Advice on hanging louvre doors

Discussion in 'Carpenters' Talk' started by Whitling2k, Oct 15, 2016.

  1. Whitling2k

    Whitling2k Member

    Hey everyone...

    1st question: Any tips? Two louvre doors have both warped at the last minute in opposing directions :( I'm quite annoyed as I looked after them according to the manufactures instructions - and 4 out 6 didn't warp more than a few mm, two warped by ~1/2" over 5'. Being in opposite directions it stands out like a sore thumb! See images.

    2nd question: You may notice the doors come slightly together at the top... Rubbish hinges and oversized screws pushing things out! Which (preferably silver) screws are good for such thin hinges? These in 3*20 and especially these in 3*20 both leave their heads protruding from the hinge countersink - in this case, causing the doors not to shut properly and and some uneven-ness.

    Bonus question - can you recommend any decent flush-hinges? Screwfix's and Toolstation's offers are just pants (sorry host!).



    P1210621.JPG P1210622.JPG
  2. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Proper hinge to use is a flush door hinge,would have had 3 hinges per door.

  3. Whitling2k

    Whitling2k Member

    They are flush hinges - just not very good ones. And the screws I have used - despite being very small, still protrude above the face of the hinge. Where can I get some decent flush hinges from?
  4. Hi Whit.

    There's nothing inherently wrong with these hinges. Yes they are cheap, but are actually fine for most cupboard doors like yours. (Most of the critical reviews complained about how stiff some are. Well, Duh - guess what, they'll loosen with a little use. Better than than have them sloppy...)

    I have used plenty myself over the years and know what you mean by the screwheads getting in the way. I think you need 'size 6' screws, for wood or chipboard, so's the heads will be small enough to sit flush with the hinge plates. 1" long should be fine, although you could go up slightly to 1 1/4.

    Size 6 screws should sit nicely in these countersinks and not protrude any.

    Ok, a couple more solutions to the hinge-bound problem you have, should you not wish to go a smaller screw size. One is to lightly - one mm is enough - countersink a recess in the opposite jamb/stile to allow the head to sit in there. Know what I mean? No? Ok, close the cupboard door firmly and you should see a light mark in the door's frame edge and/or the surrounding door frame where the screw head has tried to press in to it. Ok, now use an 8mm drill (or similar) to make a light countersink where these marks are. The protruding heads should now sit in there when the door is cloes and not cause any binding.

    The other solution is to slightly rebate the hinges in to the timber as if they were normal hinges and not 'flush' types. Ok, important bit - don;t rebate them fully, but at a slight slope. The idea is that the 'hinging' part of the hinge should remain exactly where it is now, but the mounting plates should be very slightly sunk in to the timber at a progressive slope. And this would be a very slight slope, literally the depth of the hinge plate at its far end.

    So the hinging part (the bit with the pin) is still sitting 'flush' with the timber, but the hinge plate then starts to sit in to the timber until its end is buried flush with the timber. Ie - a very slight slope.

    This way the screw heads are again sunk slightly in to each opposing end so shouldn't 'bind'.

    This is easy to do - the hinges are already fitted. Cool. Now cut alongside each hinge plate using a craft knife, going slight more deep (one mm!) towards the plate end. Now unscrew the hinge and use either a chisel or else (carefully) the craft knife to slice away that tapering 'wedge' of timber, which will go from zero to around 1mm depth. That's it - a teeny amount.

    Refit the hinges, and jobbie jobbed.

    Ok, that leaves the warp. For that, as KIAB says, you need a third central hinge. Question: is the bend in the outside stile of the door matched by a similar bend on the hinged stile? Ie, is the door bent evenly along its height, the same on both sides? If so, then you need to fit that third hinge, fixing it to the door edge as normal, but then screw it to the door frame using only one screw to begin with ('cos you'll probably end up moving this end in and out). Before you mark and fit the screw in the surrounding frame, you need to force the door straight first, and then mark the hinge hole to suit this new position.

    Does that make sense?

    Looking at your photo, tho', it might be that the doors are not warped but are simply leaning (whilst being straight) in different directions! In your second photo, the nearest door could simply be leaning inwards, whilst the furtherest away door is doing the opposite?

    In this case, it might simply be that your surrounding door frame isn't plumb. If so, then you'll need to slide your hinges inwards and out to accommodate this.
    Whitling2k likes this.
  5. Mr. Handyandy

    Mr. Handyandy Screwfix Select

    Yes. But sort the screws out first, as this can push doors(especially louvre) out of shape.

    Mr. HandyAndy - Really
  6. dwlondon

    dwlondon Active Member

    they don't look bent in a curve so its more to do with the frame being slightly out of square and maybe a twist thrown in. i would pack out the bottom right hand hinge and see if it lifts the door upwards and in line with the left door.
    Whitling2k likes this.
  7. DIYDave.

    DIYDave. Well-Known Member

    Have used same hinges myself few times - yep probably not best quality but they did the job and doors open/close smoothly

    Same issue with screws but found these have a good fit and decent length for a secure fixing

    Head pulls in tighter to hinge once screwed in
    PZ 1 bit

    Attached Files:

    Whitling2k likes this.
  8. Whitling2k

    Whitling2k Member

    Wow - that's an amazing reply Devils Advocate! Thanks!

    I'm finding this one particularly challenging - I didn't build the door frame - so it's wonky as hell - it slopes in two dimensions - outwards on the inside of the frame, and inwards from top to bottom (think curled-in trapezium), and it's bent - the door gap is narrower in the middle than the edge. I reduced the wonkyness a bit before painting - but it is still a bit 'dynamic'. So, it will need some packing (and currently is! The fact no one has noticed means I have been subtle enough!). I had thought about plaining the curve out of the frame, but I don't have access to (do they even exist?) an edge-to-edge plane?

    There is a slight warp in the doors - maybe 5mm against my 5' spirit level - but you are right, looking at them, the majority of the unevenness seems to be straight - that is the doors are an X apposed to a sort of curved X (if that makes sense?).

    Overall - I'm happy with my screws - PZ1 - like above - pretty much the same size. DA - sorry for being thick - flicking through my SF book, I couldn't see 'size 6'. I just got the smallest width screw they did - which is a PZ1 3.0 x 26. However, it feels a bit moot now, as I am going to try your idea of countersinking. I'll probably get one of these; then touch-up the holes afterwards with white paint.

    And fit a third hinge.

    I made a slight error in my first post - I have used these hinges. I'm going to bin them - and buy a load of the ones we are discussing here (these). They are a bit larger. Another issue I am having is that the architrave it too close to the door frame, so I am having to reverse the hinges. This means the inside of the hinge is being screwed to close to the edge - so it's pulling it into the timber - causing further problems - I'm hoping the larger hinge will avoid that, as I can treat them a bit like parliament hinges and keep them clear of the architrave.

    So - final question!

    I need to rehinge. I accept that lol! It feels iterative to me - I can't just add the hinges, then attach to the door frame - there are too many 'wongs' at play! Any tips here? I will position the hinges on the door so they are level on both doors - then mark where they need to be on the frame - all good so far. Given the trial and error with making them fit - I potentially need to tweak the screw centres both ↕ and ↔; once a screw hole is in, I find moving them by any less than the diameter of the screw (plus a bit) nigh on impossible - they just jump back to their old hole.

    Thanks again for the tips everyone :)
  9. DIYDave.

    DIYDave. Well-Known Member

    If you need to move the screws just a tad, squeeze a little wood glue in screw hole, tap in a matchstick or two, nice and tight, trim flush and wipe off any excess glue

    Works for me every time ;)
  10. Yep, my 'size 6' is, I realise now, a bit 'old school'. They are 'mm' these days, and I think must refer to the diameter of the threaded part. You might indeed need to go down to the 3mm x 25mm ones that Dave (DIY) suggests, which have a smaller PZ1 screw head.

    However, since you are now going up a size in your hinges to 3" (good move), then you might also be able to go up a size with the screws. I'm afraid I don't have any here to play with, so can't advise properly - but the peeps at the SF should be able to (you want screws which are around 1 to 1.25" long and which has a countersunk head size that sits fully in the hinge plate.

    Ok, fitting hinges. Stick them on the door first, but only one screw in each at the mo'.

    Ok, you need to decide what you are going to do about the twisted door frame first and how you'll accommodate it. Clearly the hinges are not going to be fitted 'level' with eachother but will need to 'stagger outwards' so that the actual hinges end up sitting in a truly vertical line even if the door frame is not (and it isn't). Does that make sense?

    Now you need to decide whether the 'staggering' of the hinges will be done on the door or on the door frame or a wee bit on both...

    Ok, let's assume a wee bit on both.

    See the nearest door in your second pic (post #1)? That door needs to come out at the top and in at the bottom - yeah? Ok, when you fit the new hinges to that door (and chose a slightly different location so's you avoid the old screw holes - move the top and bottom hinged a couple of inches nearer the door ends), the 'barrel' (is that what it's called?!) of the hinge going on the top will be fitted tightly against the door face (as the hinge normally would). However, when you fit the bottom hinge, you will instead move the 'barrel' out away from the door face by a couple of mm (which is only a small mount - measure it!). The middle hinge will be fitted 1mm away from the door face.

    At this point only put on screw in to each hinge.

    Ok, in theory having this 'staggered' hinge fitting positions will make the door's top now come out 2mm more than it did before. Yeah?

    Ok, I suspect that won't be enough - I suspect that the door needs to come out a further couple of mm, and that the other door needs tweaking by around the same amount the opposite way?! (the combined 'warp' looks like a good 10mm?)

    Right, when you fit that first door to the frame, you will also need to stagger the alignment of the hinges here too, chust like you did on the door. So the top hinge's 'barrel' will need to come 'out' (further forwards) on the frame by 2mm more than it would otherwise have done. The bottom hinge can be fitted 'flush' or as it would normally, and the middle one - ok, you guessed it...)

    So, in theory, that door - once fitted - will now be 4mm more 'straight' than it was before, and hopefully your tweaks will not be that noticeable... How much straight you need it to be is for you to judge - chust tweak these figures as necessary.

    Right, fitting the door to the frame. You've fitted the hinges to the door already (yep, one screw for now...) so you open up the hinge flaps, place the door bottom on a spacer of some sort (whatever gap you want along the bottom - say 4mm-ish) which is sitting on the bottom cupboard floor/frame, hold the door at right angles to the cupboard wall (so only the edge of the hinge stile will be actually be sitting gingerly on this spacer), and place tho open hinge flaps flat against the door frame. Mark the top and bottoms of each flap using a sharp pencil pressed tightly against the flap.

    Now you have the heights marked, it's time to mark how far 'in' they go. By doing a dry posiitoning of the door in the frame, you'll have a good judgement of how far the 'barrel' needs to protrude (in theory it sits 'flush' with the front edge of the door frame, just as in theory it should sit flush on the door face 0 but yours don't...). See that top hinge? Ok, that baby is gonna have to come forwards a wee bit - a couple of mm or so. So hold that hinge tight against the door frame, position it so's its barrel is sitting where it should be (flush), make a wee mark to guide you - and then pull it forwards a couple of mm. Then mark ONE screw hole (draw a perfect circle following the actual hole shape).

    Ok, what I tend to do then is to actually fit that first screw in that first hinge hole as that holds the door steady and prevents mess-ups. With the door now hanging on that top hinge (making sure the hinge hasn't turned - 'cos it only has one screw in it), mark the bottom flap (which will be sitting flush with the frame) and stick in a screw here too.

    Phew. Have a cuppa.

    Now repeat on the other door - but your stagger-tweaks will be going in the exact opposite direction.

    So now you have two doors hanging held by only two hinges each, and these only by a single screw in each plate.


    Allowing for the fact that the hinges might be behaving a bit sloppy as they are not fully secured, check how well they come together in t'middle and what else may need doing to them to get them more level.

    Ok, tweaking it now is a case of - let's say you want the LH door to go UP one mm and further OUT one mm. What I do is to mark an unused screw hole on to the door or door frame (whichever one you are going to use to tweak the movement), so you end up with a perfect crisp wee circle. The centre of that circle is where the screw would normally go. But not this time. Instead, the screw pilot hole (a drill with a 2mm bit) will be drilled at least one mm from that circle, in fact probably on the actual drawn circle. Think through where it needs to go - say, in this case, you are moving/tweaking the hinge on the door frame (not on the actual door) to make the door go UP and OUT one mm. Ok, in that circle you have drawn, mark a dot which is at least one mm BELOW the 'centre' dot and one mm further IN that the circle dot. In effect - mark that new dot at the south-east position and place it as near the circle as you can - so it'll actually be MORE than one mm away from the centre.

    Right - drill your pilot hole there and begin to screw in your second screw. RIGHT! Here's the thing - when the screw is 3/4 way in, you need to slacken ALL the other screws on every fitted hinge (2 at the moment...) to allow the door to shoggle. Take the weight of the door and move it so that when you complete screwing in that second screw, the countersink sits perfectly in the hinge hole.

    Ergo - you have now moved the hinge position by probably a gnat's crochet more than the mm you required. That's fine - it's now simply a matter of re-tightening the slackened screw along with loosening the second one if necessary.

    But...but...but, I hear you cry, won't that mean the screw holes no longer line up?! Yup - but when you re-tighten the screws, they'll force them,selves in to the slightly moved positions - there's enough 'flexibility' in the timber the screws are in.

    Test again.

    Tweak again.

    There endeth the lesson.
    Whitling2k and mr moose like this.
  11. OR, fit the doors as they are, and then place a 2" block behind the TOP opening corner of the LH door and behind the BOTTOM opening corner of the RH door, and brace the opposite points inwards with long battens until flush. Ie FORCE the bludy doors to bend and slowly warp in to the opposite way that they are currently doing, and leave them like that for 2 weeks.

    Jobbie jobbed... :)
    Whitling2k likes this.
  12. mr moose

    mr moose Active Member

    Lets have a big round of applause for your marathon effort there DA. Well done!
    Whitling2k and KIAB like this.
  13. KIAB

    KIAB Well-Known Member

    Epic post!:p

    P:S: What has crochet to do with lovre doors & gnat's, several of your posts crochet has crept in.o_O:confused:
  14. You read all that...?! :eek:
  15. Damn damn damn - it's CROTCHET! CROTCHET!!! :(
  16. mr moose

    mr moose Active Member

    Err no, it's just my schroling thumb just got very tired! :p:p
    Deleted member 33931 likes this.
  17. dwlondon

    dwlondon Active Member

    now we know how the Druids hung a door on the sacrificial arch at Woodhenge.
    Deleted member 33931 likes this.
  18. Whitling2k

    Whitling2k Member

    brilliant thanks!!!!!!!

    I'll let you know how it goes!
  19. Er, only if it goes well - there's a good fellow... :oops:
  20. Whitling2k

    Whitling2k Member

    Well, without lying - that was the hardest DIY job I have done in my entire renovation in terms of being finickity, frustrating and making me swear very loudly! And I've replaced entire wood-worm eaten floors, plasterboarded a curved dormer, and power flushed my heating during my renovation!

    Who would have thought a hanging simple set of louvre doors would have destroyed me so much!

    Precision.... The door frame was leaning out at the top, bulging in at the middle, the individual edges were rotated, and the bit the door sits in was about 95deg - i.e. the hinges needed to close by more than they could facilitate and the door caught at the rear of the frame, pushing outwards.

    So, I had to trim, add a piece of wood for one hinge, rebate my hinges in at a slight angle into the door, clear where the hinges sit in the frame (not just the screws pressed in), stick to just 2 hinges (the 5mm warp in the middle meant I had to chock the top/bottom hinges just to get a paper-width gap.

    Anyway, thanks to your advice - I now have two free-swinging doors, both level and a neat straight gap between them! One door warps out by 2-3mm at the bottom, but thats fine. Barely noticeable!

    I'll get a pro in next time though!


Share This Page