Three Quick Fixes for Interior Doors That Rattle
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Three Quick Fixes for Interior Doors That Rattle

Rattling interior doors are a nuisance. Fortunately the cause is usually a gap that develops between the door stop and the door which is easily remedied. The problem can be fixed by readjusting the tang on the strike plate, by shimming the door stop with cork dots, or by repositioning the door stop strip.

Spring is here and it is time to open up the windows and let the fresh air in. Along with that wonderful, refreshing breeze may the disturbing sound of rattling interior doors. Fortunately the causes of those rattles are easy to diagnose and equally easy to fix. The three quick fixes that I am going to describe in this article are so simple, and so easy to make that even a rank novice DIY person can accomplish them in two shakes of a lamb's tail.

The causes of rattling interior doors

As a rule, the reason interior doors rattle in the breeze is that a gap develops between the door stop, that narrow, vertical strip of wood that the door closes against and the door proper. The gap may develop because the nails securing the door stop to the door frame have come loose, the door stop may have been knocked away from the door when the door was closed forcefully, or the wood may have shrunk with age. No matter the, the fixes are simple and require few tools and little knowledge. The only tools and supplies that you will need are a

  • Battery-powered drill/driver with a combination screwdriver bit or a set of hand screwdrivers with Phillips and straight blades.

  • A 16 ounce claw—hammer.

  • A pair of locking piers.

  • An adjustable wrench.

  • A scrap length of 2X4.

  • Round, cork dots with adhesive backing.


First quick fix

This quick fix, adjusting the tang on the latch strike plate, takes the least amount of time and effort. The tang on the strike plate is what pushes the door tight against the door stop when the door latches. Here is how to make this quick repair.

  • First remove the strike plate from the door frame/door jamb by removing the screws securing it in place. Do not attempt to bend the tang while the strike plate is screwed in place. It will take a considerable amount of force to bend the tang and you may damage the screw holes in the wood, especially if the wood is old and very dry.

  • Once you have removed the strike plate, hold the strike plate firmly with the locking pliers. Then, using the adjustable wrench, commonly referred to as a “Crescent Wrench”, bend the tang towards the opening in the strike plate.

  • Reinstall the strike plate and try the door. If there is still gap that allows the door to rattle, repeat the above steps until the door closes, latches, while being held firmly against the door stop.

The Second Quick Fix

The second easiest way to stop a door from rattling is to shim the door stop with cork dots. These cork dots are most often used for quieting cabinet door an drawers and can be found in the cabinet hardware section of hardware stores and home centers. If you buy the clear ones that blend right in with the color of the woodwork this quick fix is almost invisible to the eye. Use plenty of cork dots placing a dot every 6 to 12 inches along the edge of the door stop.

The Third Fix

The most difficult fix but also the most professional is to reposition the doorstop strip so door rests firmly against it when closed and latched. To reposition the door stop strip, place the scrap piece of 2X4 against the side opposite the door and drive it against the door with the hammer. Repeat this procedure working from the top of door stop strip to the bottom. Be careful not to use too much force or you may split the wood, especially if it old and dry.

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Comments (4)

No rattling doors in my house, thanks Jerry.

Very useful and indispensable tips for those who couldn't find a carpenter and must find a way to silence the door which reminds of that suspenseful episode on a horror movie. Thanks for the tip, Jerry.

Great article, Jerry.  You're right that a rattling door is really annoying. . . now we all know how to fix it!

Good fixes -- tweeted.