How to Trim a Hollow Core Door

I’ve just bought a home built in 1956, and the hollow core interior doors are swollen and cannot be closed. Can hollow core doors be shaved off at the top like solid wood doors? -Janie

Hi Janie,

Hollow core doors typically have about one inch of solid wood at the top and bottom, so you should be able to trim a bit off to make them close properly. Your options are to use a hand plane, power plane, or belt sander to remove a small amount of stock, and a circular or hand saw when taking off an 1/8” or more.

Watch our video on How to Trim a Door to find out how to cut off a door using a circular saw and homemade guide.

Good luck with your project,



  1. Can the width of the door be trimmed also? Or is there less wood on sides? I need to trim a hollow core door from 30 x 80 to 79 5/8” x 29 13/16” this would be less than an inch off each side I just don’t want to destroy the door.


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