensive to have your doors pre-hung by a rec room supply dealer.

But, let’s assume that you have the proper tools or intend to purchase them.  The most commonly used doors in rec rooms are mahogany fir or hardboard and are 1 3/8-inches thick. Packed with the passage set will be a cardboard template that will show you how large a hole to drill in the door for the passage set. It also indicates how far from the edge of the door the hole is to be drilled.  

The passage set is located 36 inches from the bottom of the door. Using an expansion bit or dial saw, drill the main hole for the passage set according to directions on the template.

 Next, install the hinges on the door.  The top hinge is located seven inches from the top of the door and the bottom hinge is located 11 inches from the bottom. After marking the location of the hinge with a pencil, use a butt marker to indicate the exact position of the hinge and the depth of the mortise. Then chisel out the wood as indicated by the mortise cut. Install the frame part of the hinge to the frame the same way it was installed on the door.

Of course, make sure that both parts of the hinge line up. Using a wood plane, bevel the latch edge of the door slightly toward the jamb side of the door.

Now that the door is ready to install, tack the jamb in the rough opening and install the door in the frame. Using a shingle as a wedge, shim the jamb until it is plumb with the door, leaving the thickness of a 25-cent piece clearance around the three sides of the door.

After lining up the door properly with the jamb, use two-inch finishing nails to attach the jamb permanently to the studs on either side.

Next, install the passage set and determine the location of the striker plate.  Mortise out the required wood and install the striker plate and make sure it is lined up with the latch bolt.

After the door is hung, close it and proceed to install the doorstop.  If in doubt of how a door should be hung, go upstairs and take a look at the doors there. In most cases, that will serve as a guide for installing doors in the rec room.

Use care and forethought in choosing passage sets for doors. There are a number of cheaper sets on the market, but to get one that will give long-lasting service, buy one of the better-known brands even if they do cost a bit more.

Choose the right passage set for the doors. There are standard passage sets for general use that cannot be locked.  Use these for furnace and laundry rooms.

If you are building a den or office in your rec room, install a key-in-knob lockset to keep the children out.  And naturally, use a bathroom passage set in a bathroom.

Doors can also be decorated with wood plaques, provincial mouldings or other finishing touches to blend with the theme of the room.