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Installing Door Trim

Project Overview

Installing Door Trim

The trim itself consists of the head moulding, which goes across the top of the doorway, and the legs, which run from the floor to the head moulding. First, mitre the joints between the head and legs. A common approach is to put in the head moulding first so you can cut the legs to length without a lot of measuring. The mitred scraps that you clamp in place instead of the legs simplify laying out the two mitres on the head moulding.

6 Steps

  1. LAY OUT THE REVEAL
  2. PUT UP TEMPORARY SUPPORTS
  3. MEASURE THE LENGTH OF THE HEAD MOuLDING
  4. MITre ONE END OF THE HEAD MOuLDING
  5. MITRe THE HEAD MOuLDING TO LENGTH
  1. NAIL THE HEAD MOuLDING IN PLACE
Show all steps »
LAY OUT THE REVEAL

Step 1

LAY OUT THE REVEAL

Lay out the reveal. The trim sits back from the edge of the door jambs by a space that's called the reveal. Lay out the reveal, which is usually 1/8-inch, with the help of a combination square. Set the square so the blade sticks out from the body of the square by 1/8-inch. Put the body of the square against the jamb, and a pencil against the end of the blade. Slide the body along the jamb to draw a line the full length of all three jambs.

PUT UP TEMPORARY SUPPORTS

Step 2

PUT UP TEMPORARY SUPPORTS

Put up temporary supports. Mitre two scraps of moulding at a 45-degree angle. Tack or clamp them in place, positioning them as if they were the upper ends of the leg mouldings. Align them carefully with the reveal lines, and make sure the inside corner of each mitre is on the corner created by the lines.

MEASURE THE LENGTH OF THE HEAD MOLDING

Step 3

MEASURE THE LENGTH OF THE HEAD MOuLDING

Measure the length of the head moulding. Measure from point to point on the temporary supports to get the length of the head moulding, sometimes called the top moulding or head casing. Double-check by measuring between inside jambs at top of opening, and adding 3/8 inch— the combined distance of the reveals.

MITER ONE END OF THE HEAD MOLDING

Step 4

MITre ONE END OF THE HEAD MOuLDING

Mitre one end of the head moulding. Put the head moulding in place, and sketch in the general direction of the mitres—don't worry about the true length or the exact angle of the mitre at this point. Set the mitre saw to cut a 45-degree angle. Cut one 45-degree mitre in one end of the moulding, following the general direction of the line.

MITER THE HEAD MOLDING TO LENGTH
MITER THE HEAD MOLDING TO LENGTH

Step 5

MITRe THE HEAD MOuLDING TO LENGTH

Mitre the head moulding to length. Measure along the edge of the moulding from the point of the mitre to the desired length of the head moulding, and make a mark. Mark the face of the moulding at the same point, and mitre the moulding to this length, following the general direction of the line you drew earlier.

NAIL THE HEAD MOLDING IN PLACE

Step 6

NAIL THE HEAD MOuLDING IN PLACE

Nail the head moulding in place. Rest the head moulding on the scraps, and adjust the scraps if necessary so the moulding follows the reveal and is centred over the doorway. Nail the bottom of the moulding to the jamb with 3d or 4d nails driven roughly every 12 inches. Drive 6d or 8d nails through the top of the moulding into the framing. Keep the nails at least 1/4 inch from the edge of the moulding and 1 inch from the ends to prevent splitting. Remove the scraps and install the legs.

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Project Details

Skill Level: Beginner

Time: 1 hour

Before you start, read this »

Due to differing conditions, tools, and individual skills, The Home Depot® assumes no responsibility for any damages, injuries suffered, or losses incurred as a result of attempting to replicate any of the home improvement ideas portrayed in this website Before beginning any home improvement project, review it thoroughly to ensure you or your contractor can finish the project and if any doubts or questions remain, consult local experts or authorities. Because codes and regulations vary greatly, you always should check with authorities to ensure that your project complies with all applicable local codes and regulations. Always read and observe all of the safety precautions provided by any tool or equipment manufacturer, and follow all accepted safety procedures.

Materials

  • Door Trim
  • 3d or 4d Finishing Nails
  • 80-grit Sandpaper
  • 6d or 8d Finishing Nails

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