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Recently I've seen someone miter the edge of a bathroom and closet door so it swings shut without hitting the door frame. I've never seen this before -- is it normal?

Clarification: The edge that was mitered was the part that would swing into the door frame first due to the angle the door is at while closing it.

  • Normal? I've seen it done a couple of times (planing down the far side, angled so you're mostly taking off the edge opposite the hinge pins), but only when the door was rubbing to start with. – Joe Jul 29 '10 at 1:08
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It shouldn't be necessary. Some times it might be useful:

  1. Your hinge plates aren't flush to the surface of the door or the frame.
  2. You have a build-up of paint on the door or frame causing the door to rub or stick.
  3. Some wood splinters easily if it's cut at a right-angle. Rounding the corners a little can help this.
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I believe this was pretty standard practice when interior doors were solid wood. My last house was 100 years old, and every interior door had an angle on the edge the way you describe. Was the guy you saw doing it an old-timer?

I think the practice has advantages. It allows you to get a smaller reveal between the door and frame, which might look better. It also lets you even up the reveal without resorting to shimming the hinges. And when the house shifts and the door starts to rub it's much easier to remove the offending bit since you're planing off a bit of an arris rather than a whole flat edge.

  • He was a young-timer. In his 20's – Joe Phillips Sep 11 '10 at 16:16
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You only need to do this if you've incorrectly mounted the hinge. The better solution would be to remount the hinges so you don't have to do this.

  • Just wondering why you think remounting is a better solution. – Joe Phillips Jul 29 '10 at 18:38
  • Because it's the correct solution. I just don't think it looks professional otherwise. – Cody C Jul 30 '10 at 3:04
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This may be necessary to repair an old door and frame where age may have been a factor in reducing clearances.

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