How To Make A Door Rough Opening In A Masonry Walls

This is an easy tutorial to make a door rough-opening in masonry walls.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn:

  • How to calculate the standard size of a door rough-opening;
  • How to properly make door rough openings in masonry walls. So that you can overcome future obstacles during installing door frames.

Once you learn and execute it properly, you’ll get these benefits:

  • You can install a door frame easily without any hassle;
  • Can eliminate the door frame and tiles conflicting issues.

So let’s dive right in.

How To Make A Door Rough Opening?

A door rough opening is just an opening in a masonry wall.

Door Rough Opening

In this opening, a door frame is installed later. And eventually the door shutter.

A door in a wall with shutter and Frame.

Generally, these openings are made during the masonry wall making.

To make the opening, you first need to…

Know The Door Size

For that, get the architectural plan.

Architectural Floor Plan

This is a drawing sheet you’ll find in your project’s architectural drawing book.

In the plan, you’ll see all the doors are shown with some symbols.

Doors showing in a floor plan

With that, head over to the door-window schedule.

An example of door schedule

This is also a drawing sheet you’ll find in the architectural drawing book.

Here is a door named D1. And, it’s used in bedrooms.

Let’s say you’ll make a rough opening for this door.

The size of the door is 3’-4″ x 7’-0″.

That means the width of the door is 3’-4″ (40″) and the height is 7’-0″ (84″).

With that…

Make The Door Rough Width

The Door rough width means, the door width plus the gaps between the door frame and the wall on both sides.

Door Rough Width

Now, the question is, how much gap do you need to keep?

We normally keep a ¾” gap on each side.

Gap between the door frame and the masonry wall

So, the door rough-width for this door is,

= 40″ + ¾” + ¾”

= 41½”

But, why do you need these gaps?

So that you can easily install a door frame into the opening.

Note that, you need to finalize the door’s rough width during layout making of walls.

After finalizing, you can start making masonry walls.

And, when the wall reaches up to the desired height…

Make The Proper Door Rough Opening Height

For that:

First, get the door height.

And, the door height is 84″.

Normally, the door height isn’t variable. For any kind of door, it’s constant.

Next, calculate the rough opening height.

The rough opening height is,

= The door height + 2″

That means,

= 84″ + 2″

= 86″

Why do we keep two inches extra?

Because we assume a 1½” thickness for floor finishing and a ½” gap between the lintel and the door frame.

Door Rough Height

Once the masonry wall reached 86″ height…

Finally, make a lintel.

And, the rough opening will look like this.

Door Rough Opening

With this, you successfully made the rough opening for the door (D1).

But there is a problem with a tile-finished wall.

Let’s see…

How To Make A Door Rough Opening In Tile-finished Wall

We normally make toilets and kitchen walls tile-finished.

But not all tile-finished walls demand different door rough openings.

See the image below.

Unmodified door rough opening

Although these walls are tile-finished in the above image, you don’t need any alteration for this door’s rough opening.

Now, see the image below:

Door with an adjacent wall

In the above image, the door is adjacent to a wall that will be tile-finished.

In that case, you need to consider the tile thickness of that wall.

But what should be this thickness?

We normally consider 1½” thickness for tile work.

So, for the door rough opening, you must add 2¼” to the door width.

So, if the door width is 30″. The door’s rough width will be,

= 30″ + 1½” + ¾”

= 30” + 2¼”

= 32¼”

And, the opening height will remain unchanged.

That is 86″.

Now, let’s see…

The Standard Door Rough Opening Size….

…for various doors.

We commonly use the following door sizes in an apartment.


  • Bedrooms — 39″ x 84″
  • Kitchens — 36″ x 84″
  • Toilets — 30″ x 84″
  • Main entry door — 45″ x 84″

The door rough-opening sizes for these doors will be:

  • Bedrooms — 40½” x 86″
  • Kitchens — 37½” x 86″
  • Toilets — 31½” x 86″
  • Main entry door — 46½” x 86″

And, For tile-finished walls (normally, in toilets and kitchens):

  • Kitchen — 38¼” x 86″
  • Toilet — 32¼” x 86″


Calculating door rough openings is easy.

You just need to add 1½” to the door width and 2″ to the door height.

That means the door’s rough opening is,

= (Door width + 1½”) x (Door height + 2″)

And, for tile-finished walls, the door’s rough opening will be,

= (Door width + 2¼”) x (Door height + 2″)

That’s it!

Now It’s Your Turn:

I hope this guide showed you how to make a door rough opening in a masonry wall.

Now I’d like to turn it over to you:

Are you going to consider tile-finished walls while making door rough openings?

Or maybe you have a question about something you read.

Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below right now.