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How to Adjust French Doors?

How to Adjust French Doors?

Wooden interior French doors are a great addition to any home. They provide an elegant look while offering additional easy access throughout the house. 

Unfortunately, these doors can easily get misaligned, making them difficult to open and close properly due to a build-up of friction between their parts. This friction can also cause damage to your doors over time, so it's important to address this problem as quickly as possible. If you're handy with a screwdriver, then French door hinge adjustment can be a breeze.

This guide from online door retailers United Porte will guide you through the different processes. 

The structure of French doors

Adjusting French doors requires knowledge of door hardware. The tilt-and-turn mechanism is the most widely used. These are the components that make up a system like this:

  • The opening handle. This mechanism controls the opening and closing of the door. It also has the locking cams, which locks and unlocks the door.
  • Lower corner bearing. You can find this at the bottom corner by the frame but on the other side of the handle.
  • Upper stay bearing. This is positioned in the upper part on the same side as the corner bearing.
  • Mushroom and locking cams. Unless it's a safety window, the locking and mushroom cams are on the side of the handle on regular doors and windows.

double door

Adjusting french doors is an easy process that can be done in a few minutes. The process is nearly the same for both interior and exterior doors, but the exterior doors are usually heavier and harder to adjust. Below are common steps for adjusting your French door.

Diagonal Casement Adjustment

The diagonal casement adjustment may be performed to center the sash in the opening and to reposition the leaf if it hits the frame.

  1. Using a tape, measure from each corner of the sash to a point on either jamb. The measurements should be equal. 
  2. Adjust by turning the Adjustment Screws or clockwise to move up or counterclockwise to move down. Using adjustable hinges for French doors this way can also serve the same purpose. 

Parallel Adjustment of the Sides

Whether you have entry doors with glass or UPVC, your French doors should slide back and forth smoothly, not stick in places or get caught on the sill. If it is hitting the sides of the frame when opening and closing, use this process to adjust it. 

  1. Close the door and check to see if it is centered in the frame. If it is not, adjust it by turning both screws of the corner bearing adjuster alternately until you achieve a centered position. One screw should be turned clockwise and the other, counterclockwise. This is how to adjust French doors that rub against the sides of the frame.

Parallel Adjustment of the Height

If you are wondering how to how to fix a French door for proper thermal efficiency, follow these steps:

  • Measure the height where it meets with the doorframe. Note down any gaps between the door and frame on either side.
  • Expose the screw of the corner bearing by removing the plastic cover
  • Adjust the screw, until the frame is level to the doorframe, clockwise to lift and counterclockwise to lower. This is how to level French doors easily so that there are no gaps between your French door and its frame.

Adjusting the Contact Pressure

Perhaps one of the most common French door problems is a lack of contact pressure - the door and frame don't come together all that closely because of bad hinge alignment. This is how to adjust gap between French doors so that it sits flush in its frame.

  • Locate the locking pins (usually on the side of the handle, or the side of the hinge - for safety doors).
  • Turn the pins on either side of the hinge in the same direction to tighten or loosen it. Clockwise will tighten the contact pressure and counterclockwise will make it freer.


How to adjust French patio doors without spending a lot of money? The process can be pretty simple and straightforward if you have the right tools and follow the right techniques. 

Whether you are looking to adjust French door height or pressure, the key is to take your time, make sure that you have everything you need and follow the instructions carefully and completely. 

Most importantly, don’t apply too much force when you’re turning the screws so you don't damage it and incur extra expenses.


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