I’ve just had new carpeting installed and now some of my doors are dragging on my new carpeting. Can you suggest a quick fix?
Dragging doors are a common occurrence after having new carpeting installed. The new carpet is just thicker (either by design or because it’s new) and the doors need to be planed, or sanded down on the bottom.
If you have more than a couple of doors, it will be easier and less time consuming to rent a “power planer”. This is an electric hand held device which will very quickly take the required edge off the bottom of the door. These can usually be rented from a larger hardware store or at rental stores. If you have an orbital sander or belt sander, these will work also but will take more time. If you only have one door or don’t want to spend the money on renting a tool, then ordinary sandpaper will work, but it requires a lot more effort.
Take a visual look at the door to determine how much you want to remove. It is also a good idea to put a piece of tape or a sticky note at the bottom of the door to be sure that once outside, you are sanding the bottom of the door and not the top. You would be surprised how easy it is to work on the wrong end!
Next, remove the hinge pins on the door. Usually a hammer and a small screwdriver will get the pin out. Begin at any hinge and place the edge of the screwdriver just under the top of the pin, and tap it upward. After it has moved up an inch or two, you should be able to pull it out. If you have a decorative pin with some type of fancy head on it, the head needs to be removed first, usually by just unscrewing it before taking the pin out. Once you have the hinge pins removed, the door will come out. If this is an entry door or solid core door, you may need a second person to help carry the door.
It’s best to do the sanding outside, as there will be a lot of sawdust. If you have a set of sawhorses, set the door on these. A pair of trash cans will work as well, but be sure to lay a drop cloth or old blanket over them to protect the door. If you are using a power planer or sander, be careful not only of the equipment, but also of how much of the door you’re sanding down. Especially with the power planer – it can take a lot of wood off in a short amount of time.
Use long single strokes from one end of the door to the other rather than going back and forth over a short area. Take a small amount off, then rehang the door to see how close you are to the desired results. You can always sand more – but you can’t add length once you’ve taken it off!
If this is an exterior door, you should seal the bottom, either with a primer and paint, or a stain and urethane.
When you’ve achieved your goal, reinstall the hinge pins, being sure they are fully inserted. That’s all there is to it!