How to Install a Steel Door in Drywall: All You Need To Know

When you are installing a steel door that will be surrounded by drywall it is important to know that the door frame, must be installed into the metal wall foundation prior to installing any drywall.


How to Install a Steel Door in Drywall: All You Need To Know

You can use a welded metal frame made of hollow tubing for your door frame. You can also use a knockdown drywall frame. The knockdown drywall frame uses anchors that are set into countersunk holes to hold the metal frame in place.

The knockdown frame is specifically fashioned so that the drywall will wrap around the frame and hide it completely.

Welding a Hollow Frame

Welding is performed on the hollow steel frame to create a sturdy, seamless frame. The welding must be done prior to the drywall installation. To get the best results from your welding you should:

  • Cleanse the metal tubing with a degreaser prior to making the weld connections
  • Use a carbide scribe or an awl-like the ones used by woodworkers to make your marks
  • Grind the edges you are welding to create a slight bevel. You can also create this bevel with a hand file
  • Position the sections of the door frame together and use clamps to hold them in position
  • Tack weld the pieces together and check them prior to making your full weld
  • Finish your welding by making a smooth bead to connect the pieces
  • Grind away any rough pieces or splatter

Hang the Drywall

When you are attaching drywall to metal studs it is recommended that you hang the full sheets of the drywall vertically rather than horizontally. You should also have metal tapping screws to hold the drywall in place.

There are specialty metal tapping screws that are designed to use when hanging drywall to metal frames. You can, however, use common drywall screws to do this job.

Prior to hanging the wall covering you must secure the metal wall frame at both the top and the bottom. You do not want the framing to move after you have installed the wallboard.

You should hang the drywall in the ceiling before you start to hang it on the walls, or around the door openings.

You want to install the drywall pieces up to a rough door opening. That means that the framing for the door will be in place, but the door jamb will not be in place.

  • Start your drywall installation along the top section of the wall the door opening is positioned in. You want to hold the drywall up as tightly as you can against the ceiling. You will either need a helper or a drywall lift to help you position and hold the wall covering secure while you install the screws
  • When you come to the door opening pretend like the opening does not exist. Carry the drywall over the opening completely
  • The top portion of your door opening is now covered with drywall. You want to go through the lower section of the door opening and use a drywall saw to cut the drywall and expose the upper portion of the doorway
  • Repeat the installation process across the bottom of the doorway

Install the door jam

When the drywall is in place you are ready to install the door jam. Position the jam in the opening. You will need to put the door on the jam and try opening and closing the door.

Adjust the jam using shims of wood and moving the jam slightly in or out of the opening. When the door opens and closes easily you are ready to screw off the jam in a permanent position.

Once your door-jam is positioned properly you will use trim boards to surround the door and cover any gaps that might exist between the drywall and the door jam. You will want to finish the drywall by taping and floating it, and then paint it, prior to installing your door trim.

Final Thoughts

Installing a steel door in drywall encased opening is not much different from installing a wooden door in a drywall encased opening. The steel door may even be lighter than a traditional wooden door.

Take your time and measure twice before making any cuts.

Abigail Jones

Hi, I'm Abigail. I like spending time tearing my house apart and putting it together back again. Join me on home improvement tutorials, tips on my blog.

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