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How to Install Door Hinge Shims

This article shows you where to put Hinge Shims to adjust your door if it is out of alignment with the doors frame. The Hinge shims shown in the diagram below are 1/2" wide .060 Thick Hinge Shim and .090 Thick Hinge Shim.


where to put hinge shims

Using shim (A) only: will move both door and Center Line (CL) of hinge barrel in the -X direction.


Using shim (B) only: will move door only in the -X direction.


Using shim (C) only: will move both door and Center Line (CL) of hinge barrel in the +X direction.


Using shim (D) only: will move door only in the +X direction.


Using both shims (C) and (D): will move door in the +X direction by a greater amount than using them individually.


fix door gap too big

When your door has too large of a gap at the lock edge of the door, install door shims as follows:
See Figure 1 above for shim locations.


Place equal thickness shims at location (C): between each jamb mounting plate and hinge leaf.


Additional adjustments can be made if needed by placing equal thickness shims at location (D): between each door mounting plate and hinge leaf.



fix door gap too small

When your door has too small of a gap at the lock edge of the door, install door shims as follows:
See Figure 1 above for shim locations.


Place equal thickness shims at location (A): between each jamb mounting plate and hinge leaf.


Additional adjustments can be made if needed by placing equal thickness shims at location (B): between each door mounting plate and hinge leaf.

Warning Note: Shim (A), when too thick, can cause hinge bind when door is closed, especially if weather strip is used on the hinge rabbet.



fix door toe-out

When your door has "TOE-OUT" (gap larger at bottom of door compared to top of door) install door shims as follows:
See Figure 1 above for shim locations.


TOE-OUT can be improved by placing shims at location (C) and/or (D): between each jamb and/or door mounting plate and Bottom Door Hinge leaf.


Additional adjustments can be made if needed by placing shim at location (A): behind Top Door Hinge which will help rotate the door around the Middle Door Hinge.

Warning Note: Shim (A), when too thick, can cause hinge bind when door is closed, especially if weather strip is used on the hinge rabbet.

Also see: How to fix a Sagging Door



fix door toe-in

When your door has "TOE-IN" (gap larger at top of door compared to bottom of door) install door shims as follows:
See Figure 1 above for shim locations.


TOE-IN can be improved by placing shim at location (A): between each jamb door mounting plate and Bottom Door Hinge leaf and possibly Middle Door Hinge also.


Additional fine adjustments can be made by placing thin shims at location (C) and/or (D): behind Top Door Hinge.

Warning Note: Shim (A), when too thick, can cause hinge bind when door is closed, especially if weather strip is used on the hinge rabbet.


Note: 1/2" wide shims can not be used on some hollow metal frames and/or hollow metal doors, without also using a full width shim plate. If there is a large opening space around your hinge mounting plates that would allow a 1/2" wide shim to fall into, use .060 Thick Hinge Shim Plates or .090 Thick Hinge Shim Plates.

Also see: Door Hinge Replacement Guide for more tips and tricks.



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