How to Install an Interior Door without a Frame

Installing a door without a frame means that the door replacement comes as a wood slab. It does not come with hinges or the door knob location ready. Meaning you have to create the holes that will hold the hinges and door handles.

If you want to replace a door without a frame smoothly, you will need the right tools. Since a pre-hung door comes ready for you to attach to the door, a door without a frame will take you longer to install. Make sure you prepare yourself to measure, cut, and paint or do some finishes if the project requires you to.

Differences between a Pre-hung Door and a Slab Door

While pre-hung doors come with everything ready, like frames and hinges, a slab door comes as a slab of wood or any other material you intend to use. That said, slab doors are cheaper than pre-hung doors because you have to put in some extra work with slab doors.

It is essential to know when to use which door. If your replacement door is the same size as the previous one, you can use a slab door.

How to Install an Interior Door without a Frame

Requirements for Installing an Interior Door without a Frame

  • Hole saw
  • Pencil/marker
  • Door knob jig
  • Carpenter square
  • Hinge jig
  • Router

Steps of Installing a Door without a Frame

  • Use the old door as a reference for the new door. Ensure they are similar in size. You donā€™t want a door that is scraping the floor. Place the old door on the new one and mark the location points for the hinges and door knobs. You can use a carpenter square to measure hinge positions.
  • Start cutting and making holes. Using the appropriate setting on the door knob jig, place it on top of the door knob hole marking on the new door. Secure the door knob jig to prevent it from moving around. Take your hole saw and start drilling.

This step also involves making the smaller hole for the latch, and this step will require a smaller hole saw set. Ensure you have the correct measurements before you start drilling.

  • The third step is to work on the hinges using the router and hinge jig. Place the hinge jig on the hinge markings using screws to secure it in place. Set your router at a good depth by taking one old hinge, placing the router jig on top, and using the inner drill bit to measure the depth you will drill on the wood.

The hinge that you secure on the new door acts as a guide to not drill deeper than you have to. Repeat the process on the rest of the hinge markings. After drilling, using a pencil or mark, mark the hinge holes.

  • The fourth step involves screwing on the hinges on the new door. Using the door frame as a reference point, place the hinges on the new door correctly. Start screwing in the hinges slowly as you determine how the new door fits with the frame.

If the door fits perfectly, you can tighten all the screws but if any places need adjustments, address those.

  • The fifth and final step is to attach the door knob. If you will use the old one, be careful when removing it. Otherwise, you can use a new one.
Install an Interior Door without a Frame

Essential Tips to Keep in Mind

Consider taking your work outside to avoid spoiling floors or other surfaces inside the house. By doing so, the cleanup will also be more manageable.

If you intend to reuse any devices like door knobs or even some hinges, ensure that you remove them carefully, avoiding any damages.

Measure correctly for the position of things like the door knob and hinges because a mistake might ruin everything deeming the door unusable. The length of the door should be similar to the previous door to ensure a good fit.

If you don’t have a router, you can opt for a chisel, although the latter might take you a while when drilling for the locations of the hinges.


Whether your previous door was not in good condition for whatever reasons, the above steps will help you along the way. Installing an interior door without a frame is that easy.

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