This is an in-depth guide on “how to install a door frame” into a masonry wall.
In this step-by-step guide you’re going to learn:
- Keeping door rough openings in masonry walls properly;
- Technical things to keep provision for wall plaster;
- Details of keeping scope for wall tiles. So that tiles don’t end up on door frames; and
- Lots more.
So if you’re curious to learn the right way to install wooden door frames in your project, you’ll love this post.
How To Install A Door Frame
In a project, you’ll get door frames of various materials.
Such as metal doors, plastic doors, etc.
But, for apartments, wooden doors are commonly used.
So, I’ll discuss the installation process of wooden doors here.
Fortunately, the process of installing door frames is the same for all types of doors with a little bit of tweaking.
Once you fully understand the process, you’ll be able to install all types of door frames.
So let’s dive right in.
Step-1: Know The Nitty-Gritty Of A Door Rough Opening
In this step, you’ll learn about the door rough-opening.
Basically, it’s a gap in the masonry wall.
And, the door frame is installed into this gap.
In fact, this gap is kept during brick wall making.
The height and width of this gap should be such that you can easily install a door frame.
But how’s that?
Let’s say, you’ll install a door frame for a bedroom.
And, the door frame size is 39″ by 84″.
For this, the rough opening should be 40½” by 86″.
That means the width is,
= 39″ + 1½”
And, the height is,
= 84″ + 2″
Once the opening is correct, you can prepare to install the door frame.
Step-2: Fix MS Clamps
Door frames are clamped to the wall with MS clamps.
These clamps are fixed with the frame by screws.
Normally, we fix 4 clamps on each side of a door frame.
Look at the above image attentively to see how clamps are spaced.
Once all 8 clamps are fixed, you can proceed to…
Step-3: Mark The Reference Level Height
A reference level is a mark on a determined height.
And, it’s made on a permanent structure like Liftcore.
Normally, we marked it at five feet height from the unfinished floor.
In fact, it’s done at the time of making lintels to keep all the lintels at the same level.
And, all the door frames on a floor should be at the same level too.
In this step, you’ll mark that reference level height on door frames.
To do so:
First, Decide, At What Height The Top Of A Door Frame Should Be.
Generally, we keep it at 85½” from the unfinished floor.
Because we consider 1½” thickness for floor tiles.
[See the image above].
Next, Calculate The Level Difference From The Top Of The Door Frame.
Try to understand this carefully.
We keep the top of door frames at 85½” from the unfinished floor.
And, the reference level height is 5 feet (60″).
Then, what’s the difference?
= 85½” – 60″
Finally, put marks on the face of jambs at 25½” from the top of the door frame.
So that, after installing the door frame, you can water level these marks with the reference level.
With this, the door frame is ready to be installed.
Step-4: Insert The Door Frame Into The Rough Opening
In this step, you’ll insert the door frame into the opening.
To do so, use some wooden buttons to support the frame. So that it doesn’t fall down.
And, make sure there is a ¾” gap on both sides between the masonry wall and the frame.
With that, it’s time to…
Step-5: Level The Door Frame Horizontally
To do so:
First, Take A Level Pipe.
The pipe should be filled with liquid.
As a liquid, I recommend oil instead of water.
Because water makes the pipe invisible after some time.
Next, Employ Two Workers.
One at the reference level.
And, another worker at the door frame installation place.
Both workers will have an end of the level pipe in their hands.
Now, Make Corrections At The Door Frame Level.
We’ve made two marks on the face of jambs in step-3.
Make those two marks on the same level as the reference mark with the help of the level pipe.
For this, put one end of the pipe on the reference mark and the other end on the mark on the frame.
Liquid on both ends of the pipe should be on marks.
This is a trial-and-error method.
You need to level the liquid continuously and move the door frame up and down till you get that right.
Step-6: Make The Door Frame Vertically Straight
In this step, you’ll do the following tasks simultaneously:
- Keeping scope for wall plaster;
- Keeping scope for wall tiles;
- Making the door frame vertically straight.
To do these:
First, Consider The Wall Plaster Thickness.
In walls, we try to maintain ¾” plaster thickness.
It should be below ¾”, not more than that.
For that, the door frame should pop up ¾” from the wall.
Because the wall plaster and the face of the door frame will be in the same alignment.
Next, Consider The Wall Tile’s Thickness.
Same as the wall plaster, the door frame will also be in the same alignment with the wall tiles.
But, unlike the wall plaster, we consider 1½” thickness for wall tiles.
And the door frame should pop up 1½” from the masonry wall.
So that, the tiles and the door frame remain in the same alignment.
Finally, Make The Door Frame Vertically Straight.
Space for wall plaster – done!
Space for wall tiles (if any) – done!
Without disturbing these two things make the door frame vertically straight.
For that, use a plumb bob.
Place the plumb bob at the top of the face of a jamb.
And, make the frame vertically straight.
With this, the door frame is temporarily installed.
To make it permanent…
Step-7: Pour Concrete
Whatever we have done so far, is just to make the door frame stand inside the rough-opening.
It’s time to fix that up with the wall.
First, Prepare The Concrete.
The ratio of concrete is 1:3:6.
That means one part cement, 3 parts sand, and 6 parts coarse aggregates.
As coarse aggregates, we use ½” down brick chips.
[Note: Mortar can also be used instead of concrete. In that case, one part cement and three parts coarse sand are used to prepare mortar. ]
After that, Pour Concrete Around The Door Clamps.
But not around the door frame.
Now, Cure The Clamp Concrete With Water For At Least Three Days.
After three days, the door frame becomes stable. And, you can…
Finally, Pour Concrete Around The Door Frame.
Step-8: Ensure Curing
Once the concrete pouring is done, start curing after 24 hours.
Otherwise, cracks may develop around the door frame even after the project finishes.
So make sure to cure it properly.
Now It’s Your Turn:
I hope you’ve learned how to install a door frame into the masonry wall.
Now I’d like to turn it over to you:
What do you use to fix the door frame with walls – concrete or mortar?
And, what proportion do you use for preparing concrete or mortar?
Let me know by leaving a comment below right now.