What To Install First, Door Installation Or Flooring

What to install first, door installation or flooring, is always a very tricky question that most homeowners ask. Many people have different opinions about this topic and for very valid reasons too. But ultimately, it is your choice to do what you feel is best for your house. 

Whether to install a door or the flooring first depends on several factors, including the type of flooring and the specifics of the door installation. But in most cases, it is best you install the flooring first. This makes it easier to install the doors and ensure they function correctly.

If you are renovating or building, it’s important to plan and coordinate your flooring and door installation carefully to ensure a smooth installation and to avoid potential issues.

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What To Install First? Door Installation Or Flooring?

In-home construction, installing the flooring before installing the doors is generally recommended. This method is used because installing the flooring first will ensure the floor is level and flush with the subfloor, making it easier to install the doors and ensure they function correctly.

If the doors are installed first, it can be difficult to adjust them later if the flooring is not level, leading to problems with the door’s operation and appearance. Therefore, it is generally best to install the flooring first and then install the doors once it has been correctly leveled.

To break this down to the most straightforward explanation, we will enumerate the pros and cons of each choice of method. Here are some reasons why you should install your floor first before the door; 

Advantages Of Installing The Floor First

There are several advantages to installing the floors before doors in a house:

What To Install First, Door Installation Or Flooring
What To Install First, Door Installation Or Flooring
  • Installing the floor before the doors allows for easier installation of the flooring material, as there are no obstacles or cuts to be made around the door frames. The absence of adjustments can save time and money on installation costs.
  • Installing the floor before the doors ensures that the flooring material flows seamlessly throughout the space, creating a more cohesive and aesthetically pleasing appearance. It can also help to increase the value of the property.
  • Going with the floor before the doors can help to protect the flooring material from scratches, dents, cracks, and other damage that can occur during the installation of the doors.
  • Installing the floor before the doors can help improve the space’s insulation, as the flooring material can be extended under the door frames to create a tighter seal and prevent air leakage.
  • Installing the floor before the doors allows for greater door placement and design flexibility, as there are no limitations or restrictions based on the flooring material. This flexibility can accommodate any changes or updates that may be needed.

Disadvantage Of Installing Floor First

  • It can make it challenging to install the doors properly because the height of the floor can be raised after it is installed, which can cause the door to scrape against the floor or not close properly. 
  • It can lead to additional work and expense to adjust the door or even require removing and reinstalling the entire door frame.
  • If the flooring is not adequately protected during the installation of the door, it can become damaged, scratched, or stained, which can also add to the cost and time of the project.
  • The door closing line may not be tight enough, allowing draught and insects into the house. 
  • If the door frame is not correctly installed before the floor, it can cause the door to be improperly aligned, leading to drafts, air leaks, and even structural problems in the long run.

It is easier to make adjustments to a door than to a floor. Adjustments to the floors will require cracking and more money. This particular reason alone defeats the rest. You want to go without more manageable circumstances. 

Disadvantages Of Installing Door First 

Installing a door is earlier than doing the floors; thus, you may be attracted to doing that first. However, installing an entry before the floor in a house can have several disadvantages, including:

  • When you install the door before the floor, measuring the exact height of the door can be challenging. This deficit can result in the entry being too high or too low, making it challenging to open and close properly.
  • Installing a door before the floor increases the risk of door damage during the flooring installation. You or the flooring installers may accidentally scratch or dent the door, which can be costly to repair or replace.
  • If the floor is not level, it can cause the door to be misaligned, making it difficult to open and close. This misalignment can also result in gaps between the door and the floor, allowing air to flow in and out of the room and reducing energy efficiency.
  • Installing the door before the floor can increase the installation time, as you or the flooring installers will need to work around the door, which can be time-consuming.

We recommended installing the floor before the door to avoid these potential issues and ensure that the floor and the entrance are installed correctly. The proper procedure makes for excellent and clean work. 

What Stage Do You Install Doors?

The installation of doors should occur during the final stages of your construction or renovation projects. Doors should come in after the walls, framing, and electrical and plumbing systems are completed. 

This door’s installation timing may vary depending on the project’s scope and complexity. Still, it should be done after the rough-in work has been completed and before the finishing work begins. At this stage, you can ensure that the doors are correctly installed and make any necessary adjustments.

Installing your doors after finishing ensures no damage to the floor or walls. It makes for a clean and thoroughly professional-looking project. You can also fix the door before drywalling if you are careful not to stain the door in the drywall process. 

Do You Install Pre Hung Door Before Or After Flooring?

You should install your pre-hung door before the flooring. We recommend this because the flooring can affect the height of the door. It is easier to adjust the height of the door frame before the flooring is installed. 

If you install the door first, you may have to adjust the frame’s height later. These adjustments could damage the flooring or require additional work to fit everything properly. To avoid any complications or damage to your flooring, installing the flooring first and then hanging the pre-hung door is best.

General Guidelines to Consider in Choosing Between Installing Doors or Floor First

Here’s a short guide to help you decide on which installation should go first: flooring or door installation.

Hardwood or Tile Flooring: If you’re installing hardwood or tile, it’s often recommended to install these types of flooring before hanging the doors. This allows the flooring to be laid seamlessly across the room without having to cut around door frames. Additionally, installing the door after the flooring ensures that the door clearance is accurate, preventing scraping or sticking.

Carpet: If you’re installing carpet, doors are typically installed first. The reason is that carpet doesn’t require the same precise clearance as hardwood or tile. The door can be hung, and then the carpet can be fitted around the door frame.

Pre-Hung Doors: For pre-hung doors, it might be easier to install them after the flooring is in place. This way, the door height can be adjusted based on the new floor level.

Door Trim and Finish Work: Installing flooring first means you’ll have to be more cautious about not damaging the floor when installing the door and trim afterwards. It might require additional protection and careful handling.

Consideration for Existing Doors: If you are replacing the flooring in a space with existing doors, you may need to trim the bottom of the doors to accommodate the height of the new flooring, especially if the new flooring is thicker than the old one.

Project Timeline and Coordination: Consider the overall project timeline and coordination. Sometimes, the order of installation is determined by the availability of contractors or other practical considerations.

Conclusion 

If you still need clarification on what to install first? Floor or door, weigh each option’s pros and cons. It boils down to your preference and which works better for you. However, the recommended option is to install the flooring before the doors, although this still has setbacks. 

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