Wood Shims

Wood Shims are used in Many Applications around the Home

By Mark J. Donovan

Wood shims are unsung heroes in the home construction business. Wood shingles are thin tapered lengths of wood material that are used for leveling and plumbing objects. They are used in many ways on the construction jobsite, however their work is always left unseen.

Wood shims are used, for example, to make sure doors and windows are level and plumb. Likewise, they are used to ensure kitchen and bathroom cabinets are straight and level.

Wood shims are also used to ensure toilets don’t rock on uneven bathroom floors.

They are also used in installing drywall and for making sure deck posts are perfectly straight. Even in a finished home they can come in handy, particularly in older homes that may no longer have level floors. For example, a wooden shim is ideal for placing underneath the corner edge of a book case that would otherwise tilt on an old and uneven floor.

How to Use Wood Shims

To use wood shims in a door or window installation project simply slide a wood shim into the space, thin side first, between the door/window frame and the wall stud, until the door/window frame is plumb. Also, if one side of a door or window frame needs to be slightly raised up to make it level, slide a wood shim underneath the lower end of the door/window frame as necessary.

If two wood shims are required to fill the space, insert both shims into the space simultaneously with their thin sides opposite to one another.

By sliding one of the wood shims forward or backwards you can control the width of the overall shim thickness. Once the shim depth is of the correct thickness, nail or screw the door/window frame into place in the general area of the shim. In some cases, you may want to apply the nail directly through the wood shim(s). If multiple shims are required the process is the same. Simply stack the shims opposite in thickness to each other in the gap.

Once the door or window has been installed, use a utility knife to score the wood shim at the location where it is flush with the door or window frame. Then use a hammer to snap off the excess wood shingle material.

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Related Information

Additional Finish Carpentry Resources from Amazon.com

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