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When installing a door, the standard practice is to fix them to open into the room, not the hallway. However, sometimes, builders deviate from this standard.
Can a door open into a hallway? Most interior doors open inwards. However, in some cases, a door can be installed to open into a hallway. The rationale behind doors opening inwards is to keep them from hindering passage and causing collisions. However, the door may be made to open into a hallway if it will be an obstruction for it to open inward.
The rest of this article talks about the doors in your home that can open into a hallway. We also discuss ways to change the way your interior doors open and much more.
Times a door may open into a hallway
There is usually more space in a room than in the hallway which is why doors typically open inward rather than outward.
Nonetheless, there are times when a door can be made to open into a hallway. One of such times is when the door would be obstructed or be an obstruction in the room.
A bathroom door can open into a hallway, although the set standard by builders is for them to open inward. When a bathroom door opens into a hallway, it ensures the convenient placement of bathroom fixtures.
Apart from that, if the occupants of a house are older adults, a bathroom door that opens into a hallway is the better option.
If the occupants have an attack or collapse while in the bathroom, gaining access with a door that opens inward could prove to be difficult.
The same applies if you have kids using the bathroom unsupervised. If the kids end up locking themselves in, an inward opening door is harder to burst through in an emergency.
Conversely, for privacy, bathroom doors that open inwards are the better option. Also, for security, an inward opening door is ideal.
If you ever have to barricade yourself and keep an assailant out, an inward-opening door gives you better chances. But if the door opens into the hallway, the assailant can easily lock you inside the bathroom.
All in all, the bathroom door is one of the most used doors in the home. So depending on the layout of your home, a bathroom door opening into a hallway may cause difficulty for the people using the hallway.
Bedroom doors can indeed open into a hallway. A bedroom door can swing in whichever direction the homeowner decides. Although like the bathroom door, certain situations will require a bedroom door that opens inward.
A bedroom door that opens into a hallway creates some extra space in your bedroom, especially if the normal swing opens the door into a corner.
Closet doors often open into a hallway since there isn’t enough space for the door to open inward. Besides, you can maximize the entire closet if the door opens into a hallway.
When installing a closet door that swings into a hallway, ensure you consider the location of the closet. This closet should not be in a spot where its door will obstruct other doors.
Why Does it Matter Which Way a Door Opens?
In some cases, the direction in which a door opens may not really matter. But when a door swings the wrong way, its use may become restricted.
Although there is no right or wrong way to install a door, you still need to ensure that the door opens in the least obstructive way.
For instance, if a door has a wall to one side, that is the ideal side to place the hinges. It ensures the door opens against the wall providing plenty of clearance and space. You do not want the door hitting the wall and damaging the paint.
When installing the door, ensure that all common paths and areas like hallways are not affected by the direction of the door swing. You would not want to install doors that will inconvenience you, anyone living with you, or your visitors.
5 Steps to Change the Way an Interior Door Opens
If you intend to change the way your interior door opens, follow the steps below:
- Flat-Head Screwdriver
- Primer, Hammer
- Wood Filler
- Nail Punch
- Power Drill
- Putty Knife
- Tape Measure
- The first step to modifying your door is removing it from its hinges. For hinges with bottom caps, use a hammer and screwdriver to dislodge them. Once the bottom caps are removed, tap the pins out of the hinges using a hammer and nail punch.
Be careful not to remove any pins before working on the other hinges to prevent the door from tilting and trapping the remaining pins. Once you have successfully removed all the pins, you can remove the door. If you have a heavy door, ensure you have someone assist you.
The last part of this step is removing the hinges and strike plates using a power drill. The strike plate is a metal piece surrounding the bolt hole.
- The next step for this project is reinstalling the hinges you removed. Using a chisel or a router, cut out new recesses for both the strike plates and hinges on the opposite door jamb. Once you finish cutting the new recesses, you can proceed to drill pilot holes for the screws.
Before drilling the holes, hold up the hinge plate to the doorjamb and use a pencil to mark the position of the screws.
When screwing the hinge plates, ensure the screws go in completely. If the screw heads stick out of the hinge plates, the door will not open fully.
- In this step, you will be repairing the previous hinge location. To do this, fill the recesses with putty or wood filler. Before you fill the recesses, ensure the area is cleaned and sanded appropriately. Then once the putty dries, you may prime and paint the doorjamb.
Before you complete this step, install the hinges in their new location. This way, you can verify that the old bolt hole and recesses correspond with the new ones. Also, if there is a doorstop on the wall, you should relocate it.
- This step is where you rehang the door. But before you do that, reverse the striker and knob using a screwdriver. You may need to drill new hinge holes on the door depending on the type of hinge you use. Once all is in place, you may rehang your door.
After rehanging the door, ensure both sides of the hinges are correctly aligned. If they are misaligned, the pins may not slide into position.
- This last step involves drilling the strike plate recess and bolt hole. Once you successfully rehang the door, open and close it against the doorjamb. When you do this, the bolt will leave a mark showing you where to drill.
After drilling the bolt hole, chisel the recess around it. The leading edge of the strike plate will extend beyond the doorjamb when held up to it.
A door can open into a hallway, especially if it suits the orientation of your home.
But before installing your interior doors, check your local codes for any regulations regarding doors that open into a hallway.