So you’re installing a new floor but don’t know how to get the floor to look good around existing doors? I am here to show you how to cut your existing door jamb (or casing) for your new flooring easily so that your floor installation will look seamless. They will look like they were installed AFTER the floors and you won’t even have to remove them!
Let’s talk about your door for a minute. The door frame, door jamb or door casing (all the same thing) is the decorative wood that surrounds the door. Its purpose is to cover the 2×4 construction and gaps in the drywall from the door installation and make it look finished.
When a home is built the door frame, door jamb, or casing, is typically custom cut after the floors are installed to directly meet the floor. So how are you going to make your door jambs look like they were removed, cut to the new length and reinstalled WITHOUT removing them? EASY!
You only need one tool. Yes. One tool! You will need to get an oscillating multi-tool. I have a Dremel Multi-Max and I love it! It comes with several blades good for a variety of projects (so you can use it again and again) and allows me a to make very specific cuts when any other saw just won’t do the trick! The blade I installed for this project is one specifically made for cutting wood. It also has measurements to you can cut into a specific depth. Like if your trim is 1/2″ thick, you can see when you are 1/2″ into the trim and know it is time to stop the cut.
The first thing I did was remove my baseboards because I wanted to install a nicer baseboard on top of the flooring (You don’t have to do this and can install your floor right up to the existing base and then add a shoe moulding around the perimeter to cover the expansion gap.)
Then I got out my Multi-Max and got to work preparing for my floor installation. If your ears are a little sensitive you may want to use some ear plugs as it has a little bit of a high pitched sound. And as always use safety glasses!
Step 1. Turn the tool on. You can adjust the speed and you want this to be in high speed for this project. It might have an intimidating sound but don’t be afraid of it. Take your oscillating tool, place it on the existing floor right next to your door frame. Then gently press it into the frame. You will be surprised at how easy it is to cut it. Use the numbers on the blade to gauge how deep you go. You’ll want to go the depth of the trim. Go ahead and cut all the way across the frame being careful not to cut the door. *TIP* Go ahead and cut nice and tight to the scrap flooring. You don’t want any extra space.
Step 2. Now that you have cut the frame, go ahead and place a scrap piece of flooring next to the door frame. Now do the same as step 1 with your blade laying on top of the scrap piece. *TIP* Go ahead and cut nice and tight to the scrap flooring. You don’t want any extra space. You will proceed the same way as you did in Step 1 with the scrap piece. The scrap piece will act the same as your original floor. By doing this you will create a gap for the flooring to slide into perfectly.
Step 3. Move the extra little piece of trim that you just cut out. By removing the piece of trim that you just cut you will open the small gap between the original floor and the top of the new floorThis will give you the perfect fit for your flooring to slide right under the door frame!
Admire that it is a perfect fit! Remember, I replaced all of my baseboards so I removed mine, but this tool allows you to only cut the door jamb if that is what you want to do.
That is it!! SO EASY! The main thing is to get over the fear of the sound of the tool. It is so easy and relatively safe to use, just be careful. I hope you are inspired to give it a try. It really makes a difference when installing your flooring. It saves you from having to remove the frame, remove the nails stuck in the trim, cut the frame down, reattach and then caulk and paint all over again! For me it is worth the investment of the tool.