Door Jamb Not Flush With Drywall – Here’s What To Do

Besides the possible insulation issues, a door jamb not flush with the drywall just looks awful. It will constantly draw the eye whenever you approach the door and walkthrough. The human eye quickly picks up things that are out of order and the broken depth of a door jamb is hard to miss.

One of the most common fixes (especially if it’s a minor misalignment), is to sand the drywall down until it’s flush. You can also go at it the old-fashioned way—with a hammer and some elbow grease. Lastly, you can extend the jam to match the drywall. 

A door jamb is only a portion of the door frame, rather than the whole, but when it’s out of alignment with the drywall, it just looks awful. Fortunately, it’s not the most difficult thing in the world to straighten out, at least with the right tools.

Door jamb not flush with drywall

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What Issues Can An Incorrectly Installed Door Jamb Cause?

A poorly fitted door jamb can cause multiple issues, one of them being insulation. That doesn’t mean we’re only talking about exterior doors. You may have a smart home with regulated temperatures in each room or you’re running a heater or window AC in a separate room.

Even if you’re not doing either of those things, you want a decent seal when you close a door in your home. You’d be surprised at how well a flush doorframe seals out noise as well. A poorly installed door jamb can also cause problems with the door. 

A door is designed to shut in such a way that the surrounding framework supports it. The hinges installed on the side jamb are not designed for up and down strain and even the slightest misalignment can place pressure on the hinges and hinge pins

Of course, the most common problem is the door not shutting right, which is highly aggravating regardless of all of the other, potential issues. It also creates an area of ingress. If you hate mice and rats or bugs, well, a misaligned door jamb may just be an open door for pest infiltration. 

Fixing a Door Jamb not Flush with the Drywall

As we mentioned above, one of the most common methods for fixing the issue is sanding or scraping down the drywall until it’s flush with the door jamb. Of course, this doesn’t fix the underlying problem since sanded drywall creates the illusion that it’s not flush. 

However, it’s a good fix if it’s only the slightest misalignment. It’s fairly simple to do with a small belt sander or possibly even a hand sander. It will create a heck of a mess, however, so be sure to wear a dust mask. 

Use Strips of Wood

When the gap isn’t gigantic but there is still more breathing room than you’re comfortable with, you can use small strips of wood, some glue, and a little elbow grease to fill the gap. 

  • Measure the diameter of the gap
  • Be sure your measurement method is accurate down to the 1/16 or 1/32
  • Wooden sticks in a variety of diameters are available in most hardware stores
  • Cut the sticks to length
  • Use a staple gun to secure the sticks
  • If you have a C-Clamp and you can fit it, use wood glue or standard Elmer’s Glue
  • Prime the new wood
  • Come back later and paint it to match

You would be amazed at how well wood glue and standard Elmer’s glue work when set and clamped overnight. However, this isn’t always applicable since doorframes aren’t always easily accessible with something as large as a C-clamp. It’s worth checking out if you can. 

Install a Door Jamb Extension

This is a fairly common fix as well, especially for the widest gaps that wooden sticks are just a shade too small for. While you should remove the door for a wooden stick fix, you will definitely have to do so for this method.

  • Measure the diameter as closely and accurately as possible
  • Remove and set aside the door
  • Make sure you grab a door jamb extension exactly the same size as the measurement between your outer walls
  • Remove the trim around the door (if applicable)
  • Jamb extensions are usually installed with wood glue or provided nails
  • Secure the jamb extension
  • Reinstall any trim or crown molding
  • Reinstall your door

Doors are surprisingly irritating to install without the right tools, especially since they need to be securely level with the hinges and framework.

Take your time and try not to get too frustrated with it. With the job done, you’ll have a flush door jamb and drywall along with the feeling of a job well done. 

Bottom Line

When your door jamb and drywall are not flush, it’s aggravating just to look at, along with the problems it could cause if left unchecked. Fortunately, solutions are fairly simple and easy to come by. 

Once you fix it, the door will no longer catch your eye when walking through or by it, and opening or shutting the door will probably feel a whole lot smoother. Ultimately, you’ll feel a lot better having done it and you’ll also avoid potential problems down the road.