How To Fix A Broken Door Tongue

If a door does not come together correctly with its frame, then it may get stuck and refuse to come open, or it may not close at all, this happens a little too often with today’s cheap particleboard doors and drywall mounting. The house can shift or the frame can sag and you have to reconfigure the whole thing, and another ordinary problem is the door tongue breaks, or the striker plate on the door frame that receives the door tongue comes out. If anyone has ever forced their way through the door, it was probably the door tongue or striker plate that broke, so if you know how to fix a broken door tongue, then you can have the door working again in no time at all. Having the right tools for the job is essential, so be sure you have everything you need before you start to avoid frustrations down the road. Have all of the basics at the ready:

  • A hammer
  • Multiple sizes of nails
  • An oscillating tool
  • Accessories for an oscillating tool, found at Fitzall
  • Electric screwdriver
  • Screws

If the door tongue is not properly installed, then you simply need to take the doorknob out and put it back in correctly. The door tongue is backwards when the flat part of the tongue meets the striker plate, instead of the curved part, but if the door tongue is broken completely, then you will probably have to replace it. But if it is only stuck, then a little bit of WD-40 has been known to work wonders, and nearly any frozen part can be persuaded to give a little with the scientific application of a lubricant.

If that part seems to work correctly, the next place to check is the door setting, so examine the way that the door swings closed, the door tongue must meet up properly with the striker plate, or the door is not going to hold. If they do not come together well, you may need to move the striker plate a little, and it is always best to try to fix the striker plate first, because if that doesn’t work you have to start doing serious carpentry. Often you can solve the problem just by moving the plate a little bit inward, away from the closing door, but if the striking plate cannot be moved, then it might be possible to reshape the hole a bit to let the tongue slip in more easily.

If that doesn’t work, the two best areas to adjust are the frame and the hinges, and this might be as easy as hammering some shims under the bottom of the door jamb, or it might be a serious repair. If the problem is really serious, then you might have to take the hinges off and reseat the door.

Author Bio

Mike has been freelance writing for a number of years, and loves to write home improvement, parenting, travel, and health articles.


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