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Bathroom door

I am currently updating our bathroom that was built in the early 40’s. Before I started the door to the bathroom opened into the room (it has been removed for the remodel). I wanted to change the direction to swing out. I don’t want to replace it because all the other doors in the house match. Would this be as simple as rotating the hinges and moving the molding? What (if any) are the possible problems could I run into?

Re: Bathroom door

Most likely you can do as you wish without any problems, as older door frames used a separate stop molding. You can't reverse the swing on the newer 'snap-in' frames. Just be sure the proposed door swing doesn't interfere with anything else and begin.

Check the jamb legs at the bottom and be sure they didn't squeeze in the outside (not likely). Also check the hinge side for plumb on edge (as if the level was the open door). There may be a 3 degree bevel on the strike side of the door, but many homes of that era had square edges on interior doors. That bevel may need to be cut or planed square, at least partially. About the worst you should encounter is having to plane a bit in the first, and having to cut a bit off the bottom if it rubs in the second. The bevel may leave you with a wide margin between the jamb and strike if you plane it off. What I usually do is take it down to square about halfway across the width of the door and hang it before taking any more. The wood you are working with is well-seasoned so use sharp tools and it will be a breeze. You didn't ask but here's a few tips:

First remove the stop molding all around. Transfer the top and bottom of each hinge to the other side with a speed square and a utility knife, being sure to cut only where the hinge will go. Use a hand-type saw to cut across the door's hinge area for better control. Make one cut at each end and several in between for easier chiseling. Reset the stop, then do any adjusting, planing, or cutting to get the door right. The last step done only after getting the rest right is setting the strike.

I use wood bondo to fill voids when I do this (assuming a painted finish). It doesn't work as well as a glued wood filler where the very thin edge is left where the hinge was before but otherwise works fast and easy and is durable. Purists will use glued-in wood to fill the old voids but they will still be sanding and spackling the voids a day after I'm admiring the now-dry paint while relaxing.

This is an easy project and I'm sure you'll do well!


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