What Size Should I Frame My Rough Opening?

Getting the rough opening size right the first time, will save you from frustration, when installing your doors. Framing rough opening sizes are really quite simple.  Just add 2" to the width of the actual door size. You should add 2-1/2" to the height of the actual door. This will give you room to space the door frame off the sub-floor.  See door installation tips. Now all you need to know is- how to  Properly Frame Your Door Rough Opening.

So, if you have a bedroom door that is 30" wide (which is considered a 2/6 or 2'-6" door) just add 2" to the width and frame it 32" wide. The height is 80" (which is considered 6/8 or 6'-8") add 2-1/2" to the actual door height and frame it 82-1/2" high.

Rough Opening Chart: 

2/0 DOOR = 2/2 R.O.                                  
2/4 DOOR = 2/6 R.O.
2/6 DOOR = 2/8 R.O.
3/0 DOOR = 3/2 R.O.


So why does the opening need to be bigger than the door and it's frame? Three reasons:

  1. Room to adjust the door and frame in the opening. Wall framing is call rough framing for a reason. Not all rough openings are completely plumb and square. Leaving this extra space allows you to perfectly plumb, level and square your door installation.
  2. Next, not all doors are exactly the same size. Sizes of the door will vary by manufacturer. Normally this isn't much, but if your rough opening was tight, or exactly the size of the door and the jamb, you may not get the door to function properly without having room to adjust.
  3. Finally, this leaves room for expansion and contraction of the wall. Yes, your wall gets bigger and smaller as the seasons change. It does this by taking on moisture when it's humid outside and shrinks when temperature and humidity levels drop. Again, we are talking about small amounts, sometimes less than 1/16" of an inch, but this can be enough to make that once perfectly fitting door start to stick, rub on the frame or not latch properly.

Door Installation Quick Tip


If you are going to carpet the floor,  shim the door jambs off the floor about 3/8". This will allow carpet to be tucked under the jambs and usually leaves enough clearance so the door doesn't rub on the carpet. Another advantage would be, if your floor isn't level it will allow you to adjust your latch side up or down independently of the hinge side.



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More Rough Opening Tips


Verify the width and height of the door frame are each 1/2" smaller than the rough opening width/height.


Verify the rough opening is square. The diagonal measurements should be the same. Maximum allowable deviation from square is normally 1/4".


Verify the rough opening is level and plumb. The maximum allowable deviation is 1/8" to 1/4".


The rough opening sill must not be crowned or sagged.


Minimum double studs should be used at all rough openings.


The exterior face of the rough opening must be in a single plane.


Watch An Interior Door Installation Here!

Use the EZ-Hang Door Installation System to get perfect fitting doors every time!

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