How to Install a Wood Door & Shim
- Sep 25, 2018-
Cedar shims are inserted between the jambs and the vertical studs when installing prehung wooden doors. The door and jamb come as a package to fit standard-sized door openings. They are designed slightly smaller than the opening, giving the installer some flexibility to ensure the door is level, plumb and works properly by wedging in shims where needed. Wooden door installation is straightforward, allowing anyone to do it. If you have a roughed-out door opening anywhere in your home, install the door yourself and save money.
Place small 1/2-inch pieces of scrap wood on the floor at the base of the vertical studs on the left and right of the door opening.
Grab the door and the jambs together as one piece. The door will be attached by hinges on one side. Place one hand on each side and squeeze the jambs together. This will lodge the door tight inside the jambs. Pick up the unit, and stand it up on the blocks between the vertical studs.
Insert one cedar shim between the jamb and the vertical stud on each side to hold the unit in place between the studs. Tap the shims lightly with a hammer so that when you let go, the unit stays in place.
Open the door and walk through to the other side. Begin inserting shims around the perimeter of the opening -- including on top -- spaced 6 inches apart.
Walk through to the original side and insert wedges on this side. When the door and jamb unit is in place, hold a level on both sides, one at a time. Check for level. If one side is not level, tap the shims in tighter to bring it to level. Continue leveling and tapping the shims to level both sides and the top. If the shims are not thick enough, double them up.
Hammer 2 1/2-inch finish nails directly through the center of the jamb around the perimeter of the jamb when the door is level. Space the nails 10 inches apart.
Break the ends of the shims off with a hammer. If they are stubborn and won't break, use a chisel to cut them off flush with the jambs. Door casing can now be installed over the jambs and shims. The doorstop trim pieces can now be installed directly over the nail holes in the jamb.
Things You Will Need
1/2-inch scrap wood
Prehung wooden door
Cedar door shims
2 1/2-inch finish nails
You can pick up cedar shims made for this purpose at any home improvement store or wherever you purchased the door unit.
When you install the doorstop trim, miter the top corners. It looks much better than the traditional butt joint.