Splitting a Door in Half to Create Double Doors

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Ever find yourself caught between the desire for elegant, spacious interiors and the reality of a cramped space? Here’s a transformative solution: splitting a door in half to craft chic, functional double doors. This guide offers a detailed walk-through on cutting a solid core door, turning a traditional split interior door into a sleek set of skinny double doors. Far from just an aesthetic upgrade, this method of cutting a single door into double doors is a practical, space-saving answer to common interior challenges. Dive in to learn how making a door into double doors can add both style and efficiency to your home.

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

making skinny double doors from a single door for our bedroom, now the door clears the nightstand
Shop the bedroom Bed frame, rug, lumbar pillow, pillow, large pillows, lamp, throw blanket, art, marble dish, vase, flowers, pinch pleat curtains, curtain rod, nightstand or similar.

My Why: Splitting a Door in Half

The reason for this home improvement hack was pretty straightforward. We decided to upgrade to a California king bed in our bedroom. However, this meant that our single door would hit the nightstands every time it was opened. To top it off, we have lath and plaster walls, which are far more labour-intensive to alter if we wanted to install antique double doors. Making a larger doorway seemed like too much of a hassle. That’s when the idea struck me: what about splitting a door in half? Cut the single door down the middle and create two skinny doors? Brilliant, right?

splitting a door in half to make skinny double doors from a single solid core door

In a perfect world, I would have new doors made custom. Alternatively, I would find a cute pair of skinny antique double doors at a salvage store and make the doorway larger. Neither were very cost-effective solutions for me!

Something to Consider

When you split a single interior door in half to make two double doors, you will cut down the centre of the mullions – this means the width of the mullions will not match the stiles. You can hang the door exactly as it would have been as a single door – when the divided mullions meet, the spacing is correct. This will make knob placement/installation tricky.

Alternatively, you can do what I did, putting the mullions (where I cut) to the sides of the door frame. This means your old handle knob hole will now be in the centre, and you can reuse it for your new knobs. Another idea I love that would make this spacing less obvious is using a cremone bolt running from the top of the door frame to the floor.

This is a personal preference; like I said, in a perfect world, I would have new doors made with equal spacing.

cutting a single door into double doors for our bedroom

The All-Important Choice: Cutting a Solid Core Door

Choosing the right interior single door to split is crucial. In our case, we decided to cut the solid-core door already in our bedroom. Solid core doors are sturdier than their hollow counterparts, providing better durability, soundproofing, and a more seamless look after you cut them.

Tools You’ll Need:

making skinny double doors by cutting our single solid core door in half

Steps for Making a Door into Double Doors

Marking the Cutting Line

First, measure the width of your door and find the exact middle. Use a pencil and a straightedge to draw a line down the door’s length, ensuring it’s perfectly centred. Double-check your measurements to avoid ending up with one door slightly wider.

Also, look at the width of the stiles, mullions, and rails; on our old door, they were not even. I decided to find the middle of the centre mullion and cut it here.

showing the line down the centre of the solid core door

The Big Cut

Putting on safety goggles and gloves before you make the initial cut is essential. With the door properly secured, use a circular saw or table saw to follow the line you’ve marked carefully. Steady hands are key here!

using a table saw, cutting a solid core door to split our interior door

Smoothing Things Out

Once the door is successfully split, you’ll notice that the edges may be a bit rough. Take some sandpaper or an orbital sander and smooth out the sides. 

Testing It

Test the doors out in the doorway to ensure they fit well, and adjust if necessary.

holding up the skinny double doors to see if they fit and how I wanted to place the mullions and stiles

Primer and Paint

The final step in making skinny double doors is to add a layer of primer, followed by your choice of paint. Voilà! Your split interior door is now two beautiful skinny doors!

Want to learn more choosing the perfect paint sheen for your doors and trim? Learn more here.

The Final Touch: Adding Hinges and Hanging Your Skinny Double Doors

Ah, you’ve reached what could arguably be called the grand finale of this entire project—adding the hinges and hanging your newly minted skinny double doors back in their frame!

What You’ll Need:

making a door into a double doors, a finished look of how we split our 
split interior door
Bedroom links: Bed frame, rug, lumbar pillow, pillow, large pillows, lamp, throw blanket, art, marble dish, vase, flowers, pinch pleat curtains, curtain rod, nightstand or similar.

Measuring and Marking for Hinges

First, you’ll need to determine where your hinges will go. If your original door had two hinges, you’ll likely want to install two on each of your new double doors. Use a tape measure and a pencil to mark these locations.

Carving Out Space for the Hinges

Hinges usually require a little inset in the door to sit flush. That’s where your chisel and hammer come into play. Carefully carve out the marked areas so the hinges can fit perfectly. You’ll do the same on the door frame. You can also buy a hinge template that works with your router – I wish I had known this when I started.

Screw the Hinges Into Place

Once the spaces for the hinges are ready, it’s time to screw them in. A drill can make this process quicker, but a screwdriver will do the job. Screw the hinges into the door first, then attach them to the frame.

adding hinges to the split interior door

Hanging the Doors

This is a two-person job, so grab a buddy! One person should hold the door steady while the other screws the hinges into the frame. Make sure the doors are level and swing open and close easily. You may need to adjust the screws or sand down the door edges for a perfect fit. I’m not going to lie; this can be a frustrating process. Sometimes, a little bit of cardboard behind the door frame hinge will help – or check out a YouTube video.

Finished view of the bedroom with the split interior double doors

The Parliament Hinge Advantage: Perfect for Double Doors

If you want to add a touch of sophistication and functionality to your new skinny double doors, let me introduce you to the magic of Parliament Hinges. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill hinges; they’re designed with an extended throw that allows your doors to open more widely, often up to 180 degrees! This feature is particularly useful for double doors, as it creates an almost seamless flow between the spaces when the doors are open, giving you even more room to maneuver. In addition, their elegant design can add a touch of class to your already stylish setup. 

I learned the hard way that Parliament Hinges are what I needed to use to have my skinny double doors open flat against the walls beside. Due to our old Victorian trim, regular hinges meant the doors would not open all the way!

our light interiors bedroom with chandelier above, showing a view to the skinny double doors

Adding an Astragal

The final step you might want to consider is adding an astragal. This is a little piece of trim that hides the gap where the double doors meet. You might want this for privacy or blocking light. You can buy an astragal at the hardware store or create your own by purchasing trim to install on the edge of one of the doors. This means you must close one door before the other to ensure the trim overlaps the other door a little.

Door Hardware

The finishing touch is installing your chosen doorknobs! I used some antique knobs from a yard sale, but it feels a little unbalanced with just 1, so I’ve ordered some from Etsy to put on the other side. Likely I will flip knobs so each side matches (if that makes sense?!).

a before and after of splitting a door in half for our bedroom

Final Thoughts: The Complete Guide to Cutting a Single Door into Double Doors

And there you have it—the complete journey from a single, cumbersome door to sleek, functional double doors. By splitting a door in half, you not only address practical issues as we did with our California king bed, but you also have the opportunity to elevate the aesthetic of your space. Cutting a solid core door and adding the appropriate hinges can be done with a little effort and some basic tools, transforming a basic entryway into something far more convenient and stylish. Making a door into double doors is a win-win situation any way you look at it. Happy home improving!

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  1. You can add a bolt to the bottom or top of the door that goes into the trim or floor!

  2. Google sent me here…I even watched you do this on instagram, and I still went “oh, I recognize that bedroom!” lol. Such a creative solution for the nightstand issue! Thanks for blogging this. I love all of your projects.

  3. Maddie, Thanks so much! I really hope it helps you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need any help/advice!

  4. How were the hinge cutouts from the single door finished? Wood filler?