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What is a Prehung Door?

Tuesday February 18th, 2020

Are you looking for a new exterior or interior door? Perhaps you are into the DIY scene but you’re not quite an expert just yet. When tasked with the project of installing a door, you might be wondering what's included with a prehung door. 

What is a Prehung Door? 

  • Slab
  • Door Slab Hinge
  • Bore
  • Door Bottom/Sweep
  • Jamb
  • Stop
  • Threshold
  • Weather Stripping
  • Door Jamb Hinge 
  • Strike Plate
  • Brick Mold
  • Adjustable Sill
  • Sidelights
Whether you want to install prehung interior doors or exterior prehung doors, you’ll find that you’ve made the right choice to let much of the work be done for you. Installing a replacement door or a door in a new wall opening can be completed quickly and easily with a prehung door. When you purchase your door from Rustica, you’ll be in charge of the customization process every step of the way. 

What is a Prehung Door?

A prehung door is simply a door that arrives preassembled and hanging from its frame. This self-contained unit will fit nicely into the door opening and saves you a lot of time. Depending on the type of door (exterior vs. interior), the door unit will arrive with different parts attached. Before you begin, it’s important to understand the different parts of a door that are generally included with prehung doors. 

Slab

First, it’s necessary to know the difference between a prehung vs slab door.  Slabs or slab doors refers to the actual door regardless of frame, style, and hardware. When purchasing anything from swinging French Doors to a sliding barn door or pocket door, you can have the option of ordering only the door panel (the slab). But when you order a prehung door, this slab will arrive with everything necessary attached whether it’s made of wood, steel, or glass. It's often quicker and easier to fix or update a bedroom door, front door, bathroom door, or any other door by simply changing out the door slab rather than removing all the trim, jam, and installing a new prehung door.

Door Slab Hinge

In order for a door to swing or slide, the slab needs to be prepped with hinges or rollers. When you order a prehung door, this hardware will be installed in the specific, necessary location. Depending on the style and function of the door, the placement and number of rollers and hinges will vary. 

Bore

Although many prehung doors do not come prepped for a doorknob or bolt, Rustica offers the option of prepping for this specific hardware (you can even order the knob or bolt right on our site). A bore simply refers to a predrilled hole in the door where you can eventually place your hardware. With Rustica, you can choose the exact placement and width. If this seems confusing, customer service is available to help you. Generally, these bores are drilled at 2 3/8" and 2 1/4" from the edge of the door.


Door Bottom/Sweep

Door sweeps are only for exterior doors. The bottom or sweep of the door references a piece of wood (or other material) installed underneath the bottom of the door. This piece seals off any space or gap that remains between the bottom edge of the door and the threshold without causing the door to brush against the threshold itself. With a door sweep properly installed, the door will perfectly brush the floor as it opens and closes. 

Jamb

The jamb includes the two vertical sides of the doorframe. Depending on your type of door swing, the door will be hung from either the left or right jamb. Jambs are commonly made from various materials, including composite or solid wood, metal, and durable plastic composites.

Stop

A door stop is a piece of metal or wood that is installed horizontally on the underside of both door jambs, connecting the two. This piece stops the door as it closes. 

Threshold

Available only for exterior doors, the threshold runs along the bottom of the door frame horizontally. It’s placed directly opposite the door stop and seals the gap between the floor and the bottom of the door. Typically made of wood or metal, the threshold has several important roles, including providing energy efficiency. 

Weather Stripping

Without weatherstripping, your home will fall victim to intruding wind and water. Prehung exterior doors are commonly applied with a sealer that prevents elements such as these from entering a room. This is known as “weatherstripping.”

Door Jamb Hinge

In order for the door jamb to fit appropriately into its opening, carpenters prep the jamb with hinge notches using a machine or chisel. Similar to door slab hinge prep, these notches will fall perfectly for installation. 

Strike Plate

The strike plate is a metal slab installed onto the jamb with screws. It has an opening that allows the latch to move in and out. This plate can be customized according to the thickness of the door and the type of latch used. Carpenters use a chisel to notch out the strike plate area. 

Brick Mold

The molding placed around an exterior door between the wall and the slab is called the brick mold. Its main purpose is to fill the gap that remains when the door is installed in its opening. Usually, this type of molding is made of wood—either solid or composite. 

Adjustable Sill

Found underneath the threshold of an exterior door, a sill is the bottom part of the frame that rests on the floor’s foundation. 

Sidelights

Sidelights, or sidelites, are long, vertical windows next to one or both sides of a door. Sidelites will require a slightly larger door opening and are most common in front entry doors or patio doors. 

Benefits of Prehung Doors
With so many parts of a door already included with a prehung door, it’s easy to see the benefits of ordering interior and exterior doors prehung. 

Installation: Installing a pre-hung door is a quick and easy process. Because the door comes with all of the necessary hardware installed in the correct areas, this option is perfect for everyone—from a first-time homeowner to a DIY veteran. You’ll save time, effort, and money by installing a prehung door. 


Weather-Resistance: Exterior pre-hung doors arrive with weather stripping and are already assembled to create a weather-tight seal against the door opening. You don’t need to do anything yourself to ensure that this door will keep out the elements and maintain the desired temperature in your home. 


Customization: When you purchase a prehung door from Rustica, you can customize everything from the dimensions and hardware to the style and finish. Your custom door arrives completely finished so you don’t need to go searching for the perfect handle or hinge to complement the paint or stain of your door slab. Instead, the finished product will arrive exactly as you imagined based on the many beautiful and unique options that Rustica provides.  

Prehung Door Framing Options

With a prehung door, there’s no need to worry about building a new frame or retaining an older frame. No matter the type of door, prehung doors come with all of the frame components installed in place, ready to be placed in the wall opening. This is especially helpful when altering the size of your door opening or replacing a deteriorating or damaged frame. 


Still, some homeowners might find it most practical to replace only parts of a door frame since it is made of many components such as the jambs, sill, door stop, weatherstripping, and jamb casing. Each of these components can be replaced or preserved. However, choosing one and not the other might result in a little more work compared to receiving a fully assembled pre-hung door. 


Sometimes, it makes sense to preserve parts of your existing door. For example, you may only need to replace the door jambs instead of the entire frame. Remember, the jamb includes the two vertical sides of a door frame where the hinges are installed. If the other parts of the door frame are in good condition and fit with the dimension and style of your door opening and new door slab, it might be easier and more economical to just replace the jambs. 

Prehung Door Hardware Options 

Rustica allows you to completely customize your prehung door. You have a wide variety of hardware options available to create the perfect door—whether you want to install anything from prehung French doors and prehung closet doors to prehung bedroom doors and double doors. Keep in mind that for interior and exterior double doors, you’ll need to order twice the number of the following: 


Hinges: There are two types of hinges available for your prehung door: Square Corner Ball Bearing Hinge and Rounded Corner Ball Bearing Hinge. The only difference between these two is the shape of the hinge plate itself—the former being square, and the latter rounded. Hinges, like other hardware, come in a variety of finishes, no matter the shape. You can select Flat Black or Satin Chrome for a sharp, modern look or go with something more traditional, like French Antique or Tumbled White Bronze. 


Handles: If you choose to have the slab arrive with a door knob boring, you’ll need to determine its placement. Once this is completed, you can browse Rustica’s options for handles and pulls. Depending on your door, the handles and pulls may need to be purchased separately. Even so, installation will be a breeze since the exact placement will be marked and prepped. This information will always be listed in the customization process, so you’ll know when you need to make an additional purchase.

 
Determining the best handle for your type of door is an important decision. Prehung sliding doors are often best accompanied by a handle, strap, or pull ring. Popular choices often include the Redwood Barn Door Pull or a flush barn door pull, depending on the type of slide. Hinged doors like interior French doors and Dutch doors can be purchased with levers, such as the San Carlos or the Bern. As well, exterior doors have different options for handles and pulls. All handle options can be customized according to your desired finish. 


Locks: For prehung standard hinged interior doors and exterior doors, you can choose from key and electronic locks, deadbolts, or tubular entry sets. Prehung sliding barn doors can also come installed with optional barn door hook locks. Choose from the classic hook and eye or the Rustica Door Latch + Lock, which is the first-ever self-latching lock for sliding barn doors. 

How to Measure for a Prehung Door?

Measuring for a prehung door is essential for getting a door that fits your space perfectly. However, measuring for prehung doors isn't as simple as measuring the door opening that you see. Follow these steps to ensure that you get the right fit for your exterior or interior doors:

  1. Remove any trim from the doorway, as trim sometimes extends into the door opening and can throw off your measurements.
  2. Measure the height of your door opening, starting at the very top of the frame and reaching all the way down to the floor surface. You may want to ask another person for help holding your measuring tape to ensure accuracy. Jot down your measurement after taking it at least twice.
  3. Now, measure horizontally from one side of the door opening to the other, starting near the top of the door frame. Then, take another measurement in the middle and another toward the bottom. Take each measurement twice and write them all down. Use the smallest of these measurements as the width.
  4. Measure the thickness of the door opening using the door jamb. Run your measuring tape from one end of the jamb to the other and note the measurement.
You can use these measurements when ordering your custom interior doors from Rustica.

How to Install Prehung Doors

There are a few simple steps to install prehung interior and exterior doors. Rustica also provides a quick guide on how to install a prehung door. The steps below are for hinged doors only. 


Step 1: Verify that your prehung door is level within the complete door frame. Run a 4-foot level (larger if the door opening is wider) along the floor and mark on the door frame where it shows to be level. 


Step 2: Transfer those markings onto the door jamb. Mark the measurement first from the hinge side and then from the knob side. 


Step 3: Use the level again to make sure the rough frame is plumb (vertically level) before sliding the door into the opening. 


Step 4: After sliding the door in place, make sure that all of your markings on the frame and on the door opening line up. Make sure the door jamb is flush with the wall, then drill a pilot hole at the point where the door meets the shim then screw it in. Finish screwing in the hinge side. 


Step 5: If further leveling is required, insert the necessary amounts of shims at the bottom until it is even. Once everything is level, drill in the knob side until secure. 


Step 6: Make sure the door swings well and that everything is even. If so, go ahead and complete any necessary finishing touches, such as installing trim or painting and priming if you’ve purchased an unfinished prehung door. 

Can a Prehung Door Be Cut?

As much as you try to measure your prehung door accurately, it's possible to make a mistake. Unfortunately, even a little mistake can cause a big problem when you try to install your new door. If you find that your door doesn't quite fit how you expected, you might be inclined to cut it yourself to make it fit.

While skilled DIYers can typically handle the job—many prehung doors and their jambs are made from wood that's relatively easy to cut with the right tools—it's something you want to try to avoid. Cutting your door improperly can lead to more incorrect measurements, essentially making it non-functional. 

Furthermore, you'll void a Rustica warranty on Ready-to-Ship doors if you do cut the prehung door yourself. With a voided warranty, your door becomes ineligible for return. If you find that your Ready-to-Ship door isn't the right size, contact Rustica for a return or replacement rather than attempting to cut the door. Before placing a door order, it’s a good idea to have someone else measure the rough door opening with you for better accuracy.

How to Paint Prehung Doors

Consider painting prehung solid wood doors to give them a unique finish. You can order doors from Rustica with a painted finish, but if you're undecided on a color that fits well with the rest of your interior design, you might choose to paint the door once you see it in person. In that case, paint the door before installing it for the most straightforward process.

Over time, you might need to touch up the paint. Or, a full repaint may be necessary when you want to change the look of your doors. Follow these steps to paint already installed prehung doors:
  1. Remove the doorknob and locking mechanism from your door. Cover the hinges with painter's tape.
  2. Clean the door thoroughly and wipe it down with a dry cloth until it's completely dry.
  3. Place a drop cloth on the floor to protect it from paint splatters.
  4. Use a paint roller to paint the front and back panels on smooth-surface doors. Then, use a paintbrush to paint the edges. If your door has recessed panels, you might want to use a paintbrush for the entire door.
  5. Leave the door open for several hours or overnight to dry completely. Then, add a second coat, if desired, repeating these steps.

Are Prehung Doors the Right Option for Me? 

If you are looking for complete customization and easy installation, then the answer is “yes!” A prehung door includes the frame, hinges, and other hardware already assembled. It makes the job of installing a new door and frame much easier. Unless you want to keep your existing door frame, choosing a prehung door is almost always the best choice. 

You don’t need to be a DIY guru—you can install your new customized prehung door in just a few hours. With Rustica’s thorough customization process, you’ll be in charge of curating the perfect prehung door crafted to your design needs and inspiration.
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