How to Fix a Rubbing Interior Door

Steps for Fixing a Rubbing Interior Door

By Mark J. Donovan

An Interior door that rubs on your carpet or floor is both annoying and damaging. Besides not being able to shut well, if at all, it can damage carpet or wood floors.

Interior Doors that rub on the carpet or floor can be caused by improper installation, from the home settling, from the installation of new flooring, or from the door hinges loosening up and causing the door to lean forward.

There are a couple of simple techniques that a do-it-yourself homeowner can employ to fix a rubbing interior door.

To fix a rubbing interior door you will need a few basic carpentry tools, a strip of board and about 1 hour of time.

Plan A – Fixing a Minor Rubbing Interior Door Problem

If your door recently began to rub on the floor, first check that the hinge screws are snug. Sometimes they can work out over time if the door is used frequently.

If the hinge screws are tight, or tightening them made no difference, you will need to go to Plan B.

Plan B – Fixing a Major Rubbing Interior Door Problem

Draw a mark on the bottom of the Door

To begin with, close the door as well as it will close.

Next find a strip of board, approximately ¼” to ½” thick, and the door width in length. You will use this board to trace a line along the bottom of the door.

The thickness of the board will determine the amount of clearance the door will have with the floor. So if you want 1” of clearance, instead of 14” to ½”, you will need a 1” thick board.

Place the strip of board on the floor up against the bottom of the door and draw your trace line.

Remove the Door from the Door Hinges

Now, remove the door from its hinges. Usually you can use an awl or narrow screwdriver, along with a hammer to knock out the hinge pins from the door hinge.

Trim the Door

Using preferably a table saw or circular saw cut along the line you drew on the door.

A couple of notes:

  1. You will want to take care to avoid chipping or splintering the door, so first use a carpenter’s knife to score the line.
  2. You can also apply tape over the line, however you will need to redraw the mark over the tapeline.
  3. If you use a circular saw use a couple of C-clamps and a board to act as a guide or fence for the saw. Otherwise you will wind up with a wavy cut.
Sand and Seal the Door

Once you have completed your cut use a medium grade piece of sandpaper and sand the cut. Make sure your sand the edges so there are no rough edges on the door.

Apply a sealer, such as paint, or polyurethane to the trimmed edge.

Re-install the Door onto its Hinges

Re-install the door onto its hinges, by aligning up the door hinge brackets with the door hinges and sliding in the hinge bolts. I find it better to install the top hinge bolt first.

How to Fix a Rubbing Interior Door

With all of the hinge bolts installed swing the door open and closed and check to make sure that it is no longer rubbing the floor.

Installed New flooring Preventing Door from being Installed

If you installed new flooring and are unable to re-install the door, you should trim off the bottom of the door an amount equal to the thickness of the new flooring material installed.

Word of Warning on Cutting Interior Doors

If the door is not a solid wood door, you should be aware that there is limited solid material at the bottom of the door. Cutting off more than ¼” to ½” may structurally damage the door. Usually a hollow interior door has about 1” max of solid material across the top and bottom of the door. If your cut removes this solid material entirely, you will need to cut/rip and glue in a replacement block of wood to return structural integrity to the door. You can rip a piece of 2”x4” for this filler block of wood.

For information on how to install interior door trim, see the “Installing Interior Door Trim” eBook from  The “Installing Interior Door Trim” eBook provides step-by-step instructions on how to install interior door trim. Pictures are included for every key step in the process.

Related Information

Additional Door Resources from

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