How to fix a squeaky door

Framing and installation 
A bit of oil or tightening your hinge screws will normally do the trick.

Is there a more heinous assault to the ears than a squeaking door? It’s one of those niggling issues around the home that people often complain about, and rarely fix.

Nobody's ever died from a squeaky door, but when fixing it's such an easy thing to do, why wouldn't you? If your door is squeaking, creaking, or emitting some other miscellaneous sound, chances are you'll be able to fix it yourself in a matter of seconds.


The cause: squeaking door hinges

Door hinges are prone to squeaking if the pin in the hinge bends out of shape, or if the screws in the hinge are not sufficiently tight. Ensuring against the latter is as simple as checking the screws with a screwdriver to see if they have come loose, and tightening them accordingly.

Tightening the screws will often fix the problem. If it doesn't though, a drop of the right kind of oil may well do the trick. Applying any type of oil or lubricant to the hinges will reduce friction and should result in a quieter sound, or may even eliminate the squeak completely regardless of what's causing it.


What sort of oil, and how to apply it

There are many types of oils and lubricants to choose from in the fight against squeaking. While penetrating oils such as WD-40 and other general purpose machine oils have a reputation as the most potent antidote to the problem, there are many competent alternatives which can be reliably used to good effect. Even cooking oils will do the job satisfactorily; door hinges don't require any parrticularly fine grade of oil.

Lubricants should be sprayed, dropped or rubbed carefully directly on to the hinge - just put a few drops on and move the door back and forth several times to work the oil into the hinge.


If you've put sufficient oil on and the problem persists, the hinge pin may need to be removed and sprayed individually before it's reinserted into the door - not all hinges will allow you to do this, of course, and in order to remove the pin you'll probably have to unscrew the door from its hinges (this is normally a two-person job).


Aligning door frames

While lubrication will almost certainly stop the squeaking in the short-term, the problem's likely to come back if the door isn't perfectly aligned within its frame. The consequence of an imperfectly aligned door and frame will be an imperfect distribution of weight, which puts stress on the door's hinges. Having the bottom hinge out of position means the upper hinge will be forced to bear most of the load.

This sort of imbalance may only be possible to correct by detaching the door from the frame, then re-aligning it to make the hinges parallel. If you suspect your door's not correctly aligned, it may be a good idea to get a builder to come and re-set it for you.