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Ease a sticking door

A sticking door can be very annoying but may not be that difficult to solve if you have a  few basic skills and a bit of time. First thing you need to work out if the door actually is sticking or catching on something  or whether it is actually a problem with the hinges, screws or latches. Check and oil the latches and hinges before doing anything else, this may solve the problem and will save you a lot of work. But if this doesn't work then you most probably do have a sticking door.

A door sticks when it is no longer a good fit for the frame or the flooring. This might be because it wasn't hung incorrectly or because it has become warped and twisted by heat or humidity. A wooden door  can also take up moisture and swell meaning it no longer fits snugly into the door frame.

Another frequent cause of sticking doors occurs when people change their flooring material. If your door was measured and fitted when you had hardwood flooring and subsequently you then installed a thick deep pile carpet the door may drag over the carpet when it is opened. As well as making the door stock it could damage you carpet so you need to resolve this quickly.

To fix a sticking door you will need some basic tools:-


Before starting the job ensure that the door is dry and there is no dampness to undermine your efforts; if the door is damp you may well end up with a large and unsightly gap when it eventually dries out.

Try to see at what point against the frame of the door or floor it is actually catching. Depending on how much your door is sticking you may just be able to sand it down. If not you will have to plane the door down. If you're lucky, the area that is sticking will be at the bottom of the door and you can fix the problem easily by placing sandpaper under the door and moving it back and forth.

If it is the frame mark the area concerned with chalk or a pencil. If the door is sticking at the opening side, sand down the problem area. Do not sand the door frame. Check the fit of the door frequently as you work you don't want to sand more than you need too. However if you plan to re paint or varnish the door when you are done this will add about 0.5 mm to the door so you will need sand a little extra to leave space for that.

If the side that sticks is on the hinged side then you will need to remove the door to sand it down. To remove a door from its hinges, unscrew the bottom hinge screws first, and place a wedge under the door so that it is held securely in place. Take care if you are working alone as doors can be heavier than they look when they are removed from their hinges and you don't want it falling on you! Take your time when sanding or planing and check the fit regularly to make that you don't accidentally remove too much. When done re hang the door and check all fits well.

I hope this helps you to resolve your sticky door problems!

Here’s link to a great video on YouTube from Howcast.com to help you.