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Old 02-14-2016, 03:25 PM   #1
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Trouble installing prehung, solid core double doors


I am in the process of hanging prehung, solid core double doors purchased at Lowes. I just got them pinned up. Take a look at this photo. Why would there be such a gap between the doors? It measures 3/8 inch at the top and half inch at the bottom. I realize the gap at the bottom can be narrowed by shimming the trim inwards, but it seems to me there should be no gap at either position - bottom or top. Did Lowes mess up the construction of these doors? Did I mess up the installation? Do I misunderstand how double doors should be? Is there supposed to be this gap? I can't imagine anyone would intend for there to be a gap between their doors. Thank you for considering my questions.
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Old 02-14-2016, 03:47 PM   #2
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You need to add an astragal molding between the doors.

Astragal
An interior moulding attached to a pair of doors or sash in order to prevent swing-through. Astragal ensures a tight fit where the doors meet; a flat astragal is one applied to the face of the meeting stile of the door and a T astragal is rabbeted (notched) to the approximate thickness of the swinging door.

http://www.oldtownhome.com/2011/11/9...tragal-Anyway/
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Old 02-14-2016, 04:24 PM   #3
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First thing I noticed is it looks like that rough opening was not made wide enough, only one shim in place and it's not even where the hinge is.
#1, How level is the floor, if it's off on the two ends the whole door will be off unless you made adjustments to the bottoms of the jambs.
#2, What are you using to check the plumb and how flat the jambs are? I use a 6' level so I can tell both plumb and how flat the jamb is.
I try and work on one side at a time checking plumb, how flat it is and how square it is at the top corner, once that's set work on the other side.
There should be no need for a trim to cover up the gap unless your trying to seal off the two areas, if it's that far off, the doors set wrong.
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Old 02-14-2016, 07:24 PM   #4
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Also, they often supply a pack of long screws. These are used to replace some of the short hinge screws so they can now extend onto the framing. This will help with the door sagging from the weight. Put these in especially at the top, and recheck plumb and reveals.
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Old 02-14-2016, 07:24 PM   #5
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And make sure it is shimmed properly behind the hinge before screwing.
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Old 02-14-2016, 07:32 PM   #6
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All good suggestions....but rniles is the winner! The space between those doors is governed by the piece that goes across the TOP! Try to push the sides any closer than that....and they will move just fine....but still be "hinged" at the top....so you can move them anyway you want.but you will not get plumb with any movement that takes them away from a right angle with the top. Ron
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Old 02-15-2016, 07:53 PM   #7
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if the bottom gap is larger at the bottom than at the top first look at which door is higher at the top leave that one be and then shim the opposite door in at the bottom by 1/8". it sounds like the header of the jamb was cut about 3/16' too long.. there should be about 1/4" or 5/16" gap between the two doors as if you ever go to open both at the same time they will hit each other if they are any closer not to mention when you paint them the gap will actually become smaller do to paint build-up.

do not install a astragal molding as suggested, the only time you should install one is if one door has a throw bolt in it so that only one door can open and close unless the bolt is retracted.

one other small thing you can do to reduce the size of the gap is to loosen the screws in the hinge itself on the jamb and shim behind it with some thin cardboard stock such as that from a cereal box. . first get the margin perfect on both doors and then put the same amount of cardboard under every hinge. this will easily reduce the gap by 1/8"
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Old 02-16-2016, 08:17 PM   #8
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Again, no one messed up and rniles wins. It is pretty much the only way that will give you doors that you can't see through! Best you can do without that will be to just shim out the bottom to keep a uniform gap....but that gap is MEANT to be ther. Ron
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Old 02-16-2016, 08:52 PM   #9
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Door set in pic are generally used for closets. There wouldn't be a light from within a closet to illuminate that gap. Looks like OP is using them for room to room entry.
Shimming the hinges will correct the gap but if you want no light to pass you are going to need the molding strip. Or install a real french door unit meant for that purpose.
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Old 02-19-2016, 10:58 PM   #10
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Those doors are not meant to have an astragal. They should end up with an 1/8" gap between. The rough opening looks too tight in the width. With the jamb head sitting on top of the legs, if there was some slack on the sides between the jamb and the rough opening, it would be easy enough to shim the jamb legs in. It would only need about a heavy 1/16" on each side to close that gap down to what it should be. When I install double swing doors like this, I normally install a pair of shims behind each hinge. I use a three inch screw in each hinge. That way I can use the combination of the screws and shims to get the door margins where I want them, and also to make sure everything ends up plumb. The screws help make sure it stays that way. Then I would put several sets of shims along the top, and a set in between each hinge. Shims are cheap enough, I don't mind using them. I would pull that door back out and adjust the rough opening to what it should be, then reinstall the door.
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