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How Much Can You Cut Off A Hollow Core Door? (Step-By-Step Guide)

How Much Can You Cut Off A Hollow Core Door? (Step-By-Step Guide)

There are so many types of doors that you can use in your house and a hollow core door is one of the most popular options. This type of door is lightweight, inexpensive, and very easy to fit, which is why most people choose this as an interior door.

However, there are instances where you will have to trim or cut off a small portion of the door to fit in your room. This is pretty complicated because you cannot simply cut off a part of the door as it can damage its structure. The question is how much can you cut off a hollow core door?

We’ve answered a few questions about cutting or trimming a hollow core door and here are some of them.

How Much Can You Cut Off A Hollow Core Door?

Why Do You Have to Trim your Hollow Core Door?

Making adjustments with wood is perfectly acceptable. It happens all the time so it’s not really a big deal if you need to cut or trim the wood, especially on solid-core doors. However, it is a bit different with a hollow core door. You cannot simply cut it because the interior might get damaged.

There are a few reasons why you might need to trim your hollow core door:

  • If the width and height of the door are not right, buying a new one would cost a lot of money. Since it’s not advisable to spend too much, trimming the door is the best option.
  • It’s possible that you bought a new carpet for the room and the door is not closing properly because the carpet is too thick. Trimming the door is probably your best choice.
  • There’s a chance that your door frame does not have a standard size. It means that you’ll have to buy a standard hollow core door and trim it a bit to fit the door frame.

Can You Trim Hollow Core Doors without affecting their Structural Integrity?

Hollow core doors don’t have an empty core. Instead, the wood frame is thick and solid and the core is made from plastic or cardboard. Usually, the core is made in a hexagonal pattern, like a typical honeycomb. This is what made this door extremely solid and soundproof.

When you’re trimming a hollow door, the goal is to make sure that you don’t damage the core. It means that you can only trim the frame surrounding it. There are a few inches of solid wood at the sides, top, and bottom of the door.

You need to make sure that you don’t hit the core. If you’re going to trim it, you have to do it on the different sides of the door. You cannot cut a huge chunk in just a single side as you would definitely hit the core.

How Much Can You Cut Off?

You can at least cut off about an inch or so in your hollow core door. Anything beyond that is a big no as you might hit the core and make the door unusable. If you try to trim off around 2 inches, you will notice that the edge of the door will not be solid anymore.

Take note that if you need to do some serious alterations, you should think twice before you trim hollow interior doors. If the problem is the height, you can at least take an inch off from the bottom and an inch at the top. The same thing would happen if you have to trim on the sides.

How To Properly Trim your Hollow Core Door

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How To Properly Trim your Hollow Core Door?

Although you can trim your hollow core door, a lot of things can go wrong during the process. This might leave you with a more unsuitable door before you even trim it. If you want to make sure that you are going to do it the right way, here is a short guide on how to trim your hollow core door.

1. Measure How Much You Need to Trim

Start measuring how much you need to cut off from the door. You can use a tape measure to get precise measurements. Measure the door in three places: both sides and the middle. This will give you the most accurate numbers.

Always remember that you only have around an inch and a half. If you need to remove more than that, it’s better to get a new door as it would only damage your hollow core door.

2. Put Marks Where you Need to Cut the Door

You need to use a pencil to draw a cut line. This will help you figure out where you should cut the hollow core door. Get a utility knife and create a score line on the surface.

3. Warp a Masking Tap on the Bottom of the Door

You need to put masking tape at the cut area as it can help prevent splintering and chipping. This would make sure that the door will be smooth after trimming it.

4. Start Cutting the Door

Once you’ve set up the masking tape at the bottom, it’s time to cut the door. Always use a guide and keep your saw steady to make sure that you can have a clean straight edge and minimize mistakes. You can also use a circular saw for more precise cutting.

Always have your clamps ready to hold the door steady.

5. Sand your Hollow Core Door

When sanding the bottom of the door, make sure that you use sandpaper. You have to be very careful in sanding it and only target the areas that are rough. If you sand the door too much, you might lose more height.

6. Finishing

You might need to do a bit of finishing on the bottom of the door depending on its appearance. You can repaint or varnish it depending on your preference.

Final Thoughts

Trimming a hollow core door requires precision and accurate measurement. A small mistake can be very costly as it might damage the structure of the door. If you plan to do this, make sure that you know what you are doing. Follow the tips above and you can easily trim your hollow core door.

If you have problems cutting your hollow core door, you can comment below and we will help you.