My Wooden Door is Stuck, What Now?

My Wooden Door is Stuck, What Now?


It’s an average day. You’re going about your business, maybe doing your chores, perhaps just milling about. The door closes behind you. You think nothing of it. But then, you turn to open the door and… the door won’t open. Oh no! The door won’t open! It’s stuck and you can’t get out. Suddenly, your life flashes before your eyes and all you see is yourself, in that room, stuck forever. 

The truth is doors get stuck all the time. And, if they do get stuck, you are not permanently stuck. Yes, you might have to get a bit crafty, but that’s why we’re here. So, before you break out the battering ram and invest in a whole new door, try out some of these tips and tricks.

Why is my door stuck and how do I fix it?

There are all sorts of reasons you may find yourself on one side of a door wishing you were on the other. Wooden doors, as simple as they are, have a myriad of ways that they can break down. Let’s look at some of the reasons your door might be stuck, and if it is, how to open a stuck, wooden door.

It’s not the heat; it’s the humidity. 

During the summer, it gets hot and humid. When it gets hot and humid, wood expands. The reason your door is stuck may be because it had a little too much summer fun and gained a bit around the edges. Expansion happens most often with exterior wood doors.

The fix? This one you can do yourself, but you want to be careful. To fix this problem, you will need to take the door off its hinges and sand it down around the edges. You need to be cautious so that you don’t sand it down too much. It’s best to sand a little, fit it back to the frame, and then sand it down more if necessary.

Is it my foundation? 

If your foundation starts to shift, it could affect your doors and windows as well. This is not uncommon, though it can be a pain. 

The fix? You’re not going to fix this one on your own unless you happen to be a structural engineer. If you are not a structural engineer, you will need to call one. Unfortunately, this is a pricey fix but an important one at that.  

Should I clean my doors?

Doors, just like anything else, get dirty if you don’t clean them regularly. If you haven’t cleaned your door in a while and it’s stuck, there may be so much dirt building up that it isn’t allowing the door to open. This can be especially true of wooden front doors as they are exposed to more elements than your interior doors. 

 The fix? This one is simple. Clean your doors regularly! Not only should you clean around the outside of your doors, but you should also clean the door frame. If you feel extra spry, pull the door off the hinges and give it a nice thorough clean.


Another common issue is that the strike plate on your door is a little wonky. This could be because of poor installation or because things tend to move around over time. If the strike plate isn’t correctly aligned, you might find yourself stuck behind a door that won't open.  

The fix? This will most likely be a case where you need to reinstall the strike plate to make sure it is aligned. You might have to do this several times over the years, but it is a relatively simple process. If the strike plate sticks out, you can try hammering it back into place.

Upgrade your doors.

To avoid getting your wooden door stuck, you could simply change your doors for steel or fiberglass. In the long run, these materials will be more durable and won't get stuck because of elements like heat and humidity. 

If you are in the Jacksonville, Florida area, we would love to have you visit our showroom to talk to one of our specialists or look at new, wooden door options that may be right for you.