How to install Wooden Architraves

Architraves, or door surrounds, are decorative mouldings used primarily to frame doorways and windows. They are extremely versatile and can also be fitted around loft traps, box sash windows, on stair strings, as a wall batten to support or tidy up the front edge of shelves or any other area that need enhancing or hiding! In period homes they can be found sat on top of plinth blocks instead of straight down onto the floor and the skirting board butts into those instead of the architrave. Kelly Parker Mouldings manufactures a wide range of quality wooden architraves that can be tailored to suit your personal taste. We can deliver and install your wooden architraves or you can choose to do it yourself. For the DIY enthusiasts, I have included a quick guide on installing this on your own...

DIY guide to installing our wooden architraves

Step 1: Set out your margins.

The moulding needs to be set back slightly from the front edge of the frame. There's no right or wrong measurement, go for around 5-10mm just don't make them so big you don't have any door lining left to nail the moulding to. Mark a few lines around the lining and crosses at the corners where the architraves will intersect. Tip: The mitre is always more important than the margin, when fixing in place make sure the mitre is always perfect - even if that means it puts the margin out a tiny bit. A bad mitre with filler in is much more noticeable after decorating than a slightly smaller/larger margin.

Step 2: Measure your architraves.

Cut two lengths long enough for the legs. 2.1m is normally enough, but double check. If you have 75mm architrave for example, you can measure up to where the pencil lines cross and add 85mm. Cut a 45 degree angle on the left hand side of a piece long enough for the head.

Step 3: Mark, cut and fix the first leg.

Some people cut and fit the head first then measure up off the floor for the legs. The problem with this is if you cut a leg to length and the 45 doesn't fit perfectly, when you adjust the mitre on the leg it will need to be lifted off the floor a little. That's OK if carpets are being fitted, but not if you are on a finished hardwood floor!
Instead, hold the left leg up to the marks on the door lining and transfer the cross where they intersect onto the inside edge. Turn the chop saw 45 degrees to the left and place the moulding on, with the square edge pressed tight to the back of the fence. Keeping the blade to the right hand side of the line (the ‘waste’ side) cut the mitre. Offer this up and nail to the door lining using 6 or 7 40mm oval head nails. I use p.v.a. Glue on the back as well, where it will touch the door lining.

Step 5: Cut and adjust the head.

Next, cut an opposing mitre on a piece long enough for the head and place it in line with the margins, so the mitre is tight. Often the door linings are fitted badly and the head is out of level. If it’s not a perfect fit you will need to adjust it. This is easiest with a chop saw, if the outside points of the architrave touch but there is a 2mm gap at the inside for example, you need to adjust the saw angle so it will cut 2mm off the point down to nothing at the inside edge, and vice-versa. If you are using a hand mitre saw it will be easier to adjust the angle on the saw and re-cut the work piece completely, instead of trying to take a little to nothing off the end. When you are happy with the fit hold in place and mark the opposite miter, then cut this too.

Step 6: Cut and fix the last leg

lift the right leg up and mark where the angle needs to be cut. Fix the head in place and check the right hand miter fits, then glue and nail. I also put a nail into the miter, down from the top if possible so it can’t be seen. Once everything is pinned on, go round and punch all the nails in. Wipe off any excess glue and sand if necessary as well.

Step-by-step video on installing architraves yourself