I'm trying to adjust a small door and needed to make adjustments. Does it matter if I shim the hinge connected to the door or the hinge connected to the frame? Are the two essentially equivalent when making such an adjustment?

  • Better than either is shimming behind the jamb so you don't see an odd misalignment of the hinge leaf. Is that an option? You may need to remove one or more pieces of casing.
    – isherwood
    Dec 23, 2019 at 19:08

2 Answers 2


This is entirely a matter of aesthetics. In one case the hinge pin (the center of pivot) moves, and in the other it doesn't, but the move is small enough that it's unlikely to cause binding. Just keep that point in mind.

Otherwise, do what will result in the shim being least conspicuous. This isn't the ideal way to rectify door alignment, but it is often the quickest and easiest. If you have the option and the will, pull casing from the hinge jamb and do your shimming there, where it's hidden.


They are basically the same. If the frame is square, you'd be better off planing the door to fit the frame.

  • I'm not sure I agree. There are several things a person could do before planing the door, which then requires at least partial refinishing.
    – isherwood
    Dec 23, 2019 at 19:09
  • 1
    @isherwood I guess it depends on the adjustment but I definitely like shimming the jab. I didn't even think of that but I'm not a 4th generation carpenter.
    – JACK
    Dec 23, 2019 at 19:34
  • If shimming was my option I would go to the jamb side also and that was the question. Many times the frame can be adjusted.
    – Ed Beal
    Dec 23, 2019 at 19:47
  • @EdBeal I think the question was shimming the hinge out from the jab, not shimming behind the jab. Shimming behind the jab is what i was referring to in my comment.
    – JACK
    Dec 23, 2019 at 21:09

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