How Much Should Doors Be Undercut?

12 Apr 2021
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Doors separate different elements of your home and are great for privacy safety and security. But a door couldn’t function without gaps around it because it needs to open and close.

When you’re installing a door, you’d probably like to know if there’s a standard size gap you should have between your door and the floor. That way it can open freely and swing back and forth.

Undercut v floor clearance

An undercut is the distance between the bottom of the door and the door frame itself. Any carpenter generally uses this term. Many people think the undercut and floor clearance are the same, but that’s not technically correct.

Floor clearance is the distance between the bottom of the door and the material directly below the door, for example any wood flooring, vinyl, carpet or tiles.

Internal door undercuts

We hang doors, day in day out at Door Stop. As a guide the average undercut of your door should be between 8mm and 10mm, that’s around ⅝ inch to ¾ inch from the bottom of the frame.

But there are exceptions. If you have a deep shagpile carpet that is thick, greater clearance is required. On these occasions it’s best to shave off the door. It’s never an easy task determining how much you should take off, so

if you are in doubt, shave or cut off a little and if it’s not enough, shave off some more. Remember less is better or you may damage the door’s structural integrity.

How do you shave the bottom of your door?

It can be a challenge shave your doors. This guide will help if you want to do it yourself.

  • Remove your door from its frame.
  • Place it on a workbench and clamp it into place or use saw horses to prevent it from moving.
  • Decide how much you want to take off and mark up your door.
  • Use a knife to score the surface of the door because it will prevent splintering when you start using your circular saw.
  • For added measure to prevent chipping, put masking tape on the bottom of your door. It’s advisable to put tape under the foot of your circular saw as well. This will prevent the door surface being damaged by this tool.
  • Cut the door using a circular saw which has a fine tooth blade.
  • Sand the door using fine sand paper either by hand or using a power sander.
  • Depending on your door, you may need to re-stain it, so it matches the rest of the door.
  • Give it plenty of time to dry before re-hanging it.

  • There’s no doubt that trimming a wood door is probably beyond the reach of your everyday DIY enthusiast, because of the risk it may get damaged. Asking an expert for help is probably advisable, so why not call on the team at Door Stop?

    Since 2007, Door Stop has been providing and installing quality doors to the people of Perth. We have an extensive range of internal and external doors as well as pivot and bi-fold doors at our two showrooms in Joondalup and Osborne Park.

    With a seven year warranty and interest free finance options, now is a great time to install those doors you’ve always wanted.

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    • Would like to say a big thank you for our new pivot door, it looks great and the installer did a great job.

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      Hillarys
    • Thanks again to all staff at DoorStop for wonderful service and for supplying a great product. We are REALLY happy with your (our!) Pivot Door, so thank you David for helping us choose originally. We will certainly recommend your company whenever the opportunity arises.

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    • I love my doors, they are great - had them open all weekend and I am glad I took your advice on the fly screens. Thank you for all your service, it was great. Please pass on my thanks to the gentlemen (oops sorry forgotten his name) who fitted the doors, he was terrific). I will be very happy to recommend Door Stop in the future. Many thanks.

      Fiona
      Hillarys
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