How Do I Install French Doors?

D. Grey
D. Grey
French doors are made up of panes or panels of glass.
French doors are made up of panes or panels of glass.

When preparing to install French doors, have the necessary tools readily available, properly remove old doors and set up the frame, and hang the new doors correctly and carefully. Some of the tools you may need include a hammer, a pry bar, a screwdriver or power drill with the appropriate bits, and a carpenter's square. The installer removes the old door frame and installs the new one for the French doors. After ensuring that the frame has been prepared correctly, you can generally be hang the French doors, possibly with the assistance of one additional person.

A hammer and pry bar are most likely to be necessary to remove the old frame and to install the new one. In order to install French doors with the least difficulty, use a carpenter's square to check that the new frame has been installed in a perfect square shape, which allows the doors to be hung at an even level and without any unnecessary forcing. A carpenter's square is an L- or triangle-shaped tool designed for this purpose. If you find that a corner of the frame is a bit off, you may need to adjust the frame installation accordingly. A screwdriver or power drill will most likely be necessary to hang the door as well as to attach any accessories, such as doorknobs.

To install French doors, you generally begin by using the pry bar and hammer to remove the old frame as well as any unnecessary nails, screws, or other obstructions. If you remove a threshold on the floor and plan to install a new one, you may want to use a caulking sealant in this area to prevent air leaks. This same sealant can be used on other areas of the new door frame that may have gaps or leaks. When hanging the new doors, shims may be helpful to hold the doors in place as they are installed.

Additional tools that may be necessary to install French doors, or that might make the task easier, are a level, to check the straightness of the frame as well as the doors, and a rubber mallet, which can be used for hammering without risking damage to the doors or frame. To install French doors safely, you may wish to wear protective goggles, particularly when removing the old door frame, the step during which it is easiest for an errant piece of debris to become airborne. You should take special care not to break any of the glass on the French doors or the old doors, but if this does occur, any glass shards should be carefully removed and disposed of. If you are using a kit to install French doors, follow the instructions that came with the kit, for optimal results.

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    • French doors are made up of panes or panels of glass.
      French doors are made up of panes or panels of glass.