What's the Deal With Slab Doors?: How to Install Your Modern Interior Doors

What’s the Deal With Slab Doors?: How to Install Your Modern Interior Doors

Alright, you finally took the plunge and ordered those gorgeous, modern slab doors to replace the dated, boring doors in your home. We get it, you were mesmerized by the clean lines and minimalist look that scream chic and contemporary. But now those pallets have arrived and it’s time to figure out how to actually install the darn things.

You’re filled with equal parts excitement and dread as you anxiously flip through the instruction manual, which might as well be written in ancient hieroglyphics. Fear not, intrepid slab door installer. This guide will walk you through the process in simple terms, so you can get those beauties hung and start feeling like a bonafide interior designer. Grab your drill and let’s do this.

What Are Slab Doors?

What Are Slab Doors?

Slab doors are the hipsters of the interior design world. They’re minimal, modern, and let the natural beauty of wood grain or painted finishes shine through. No frills, no panels, just a single slab of wood. How Zen.

The Low-Key Luxury Look

Want an upscale look without the fuss? Slab doors are your new best friends. Their smooth, unadorned surface gives a sleek, high-end vibe at a fraction of the cost of custom built-ins. Plus, their simple style means they pair well with any decor from midcentury modern to bohemian chic to rustic farmhouse.

DIY or Call in The Pros?

DIY or Call in The Pros?

If you have basic carpentry skills, slab doors can be an easy DIY project. You’ll just need to cut the doors to size, drill pilot holes, and secure them in place with hinges and hardware. However, for the best results, you may want to leave installation to the professionals. They have the tools and experience to ensure doors are properly measured, aligned, and hung so they open and close smoothly.

The Sustainable Choice

Eco-friendly types will appreciate that slab doors typically use less wood than paneled doors. And because they don’t have extra trim pieces like stiles and rails, there’s less waste during production. Many slab door options also use reclaimed or sustainably-sourced wood. Now that’s a win for your wallet and the planet.

So go ahead, embrace your minimalist spirit and opt for the understated glamour of slab doors. Your space will thank you.

How to Install Interior Slab Doors

How to Install Interior Slab Doors

Measuring Up

Don’t assume your door opening is perfectly square just because your house was built by “professionals”. Get out the tape measure and check the width at the top, middle and bottom, then do the same for the height on both sides. Pick the smallest measurement for the width and height – better too small than too big, you can always add trim but you can’t make a door smaller!

Mounting the Jambs

Attach the jambs to the door frame to give your slab door something to hang on. Secure the jambs in place with shims and check they’re level. If not, you’ll end up with a door that either won’t close or scrapes the floor. Once level, nail or screw the jambs in place.

Hanging the Door

Lift the door into the opening and slide the hinge mortises over the hinge leaves. Have your assistant hold the door in place while you secure the hinges to the jamb.

If it’s still not closing right, a few taps here and there with a rubber mallet should do the trick. You may need to make minor adjustments to the shims and hinge placements.

Finishing Up

Attach any remaining hardware like knobs or locks. If there are gaps around the edges, install trim pieces for a finished look. Step back and admire your work, then go open and close the door a few (dozen) times just because you can. Your DIY slab door install is complete! Who needs contractors anyway? Now, who wants a drink? You’ve earned it!

FAQs About Modern Slab Door Installation

Do I really need to measure everything 37 times?

You’ve heard the old adage “measure twice, cut once.” Well for doors, make that 37 times. Doors aren’t cheap, and if you mess up those measurements, you’ll end up with an expensive yet ill-fitting doorstop. Get out the tape measure and measure the width and height of your door opening. Then measure it again. And maybe once more, just to be safe.

How do I make sure the door is level?

A sloped door is a sad door. Use a level to make sure your door frame is even from top to bottom and side to side. If needed, you can place wood shims under the low side of the frame to level it. You should also check that the floor below the door is level. An unleveled floor means an unleveled door, and you’ll be fighting an uphill battle.

Help! My door is stuck/won’t close. Now what?

First, remain calm. Panicking will only make the situation door-ier (see what we did there?). Double check that the hinges are secure in the right spot and the door is level. If everything looks aligned, the door may have expanded due to humidity. Run a dehumidifier in the area and give the door a few days to shrink back down. If that doesn’t work, you may need to do some light sanding around the edges of the door. Worse case, you may need to remove the door and do some chiseling to the door frame opening to allow more clearance. But start with the easy fixes first before you go sledgehammering your wall.

Following these tips and remeasuring a few dozen more times should help ensure your modern slab doors are properly installed and functioning. But if all else fails, don’t be afraid to call in a handy pro to help get your doors back on track. After all, DIY has its limits, and doors can be tricky little devils.


So there you have it, my slab loving friend. You now possess the know-how to hang those hip new interior doors that all the cool interior designers are raving about.

Just remember measure twice, cut once. Don’t get slapdash with your measurements or you’ll end up with a crooked door that sticks like grandpa’s knee in a rainstorm.

But if you follow these simple steps, soon you’ll be Instagramming your sleek new modern doors and raking in the jealous comments from your friends stuck with boring old hinged doors. Go forth and get your slab on! You architecturally-savvy trendsetter, you.

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