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The Heritage Collection / Doors  / Why do doors warp and can this be fixed?

Why do doors warp and can this be fixed?

When purchasing a timber door, especially if it is solid oak, the most common worry that people have is that the door will warp and they will have to replace the door. Although this does happen with some doors, in most cases warping can be prevented (and in some cases fixed) – this is what we are going to be talking about here.

Why do doors warp?

Doors warp due to fluctuations in humidity and moisture levels in the timber. When there is an increase in humidity, the moisture in the door also increases. High moisture levels in the door will cause the door to expand while low moisture levels shrinks the wood.

Warping mostly occurs where there is a rise in humidity or in damp conditions, causing the moisture in the air to soak into the wood. This is most common in bathrooms, when doors have been stored in a freshly plastered room or with external doors that are vulnerable to fluctuating weather changes.

A Warped piece of unfinished timber

How do you prevent doors from warping?

The best way to ensure that the door doesn’t/resists warping is with a high quality finish, an oil will feed and nourish the wood from inside the wood grain enabling resistance against moisture. A varnish, on the other hand will provide a waterproof seal around the wood. The door will need to be finished once all the hinges and locks have been cut out, this is to ensure the door is thoroughly finished and make sure that no excess moisture is absorbed by the door.

When you receive your doors, they must be stored away from building works that can generate an increased humidity such as plastering or decorating work, particularly in their unfinished state. Failure to do this can lead to the door taking on moisture which will cause swelling. Our doors have been designed with built in expansion gaps to allow expansion of the timber without causing bowing, but these only provide so much protection and once gone, any further expansion of the door will almost certainly lead to bowing.

Doors should always be stored flat, on a level surface and clear of the floor on at least 3 level full width bearers.

How to fix a warped door?

If you have a door that has warped, do not worry all is not lost and there is a chance it can be fixed. Before fixing your door always assess the damage first

  • Remove the door from the frame, sand and finish or refinish your door
  • If the warped door causes misalignment of the latches to the door frame, you need to adjust the hinges. You can either tighten, move or replace hinges that no longer carry the weight of the door
  • Place both of your sawhorses (or something similar) four to five feet apart in a covered area. Lay the door across both of the sawhorses. Be sure to lay the door down with the bowed side facing up and then us sandpaper and sand the top and bottom of the door.
  • If the door is only slightly bowed, take the sandbag or an object of a similar weight and lay it across the area that is warped. Leave the sandbag for 24 hours or until the warp is gone.
  • If the weight is not enough or if the door is more severely bowed, wet some heavy towels or large blankets and lay them across the warped area only. Each say re wet the towels and 5 – 10 lbs of weight onto the door it is completely straight again, this can normally take several days. Once the door has been flattened you will need to wait until the door dries and the apply a few coats of varnish on the whole door to make sure that the warp doesn’t happen again.





Please note if you have ordered a door from us and the door has warped after it has been finished please send us some images to and we can see what we can do for you!