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How much can you trim off the bottom of an interior door?

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Update: How much can you trim off the bottom of an interior door?
so the standard door height is 80 inches, l can no longer find 78" door heights and the door opening needs to be 77 1/2 inches thats 2 1/2 inches l need to trim off can any be removed from the top?

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asked Aug 2, 2017 in Home and Garden by Robert S

2 Answers

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If its a solid wood door, proper made, panels etc -
It really depends on the haunches on the lower rail tenon. Theres a built in trimming bit but go over that and the mortice will have no side to it and the tenon will be left hanging in the breeze.
Likely trimming only 5mm max
If its a cheap hollow sounding lightweight thing which is basically a thin wooden frame, of usually pine, one stile usually has a block fitted internally on to it to accommodate a handle/fittings.with a sheet of thin ply glued and nailed to each side.
Usually this framing is quite narrow, and supports the facing panels, and from memory isny any more than 1 1/2", maybe less if it was cheap. the internal is usualy filled with a honeycomb of cardboard.
I wouldnt go anymore that 1/2" off the bottom of it.

Solid fire door or door made of long hardwoood strips glued together -

Cut away- Way-Hey.
These doors can be cut to any size easily, or into 2 or more smaller doors, or panels or anything as its a solid block of possibilities. Makes an excellent workbench surface.

Had a job making and installing a very large front door, plus surround panels, all very nice all in white Oak,bevelled glass the works, really pricy.
Anyway - Fitted, and as its a full renovation of their entry hallway we have floorboards to joists measurements ,made and installed at that.
Bit of teeth sucking, chiselling and gentle persuasion and its in square and in wind, fitted, bit of clean up and we're done.

Then customer tells us theres a new oak floor going in and its not the 10mm laminate we've been working to but now its a full 25mm in solid.
Needless to say there were words, and it meant cutting a fair bit off the door, so it could swing clear, but well beyond the haunched tenons. leaving the bottom rail @ "x60mmx 250mm unsupported at the bottom.

Only solution was to router in a deep slot crossing the mortise, tenon and uncut section of the stile, with a piece of oak glued and screwed into place.

Hope my experience helps you.
answered Aug 2, 2017 by Richard
0 votes
Quite a bit. Around here, the standard air-gap on the bottom of a door is pretty high, about 1" or so, 3/4" being about right in my opinion. However remember that interior doors don't have a-lot of meat in them. If I remember correctly I think it might have about 1 to 1.5" of overall stud material at the bottom. If your going to trim more than that, you need to consider getting a smaller door. Same goes for the sides. Picture the door like a wood frame covered with pretty sheets of wood that look better to the eye. This is the door's surface, a veneer.
answered Aug 2, 2017 by The Big Guy

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