Installing new hardwood flooring typically comes with the task of trimming the flooring around the bottom of the door jambs in your home. If you've never installed flooring before, this may seem like a challenging process initially. However, once you take a closer look at the process, you'll find that it's relatively simple. We research the best way to do it, and in this post, we will go over it.
Here are the steps to cut around hardwood flooring so that it fits around your door jambs:
- Measure the door jamb area
- Measure the floorboards
- Cut the floorboards
- Install the floorboard and check the fit
Cutting hardwood floors around door jambs requires precise measurement to avoid re-cuts. It also helps to make a list of all the tools that you'll need before starting the project, as some doors may require additional steps. Continue reading to learn more about how to do it.
Steps To Cut Hardwood Flooring Around Door Jambs
You want to prevent the biggest thing when installing flooring is gaps and spaces between the floorboards, doors, and walls. If you have trim around the wall, you'll also need to measure its length and width as well beforehand.
Things you'll need:
- Hardwood flooring
- Table saw or circular saw
- 200-grit sandpaper
- Measuring tape
1. Measure the door jamb area
After measuring your floors, the first thing that you'll need to do is measure and trim the jamb to make sure that there is enough room beneath it for the hardwood floor.
If you've removed the previous flooring, then there should be enough clearance beneath the jamb already. However, if you have a new construction project, you may need to take a 1-inch attachment saw or an undercut saw and trim off the bottom of the door jamb accordingly.
To do this, place a piece of flooring against the bottom of the jamb and then draw a line where the floor meets the jam. This will be the line will you will place the cut. If you are placing an underlayment beneath the hardwood floor, be sure to place this beneath the flooring when you measure the jam to account for the space as well.
2. Measure the floorboards
After trimming the door jamb to create the clearance area for the flooring, you'll need to measure and then mark the pieces of flooring that will be placed beneath the jam. You may need to cut two or three pieces, depending on the width of the floorboards. If the boards run parallel to the door, you may only have to trim one piece-so be sure to consider the flooring direction before cutting your boards.
The easiest way to do this is by using a framing square. Place the square beneath the door jamb to measure its depth. Note the length and which is the edge of the stud or door frame touches the square. This measurement will determine the area that you will need to remove from the floorboards.
Next, transfer the measurement to the floorboards. If you are running the floorboard perpendicular to the jamb, be sure to measure all of the necessary pieces.
3. Cut the floorboards
After you have the measurements of the door jamb outlined, use your saw to cut the hardwood flooring boards accordingly. You can use a circular saw; a jigsaw works perfectly as it has a lower profile, making it easier to angle on the edge of the board.
You can also use a manual saw as well. Before cutting, make sure that the edge and bottom of the floorboard are completely visible to avoid cutting too much. You want to make the cut as clean as possible, but you may need to sand down the edges to fit it perfectly beneath the jamb.
4. Install the floorboard and check the fit
After making the cut, place the floorboards beneath the jamb to make sure that they fit correctly. You may need to do some maneuvering if the fit is especially tight, or you can use a sanding block to trim down the edges if they are too jagged.
Keep in mind that you can also use a power sander or a planer to trim the floorboards. Once you hit the floorboards into position, open and close the door a few times to check the fit and ensure it doesn't stick on top of the floorboards.
More of a visual learner? Check out the process here:
Does flooring go under the door jamb?
Yes and no. It depends on how the room is laid out. In some cases, you will find that the floorboard or carpet has been installed beneath the door jamb. When this is the case, the jam has been trimmed to accommodate the flooring. However, in other cases, contractors may install the flooring around the jam to make for a quicker and easier installation.
Neither method is better or worse than the other; it depends on the installer, the flooring type, and the door jamb size. For example, installing the flooring directly beneath the jamb on larger or irregularly-shaped door frames may be easier.
Are interior doors installed before flooring?
In some cases, yes, in others, no. You can do it either way with excellent results for both methods. For example, if the flooring has already been installed, then the measurements for the interior door should already be taken into consideration.
In other scenarios where the flooring is being replaced and the door is already installed, the flooring will need to go beneath or around the door jamb.
Do you install flooring or trim first?
Most contractors will tell you that it's always best to install the flooring first, especially when it comes to hardwood. This is because it's easier to install the trim on the wall after the flooring space has already been filled. Doing so will cut down on the amount of measuring that you'll need to do to ensure a tighter fit between the bottom of the trim and the top of the flooring.
How do you fix a gap between the door jamb and the floor?
There are a few different ways to fix the gap between the floor and the door jamb. The best method to use will depend on the size of the gap, the type of flooring, and your personal preference. Let's look at a few options.
Make custom pieces
A simple way to feel the area is to install one or two pieces of flooring to place beneath the jamb. You can take this from any flooring that you have leftover or apply any similar flooring to the area. You can glue the flooring to the area beneath the jamb or use pin nails to hold them in place.
The most important thing to remember is to measure the size of the gap accurately. After doing so, transfer the measurements to the scrap pieces. You can create custom pieces by using a jigsaw or a table saw.
Fill the space with caulk
You can also add caulk to the area beneath the door jamb. This works best when the area is relatively thin. You can fill the gap with colored caulking to help it blend in with the door or the floor. When applying the caulk, be sure to smooth it out and then sand it down to prevent jagged edges before it dries.
You can also install a piece of T-molding beneath the door to help fill the gap. You can use a rounded top or slightly beveled T-molding to act as a threshold for the area. Before installing the molding, it's best to ensure that the door will close completely—accurate measurements are a must with this method.
You can also take the measurements from the bottom of the door jamb and have someone at a hardware store such as Home Depot or Lowe's cut the T-molding for you. You may need to sand it down afterward to wedge it between the surfaces.
Do baseboards sit on top of hardwood?
Yes and no. Yes, baseboards are positioned above hardwood floors. However, they typically don't sit directly on top of the floors; more, they are attached to the wall above the floor.
Wrapping Things Up
We hope that this post has helped illustrate how to cut flooring around a door jamb. Remember, the most important thing is the measurements. If the measurements of the door jamb are off, the flooring will not fit properly, and you will have to start all over. To avoid this, be sure to take two measurements for good measure.
Before you go, be sure to check out some of our other posts: