Architrave is the moulding that surrounds the frameworks of windows, doors, and loft hatches. Also known as casings or trims, architraves serve decorative as well as functional purposes. While they are not structurally necessary, architraves are primarily used to cover the unappealing joints visible between the frameworks and the wall or ceiling. They are the finishing touch that can enhance the beauty of any room by lending it an elegant look.
This guide reveals all that you need to know about how to fit an architrave around your doors.
Required Tools and Materials
To install a door architrave, you will need the following tools and materials:
- Tape Measure
- Nail Punch
- Wood Filler
- Mitre Saw
- Safety Glasses
- Nail Gun
- Lost Head Nails
- Set Square
- Pipe And Cable Detector
- Putty Knife
Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Fit an Architrave
If you are not sure how to fit a door architrave, follow the steps outlined below, and you will be able to manage the task well.
Step 1: Mark Out the Margins
When installing a door architrave, first use a pipe and cable detector to ensure that the area is free of any pipes or cables. Then draw a line to mark where the architrave will sit. Next, you need to place the architrave slightly back from the edge of the framework to maintain a slim margin. This margin is called a reveal, and it can be approximately 5mm to 10mm.
Remember that if the margin is too less, it can impact the operation of the door hinges and the catch or lock strike plate. Conversely, if it is too large, it will reduce the nailing area.
Using a pencil and a tape measure, mark out the margins on the right, left, and top of the door framework and extend them so that the lines intersect at the corners. Ensure that the margin gap is constant and runs parallel to the edge of the door framework.
Step 2: Draw 45-Degree Angled Line
Place the left side architrave on your doorjamb. Using a set square and pencil, draw a 45-degree angled line to join the intersecting point of the margin you marked in step 1 with the architrave’s outer edge. This diagonal line is the mitre joint where the side architrave will meet the top architrave.
Repeat the step for the top architrave and the right side architrave as well.
Step 3: Mark, Cut, and Fix the First Leg
In this step, you have to mark, cut, and fix the architrave. It is recommended to start with the left leg of the architrave first rather than the head. If you begin with the head and then have to adjust the leg to make the mitre perfect, you may end up with the architrave leg remaining slightly lifted off the floor. You can ignore this if you plan to fit carpets, but not if you want hardwood floors.
Using a mitre saw, cut the leg architrave mitre precisely at the marked 45-degree angle. To get an accurate cut, place the saw blade right above the marked line and start cutting from the inner edge towards the outer one. Then apply adhesive to the back of the leg architrave with linear strokes and temporarily set the mitred leg in place.
Step 4: Cut and Fix the Head
Next, take the head architrave and proceed to create mitre cuts on the marked angles using the mitre saw. Follow the rule of cutting from the inner edge marks towards the outer ones. After you finish, the head architrave should be wide on the top edge and narrow on the bottom edge.
Check that the head architrave sits flush with the leg architrave you have already fixed. If not, make adjustments and fix the issue. Once you are satisfied, apply adhesive to the architrave’s back and temporarily fix it in position.
Step 5: Cut and Fix the Final Leg
Take the right leg architrave and, using the mitre saw, cut it along the marked line following the instructions mentioned in step 3. Remember that the mitre direction for the right leg and the left leg will be different.
Once you are done with the cutting part, place the architrave leg in position and check if it sits flush with the head architrave. Make adjustments, if needed. When the setting is fine, you can proceed to put adhesive on the back of the right architrave leg and temporarily fix it.
Step 6: Nailing the Architrave
This is the final part of fitting your door architrave. In this step, you need to fix the architrave permanently.
Put on your safety glasses. Next, use a nail punch and a hammer or a nail gun to sink in lost head nails below the surface of the architrave and secure it. Next, apply wood filler with the help of a putty knife to cover the nailed spots and smoothen the surface of the architrave. Let the filler dry up before you proceed to paint the architrave.
Now that you know how to fit an architrave around a door, it should not pose a challenge to you to carry out this task. But make sure that everything is done perfectly, especially the mitre joints. Depending on your ability and the doorframe you are handling, you can complete the whole process within a couple of hours.
1. How to Fit an Architrave on Uneven Walls?
An easy way to deal with this problem is to take strips of MDF or wood that are equal in thickness to the protruded part of your wall and fit them. But make sure that they are not flush with the frame. Rather, place them back by around 5mm. Put the architrave on top of it and again place it back by 5mm. This will enable the door hinges to remain fitted in their original position, and your architrave will have a remarkable look.
2. What Nails to Use for the Architrave?
The purpose of using nails for architrave is to fix it to the wall permanently. You can use 40mm oval or lost head nails to keep your architrave secured to the wall. If you are driving nails to ensure that the mitre joints remain flush, you can use 50mm lost head nails for this purpose.