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I decided to try a couple of "trimless" interior doors in my add-on room, like this pic. No trim, no cut, line etc. Just smooth drywall up to the actual door opening.

It turned out pretty well, but the problem is that I'm not sure the proper way to do it. I just ripped the trim off some cheap standard interior pre-hung doors, installed the frames in the rough openings, and butted the drywall up to it, filling in with mud as needed to achieve the smooth edge.

The problem is, obviously, that some of them are cracking where the mud is very thin on the wood door frame, and doesn't stick to the wood very well. When the door gets slammed or slightly flexes the frame due to use, it creates cracks.

Can anyone enlighten me to the correct way to achieve this effect to prevent it from cracking?

Thanks!

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If you look at the documentation for a commercial "trimless" door jamb kit you'll see that there's an integrated flange that creates a positive connection between the jamb and the wall. This mostly eliminates the kind of impact movement you've experienced.

enter image description here

The flange also acts as a taping bead, avoiding the interaction of joint compound and wood, which usually isn't a good combination.

You could probably retrofit a metal strip to serve the same purpose. Pre-formed steel found at a building supply store might work well to overlap and partially wrap the jamb. You could probably have a siding shop bend you some metal that perfectly fits your jambs. You'd then need to cut out for the hinge mortises.

Or, if your jambs are very securely fastened to the framing, and the framing is solid, try taping the joint properly with paper or fiberglass mesh. No joint should ever be finished with joint compound alone.

  • Is this for a pocket door? To clarify, I'm dealing with hinged doors. The part I'm confused about is how to attach the hinge... Would I just need a jamb strip all the way around? – Ryan Griggs Jan 25 at 16:14
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    It's just to illustrate the jamb-drywall interface. That dramatically expands the scope of your question. I assumed that you have pre-hung jambs installed already. Maybe you need to add photos. – isherwood Jan 25 at 16:17
  • Sorry for the confusion: yes I used pre-hung doors. But from this illustration, I can't see where the pre-hung door frame would fit. Would it go on after the metal plate? Then I'm back to square one needing to fill around the wood. Otherwise, are you saying I should just install some standard drywall corner bead around the wood door frame? If I do that, I have to mud inside the door jamb which causes the door to fail to close properly. It's that tiny spot where the wood/metal/drywall transition occurs that is where the cracks appear. – Ryan Griggs Jan 25 at 16:31
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    Imagine the jamb between the stud and the steel wrap in that diagram. The wrap could run behind the door stop. You could probably have a siding shop bend you some metal that perfectly fits your jambs. You'd then need to cut out for the hinge mortises. – isherwood Jan 25 at 16:33
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    I found that diagram with a ten second search, so yes, there are commercial kits to be found. I think you could avoid that expense, though. – isherwood Jan 25 at 16:33
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I use tear-away or j-bead, like this: Trim-Tex, with regular pre-hung doors - just omit trim. You'll want to sand and stain the wood prior to any drywall work, so the grain is somewhat sealed up, before you start slinging mud.

jam tear away j-bead

  • I would love to see more pics of this method if you have them. – Ryan Griggs Jan 31 at 1:37
  • I have some pictures of doors I did for a customer, on another PC I will upload, when I get a chance. – tahwos Feb 1 at 3:20

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