How To Fix A Catching Door That Won’t Close

When a door has been in use for a long time, it shows some signs of wear and tear on the frame. Sometimes it may even stray from its initial position and fail to perform its basic purpose. The result is a door that catches and may or may not make squeaking noises.

And there’s nothing as annoying as having a door that doesn’t open smoothly and squeaks. Such a door that keeps getting stuck in the frame is not something you can decide to ignore and ‘live with.’ This is because the paint on the door and the frame gets damaged.

How To Fix A Catching Door

What Causes Doors to Catch?

We barely pay much attention to the doors in our homes until they start ‘acting funny.’ When the door begins to catch, you need to find out why it’s happening to come up with solutions. To know how to fix a rubbing door, you must first find out why it’s rubbing.

A door can catch or rub against the door frame due to several reasons. Some of the reasons may be more grave than others. Let us take a look at some of the main reasons your door won’t open or close smoothly:

  1. The door is sagging due to faulty installation.
  2. Hinges are too loose or aren’t well lubricated.
  3. The doors become a little too large due to humidity expansion.
  4. Dirt and debris accumulate, causing door obstruction.
  5. The latches are misaligned.

Materials/Tools Needed

  1. Ladder
  2. Screwdriver
  3. Hammer
  4. Sander
  5. Saw
  6. Crowbar
  7. Measuring tape
  8. Marker
  9. Wood filler
  10. Varnish

The Fixes of the Catching/Rubbing Door

This section will tell you how to fix a catching/rubbing door that won’t close. Remember that it’s always advisable to detach the door and all its accessories before starting working on it to make the process easier for you. It’s best if you have someone around to help with the process.

Step 1: Tighten the Hinges

With time, you notice that your doors aren’t as firm as when they were first installed. The reason for this is that the hinges loosen gradually, getting to a point where the door begins to rub against the frames.

The quick fix to this problem is very simple:

  1. Use a screwdriver to tighten the screws found in the hinges, one at a time.
  2. Watch out not to over-tighten the hinges because too much pressure would cause the screws to break.
  3. Always ensure that the door is positioned parallel to the jamb and frame and swing it to be sure that it opens and closes freely.
  4. Lastly, it would help if you start by securing the top hinge instead of the bottom one.

Step 2: Adjust Latches to Align

The screws on the latch could also work themselves loose over time. This could potentially cause the latches to misalign, and the quickest fix to this problem would be to readjust them. If the door seems to fit and function perfectly from the hinge side, you need to fix it from the latch side. The latch system can be a little hard to reattach, so if you remove the latch and reposition it, check to see that it aligns before screwing it in place.

Ensure that you use a screwdriver and not a drill when realigning the latches. However, you also need to check that they’re firmly fitted for longer service and better security.

How To Fix A Rubbing Door That Won't Close

Step 3: Shift the Door Frames

Altering the door frames is your best bet if you don’t want to compromise the door’s wholeness. This is especially applicable for old or expensive doors whose alterations call for professional skills or if you’re on a tight budget and aren’t looking to expose your door to this kind of corruption.

Use a crowbar to fix the door frame by levering the frame until it fills the gap formed by the wear and tear. Check to see if the door fits before fixing it in place.

Step 4: Sand the Door

This is a pretty invasive method of fixing catching doors, so you need to be very careful to avoid causing irreversible damage to them. Sanding gets rid of the little extra wood that gets caught on the frame.

  1. Mark the area that requires sanding and get started on the process.
  2. If you try to close the door and realize that it still won’t close properly, redo the sanding on the affected area. The goal is to keep sanding until the door closes and opens without friction. You will know that the process is a success when the door stops rubbing.
  3. Don’t get worked up if afterward some areas look bumpy and rough. After sanding, smooth the door out to remove any imperfections and apply varnish to return it to its professionally finished state.
  4. Varnish the door – a single coat isn’t enough, even when you want to add paint on top of the varnish.
  5. Apply about two coats and allow them to dry completely before going in with the paint.

Step 5: Cut the Door Using a Saw

This is yet another extremely invasive solution that requires you to cut a part of the door off. Before you can trim the door, you need to ensure that the hinges are okay and the door is straight and parallel. This method gives a clean cut and eliminates the possibility of bumpy areas on the door.

  1. Takedown the door from the frame by unfastening the screws from the hinges.
  2. The next step is to assess how much trimming needs to be done. Measure the portion that needs to be snipped and mark the area.
  3. Hang the door back in the frame and secure it in place. It should swing smoothly.


If you don’t know how to fix a catching door or don’t want to go through all the trouble, find professional experts to do the repair work. Top Door Repair is a reputable company that will complete the work on time, leaving the greatest possible satisfaction. Reach them via (778) 284-1271 to request a quote or book an appointment.