I have installed some new standard 3" door hinges with a small corner radius on a 32" door. The doors are solid-core oak doors. The hinges appear to look fine and fit perfectly flush in the existing grooves in both the frame and door. But now when I close the door, the door hits the opposite side of the door frame (handle side), and overlaps about 1/16" - 1/8" so it will not shut. The top of the door is fine. It appears to be pretty evenly overlapping, so it's not like the top of the adjacent side is ok and the bottom overlaps.

I assume this is because the hinges must be slightly thicker, or in the closed position they are a bit wider. How do I go about fixing this? I guess I could take them off again, and chisel away a little on the door grooves or in the frame, but how would I keep that consistent? I have 5 more doors to do after this one; I sure hope they are not all this way.

  • So, now there is a larger gap between the door and jamb on the hinge side? Which then causes the door to hit the jamb on the latch side? Are the hinges really completely flush on door and jamb?
    – dotjoe
    Oct 21 '10 at 20:53
  • Also, any reason you are bothering to replace the hinges?
    – dotjoe
    Oct 21 '10 at 20:59
  • @dotjoe - The doors came with gold (brass) hinges and we are changing them out to a black hinge to match the rest of the fixtures in the room.
    – mohlsen
    Oct 22 '10 at 15:18
  • It would be easier to paint the old hinges.
    – user19667
    Feb 2 '14 at 22:34
  • You might just have one of the hinges reversed.
    – Tim
    Jan 2 '17 at 19:22

I'm not sure about ChrisF's suggestion since I've never had that particular problem (with the door rubbing on the hinge side) - is the issue that it's hitting the frame on the hinge side or the doorknob side?

If it's hitting the jamb on the doorknob side (as if the door is now too wide) then the usual solution is to trim down the door. Usually I would run it through a table saw, but you could do it with a circular saw as well if you are really careful.

Just make sure to trim off the knob side rather than the hinge side so you don't have to worry about mortising out new spots for the hinges (and then risk being off on the top of the door)

  • It's an old house and a couple of the doors have twisted slightly - hence the problem!
    – ChrisF
    Oct 20 '10 at 21:36
  • it's hitting on the handle side, i edited my question to clarify. I would hate to have to trim the door, they are already sanded, stained and varnished. But that may be easier than trimming out the hinge spots. hmm.
    – mohlsen
    Oct 21 '10 at 11:39
  • 1
    no way...it's way easier to add depth to the hinge mortise. Get a nice chisel...it's kind of fun.
    – dotjoe
    Oct 21 '10 at 20:50
  • 1
    @dotjoe - it probably is easier, the problem is that you need to chisel them all out to a consistent depth or the door will be crooked. Also, if you take too much out, the hinge will sit too deep and the door won't close. With a router and a little bit of jig-building, you should be OK, but it would be difficult to get it right with just a chisel (well, it would be difficult for me anyways) Oct 22 '10 at 13:06
  • 2
    Use a little sand paper to smooth it out...if you go to far you can shim it back out with a strip of heavy duty cardboard. But, yes a router probably be the best. To cut a door that used to fit seems like admitting defeat...I'd rather put the old hinges back on...
    – dotjoe
    Oct 22 '10 at 14:04

How do I go about fixing this? I guess I could take them off again, and chisel away a little on the door grooves or in the frame,

That's pretty much the only way - but take a good look and work out which side (door or frame) needs to move and in which direction. I've done this in the past and gone the wrong way at first which isn't good.

In some cases I've even had to resort to shaving a bit from the edge of the frame:

Shave the hinge side

This shows the hinge side, but the same applies if the problem is occurring on the handle side. You only need to shave that part of the frame where the door and frame interfere. This might be the only solution if the door is warped or twisted at all as moving the entire door by repositioning the hinges would leave gaps between the door and the frame.

  • it's hitting on the handle side, i edited my question to clarify. I dont think this solution will work as it is not hitting here you have it marked.
    – mohlsen
    Oct 21 '10 at 11:38
  • @mohlsen - I'll update my answer, however you might need to do the same on the handle side
    – ChrisF
    Oct 21 '10 at 11:39

What I would do if it is hitting on the latch side is to remove a screw on each hinge in the middle of the hinge and replace it with a screw that is about 3½" to 4" long. Tightening these screws will pull the jamb in on the hinge side giving your door room to close on the latch side. Try it.


Most likely be because the hinge is wider than the old ones. i.e. the round part of the hinge is wider than the old hinge.

Here's how you fix it.

If the gap on the hinge side is fairly wide, then you can recess the hinges into the door and door frame a little more using a chisel and mallet.

Once you've done that, check if the door closes. If it doesn't you may try trimming the door on the opposite side of the hinge with a hand held electric planer. Take a look at the overlap to figure out how much to take off. Then, take the door off the frame and plane down the edge a bit. Refit and check that it closes nicely. A well fitting door should have a close but even gap both sides.


For anyone out there who finds this and needs help. The best way to fix this problem is to bend the hinges a bit. Using a crescent wrench, place it on each hinge and bend TOWARD the handle. This will bend the hinge a bit and allow the door to close without catching. I've been doing this for years at many of my job sites. It only takes about 30 seconds and your door is fixed. If the top of the door rubs a bit just bend the lowest one and maybe a little on the middle. Be sure to tighten the screws again when you're done. Good luck all.

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