How to Install a Door in an Archway

Nat Fondell

Archways give a feeling of regality and stateliness to a home, but often they come unequipped for door installation. It is very possible to add a door to your own archways, using a basic method for door installation, tweaked to make the addition of a curved-top archway door practical.

Archway doors are stately and practical.

The basic steps of archway door installation are the same, regardless of the specific curve of the archway door or the thickness of the door board itself.

  1. Position the door within the doorway with the help of an assistant. Sand or saw down any sections of the door that do not fit within the frame. Have the assistant continue to hold the door in place while you position 3 hinges evenly between the door and frame. Mark the location of the hinge screw support holes in the door and frame, and remove the door from the frame.

  2. Make 2-inch holes in each of the hinge holes in the frame using a drill, working carefully to avoid splintering the frame or trim woodworking. Reposition the hinges in place on the door frame and place 3-inch wood screws in each hole. Tighten the screws on each hinge halfway to ensure that the hinges are attached evenly, then tighten them completely to secure them in place.

  3. Position the door against the frame again with the help of your assistant, and confirm that the hinge hole markings on the door have not shifted in their placement. Adjust any markings if necessary.

  4. Remove the door and drill through each of the hinge hole markings, making sure that the drill bit does not go completely through the door. Hold the door up to the hinges and screw one screw halfway through each hinge and into the door to make sure that it is being installed evenly. Screw the rest of the screws through the hinge and into the door, tightening them all halfway.

  5. Check the swing of the door and its fit within the archway door frame and make any necessary adjustments. Tighten the screws in the hinges completely if there are no issues.

  6. Open the door slightly and mark the location of the doorknob latch on the door frame. Drill out a hole big enough for the latch to enter and then position the frame faceplate against the marked area. Drill holes through each of the faceplate attachment holes. Secure the faceplate to the frame with 2-inch wood screws.

  7. Close the door and make any adjustments necessary to the positioning of the faceplate or depth of the frame latch hole.

  8. Tip

    Modify the arch of the door if necessary with sandpaper or a saw to ensure a smooth and even fit with the arched doorway. Install a regular, un-arched door in your archway by first securing a transom arch in the upper, curved section of the arch. Attach this arch using wood screws through the transom and into the frame, or by using high-strength caulking. Then install a standard door and doorframe in the archway below the transom, which will further secure the transom in place and prevent it from falling.