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Doors that are 2' too narrow for opening?

Posted by jlc102482 (My Page) on
Tue, Feb 21, 12 at 8:30

I have a great pair of salvaged French doors that I'd like to install in my old home. They are 32" wide total, but the door opening is 34" wide. I searched for doors of the correct dimensions (84" high and 34" wide) for nearly 2 years with no luck, so I gave up and went with these. I was thinking I would screw a strip of 1" wide wood to either side of the door frame and then mount the doors with screws long enough to go through the new wood and into the existing door frame. However, an article I found on This Old House says to add the wood to the doors themselves.

The problem is that the doors are stained and the door frame trim is painted white, and we'd like to keep it that way. It would be easy to paint the new wood white to match the door frame, but impossible to match it to the 100 year old stain of the doors.

Any thoughts as to how I should proceed? Thanks in advance!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Doors that are 2' too narrow for opening?

Geez, I just realized the title of my post is VERY wrong - the doors are 2" too narrow, not 2'! Sorry...


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RE: Doors that are 2' too narrow for opening?

Painted or stained doors?

Painted doors are not that hard to add strips to the edges and than fill the joint.

Stained is more of a problem since a color and 'grain' match is very hard to get.


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reRE: Doors that are 2' too narrow for opening?

Noticed you said the doors are stained.

Add some contrasting wood of a similar grain to the edges.

You are not going to hide the additions, so make them look intended.


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RE: Doors that are 2' too narrow for opening?

Adding boards to the frame will certainly work in terms of functionality. You obviously would have permanently noticeable 1" strips though.


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RE: Doors that are 2' too narrow for opening?

As I see it, the easiest, least noticeable way to fix this, is to add the 1" strip BEHIND the jamb of the door frame--not terribly hard to do, and then the additions won't be visible once the frame is put back on--and the doors don't need to be altered at all!


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RE: Doors that are 2' too narrow for opening?

The forum always prints ' for " in the thread title so you have to say inches.


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RE: Doors that are 2' too narrow for opening?

Thanks, columbusguy - that is a great idea! I didn't think of that before, but I think I will give that a try. Thanks to all for your help and advice.


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RE: Doors that are 2' too narrow for opening?

Before you proceed....

Putting anything behind the frame means you shift everything inward. That is fine for the door, but it will create a 1" gab to the baseboards. It will also reveal 1" more of plaster on each side, so you'll probably need to repaint that wall.


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