Door Not Closing Flush—What To Do?

Are you having a hard time closing your door? Does it tend to stick to the frame or it just won't close at all? If you're at a loss about what to do, we understand as this is indeed bothersome. That's why we turned to our door experts to help you address your door issue properly.

If you can't close your door all the way, you may need to do any of the following:

  • Check the alignment.
  • Re-square your door.
  • Replace the weatherstripping.
  • Fill the gaps.
  • Cut it to size.

There are also instances when you have to replace your door altogether or consult with your contractor on how to fix the issue.

Stick around so we can tell you what you can do to get out of various sticky door situations. We'll also tell you about the reasons why your doors shift so you can have them fixed right away if it's still possible.

Process of installation stainless door hinges on a white wood door with screwdriver. Door Not Closing Flush—What To Do

What to do when my door is not closing properly?

There are many reasons why your door is not closing properly and each one has a corresponding solution. Some can be remedied with a quick fix that you can do on your own or with the help of someone in your home. However, some may require professional help to address your door problem properly.

How do I fix my front door gap?

It's such a hassle when your door has a gap! There's a draft of chilly air coming from the outside or dust and bugs can make their way inside your home.

Good thing there's something you can do about it! And the solutions are quite simple, you may be able to do it on your own.

worker installing door in home. Handyman installing door with an mounting foam in a room

Solution 1: Check The Alignment

If there's an uneven gap at the top or bottom part of your door, check the hinges if they are still screwed in tightly. They may have become loose over time that's why the door doesn't fit in the frame properly.

To fix this alignment issue, just tighten the screws in their place so your door won't sag anymore. You can replace the old screws in the hinge casing with larger ones to make them fit in the holes better.

Hands screwing hinge installation on wooden door with screwdriver

Solution 2: Re-Square Your Door

You may need to shim the hinges to address the gap issue. To solve this, you have to take off your door and remove the trim. Make the necessary adjustments so that your door will be standing square and plumb when reinstalled.

man replacing worn out weatherstripping with new one from a roll

Solution 3: Replace The Weatherstripping

Your weatherstripping may already be worn out and needs replacing. Remove your old weatherstrip then clean the door casing before installing a new one. You can use rubbing alcohol to remove any residue. Let it dry first so that the new weatherstripping can adhere to the groove properly.

Make sure you follow the instructions for installation to create a secure seal around your door.

Check which of these solutions can address your concern regarding your front door effectively. Attend to it right away to save yourself from future headaches.

How do you fill large gaps around a door frame?

Let's face it. A small gap is almost forgivable but a large gap? It's unacceptable! Aside from being a constant eyesore, our concern here is compromising your safety and security. You should have it fixed immediately.

There are products available in the market that'll help you fill the gap. But first, you need to determine how big the gap is. You can use a vernier caliper for this.

Depending on how big the gap is, you can now choose which product to work with.

  • If the gap is not more than a quarter of an inch, caulking should get it done.
  • But for deeper gaps, you need to use foundational materials such as wood or plastic shims. Glue the shim in place to fill the gap. You can also use a filler rope or pre-caulking backer rods to address deeper or wider gaps before you use caulk. They will prevent cracking of the caulk once it dries.

How to fix a door that won't close at the bottom

If the hinges and latch are properly aligned but your door still scratches the floor, you might need to resize your door.

Mark your door with the proper clearance that it needs to be able to close all the way. Then remove the pins of the hinges and lift the door off the frame.

Put the door on stable support such as parallel sawhorses. You can score the portion that needs to be removed to make it easier to cut without chipping. Use masking tape at the bottom of the line to protect your door's finish.

Depending on the size of the portion that you need to cut, you can use a power plane or a circular saw to cut the bottom of the door and adjust its size.

You just need to reinstall the door properly and you should be able to close it all the way.

What causes door frames to shift?

As we mentioned earlier, there are many reasons why your door won't close properly. Here are some of them so you won't be at a loss when it happens to you.

Improper Installation

This is a common problem. Doors need to be installed properly with proper attention to detail. The measurements should be precise to achieve the perfect fit. This is why it is important to have your doors installed by a professional to avoid issues like this.

Sagging Hinges

The screws can become loose over time especially if you have kids who love to play with the door. Or the hinges weren't installed properly, to begin with. This only requires you to check the hinges and make sure that they are screwed tightly on both sides.

Misaligned Latches

When your door latches are not aligned, you won't be able to close your door all the way. There isn't enough anchor to keep it shut.

Just check the fit of the latch with the strike plate on the door jamb and do the necessary adjustments to be able to resolve this issue.

Door Obstructions

It could also be a simple case of having a physical obstruction along the path of the door. Check if there are small objects that you haven't noticed before.

Dirt and grime can also hinder your door from closing properly. This is why it's important to clean your door inside out from time to time to get rid of these unwanted particles.

Thermal Expansion

It is important that you choose the right material for your door. Some are affected by different weather conditions. Wood, for example, can expand and contract depending on the temperature.

As your door changes in size, of course, it won't fit in your door frame properly. When it swells, it can even damage the frame. This is especially true for external doors since they are exposed to harsh weather.

Improper Wall Construction

Bad construction practices could cause your door frame to pull away from your wall and make your door shift. There could be cracks and gaps between the wall and the door frame and these need to be addressed immediately before the frame gives in and causes more problems.

Foundation Issues

This one is a major concern not only for your door but for your house. When the foundation shifts, it can cause your door frame to twist into a different shape. Of course, the door panel won't fit in there. It can even get stuck and damaged beyond repair when there's shifting.

Wear And Tear

Doors are one of the most used portions of the house. If the material that you chose for your door isn't durable, it will become worn out easily causing a sticky problem. The solution for this would be to replace it with a new one.

These are just some of the reasons why you can't get your door to close properly. Some can be fixed easily while some may require serious repairs. The bottom line is you need to give them proper attention because it can mean a lot for your security and safety.

beautiful wooden Front door and stoop. perfectly installed. Door Not Closing Flush—What To Do

Final Thoughts

There are many factors that could be the reason why your door is not closing all the way, you need to identify the cause so you can give it the proper solution right away.

For more door resources, you may read the following articles:

Sliding Door Keeps Coming Off Track – What To Do?

Magnetic Door Lock System Not Working – What To Do?

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