Door and Hardware Tips
This page contains some tips you might find useful. We will periodically add a new tip so please keep checking back.
When installing a frame into an existing concrete wall, the frame will have to be "punch and dimpled" and have expansion bolts supplied with it. Make sure you get the correct size when you receive your product. The 5" bolts are good for a poured slab wall but if you try to use these in a block wall that is not filled inside the block, they will be a bit too long and extend into the hollow part of the block and will not grab anything. The 4" bolts are needed for this type of wall.
When the project you are working on consists of a building with four or more stories, the stairwell doors will have to be fire rated, as with all stairwell doors, but they will also have to be rated as the temperature rise type. This means that the temperature on the stairwell side of the door can't get over a certain amount during the first 30 minutes of a fire. Most suppliers will take care of this for you, but it is always a good idea to check the label on the doors before you hang them.
If the project you are working on is a remodel and you are putting new hollow metal doors into existing hollow metal frames, remember that all manufacturers make their hinge and lock preps in different locations. You will not only have to measure the hinges (from door top to hinge top) and lock prep (from door top to centerline of lock), but you will also need the hinge backset (from the door edge to the hinge edge). This is usually 1/4" or 5/16" but it can also be 3/8". This is important because if the hinge is cut in with the wrong backset, the door will probably bind.
The two most common ways to mount a door closer are either parallel arm or standard arm. The parallel (PA) arm type will mount on the push side of the door. The standard (STD) type will mount on the pull side of the door. Most door closers will be packed with the boot screwed onto the arm for STD mount and the PA bracket as a loose item to be installed if needed. On outswing exterior doors, you would obviously install it as a PA type. The interior door closers can be mounted either way to suit your needs. Doors going into an office from a hallway would generally be installed as STD arm so the closer would not show in the hallway while storage room doors that swing out would be mounted as PA arm to keep the closer inside.
Some requirements for a fire rated opening:
1/ The hinges must be steel ball bearing.
2/ It must have a closer so the door can not be left open.
3/ It must have a latchset of some kind so the door will stay closed.
4/ The door will have to be labeled (see Fire rated hollow metal doors and frames for the different types of labels).
On fire rated openings, most think that the door and frame have to have the same rating as the wall. This is not the case. If the wall is 1 hour rated, then the opening will have to be 45 minute rated. Just the same as when the wall is 2 hour rated, the door and frame will be 1 1/2 hour rated. The reasoning behind this is that "hot spots" can be created along the wall by placing a book case or some other item against the wall that will give the fire more fuel where the door and frame will have nothing on either side of it.
Some exit devices are sold as "exit only", meaning they are used for leaving the building only with nothing on the outside of the door. If you will need to enter the building through this door, you have to specify that some sort of outside "trim" will be required. There are many different styles and functions of trim available to suit whatever your needs may be.
When you are installing the strike for a rim exit device, "cheat" it down as far as possible. The chances of the door creeping upward are unlikely, while the possibility of it sagging later on is greater.
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