Handling Wood Doors in the Field

Finding and specifying all of the elements for your construction project is only the beginning. You need to count on quality all the way through from buying to installation to help ensure a positive result for your clients. Wood interior doors require correct handling and installation to perform up to expectations and last as long as expected. Here we provide some insights on how to handle Masonite Architectural wood doors once they arrive at your job site.

1. Inspect Doors When You Receive Them

It’s always a good idea to inspect any assets as soon as you receive them, and doors are no exception. Because Masonite Architectural’s warranties do not extend to doors installed with obvious defects, check carefully for any freight damage. If you notice any damage, note it on the delivery receipt and notify your distributor immediately. We will take appropriate steps to address any issues.

2. Storage of Wood Doors

Timing is everything in a construction project and there is often a need to store one element temporarily while the project progresses to the right stage. When your wood interior doors arrive, store them flat on a level surface in a dry, well-ventilated location. Cover the doors to protect them from dirt, water, and abuse while allowing for air circulation under and around the stack.

Protect Doors from Discoloration

Cherry, mahogany, walnut, and certain other species of wood tend to discolor if exposed to sunlight or some artificial light sources. Protect doors in those species by also specifying that they be covered with opaque wrap. Some wood species, like oak, contain acids that react with ferrous metals, producing a dark blue-black stain. To avoid this result, keep steel wool or other metal materials away from raw wood doors.

Protect Doors from Heat and Humidity

Intense weather conditions wreak havoc on wood. We recommend storing wood doors at 30 to 50 percent relative humidity and 50 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not subject interior doors to conditions outside this range, as doing so could lead to cracks, warping, or other damage.

Humidity poses a threat to wood doors not just during storage but also following their installation. It is wise to wait until HVAC systems are installed, operating and balanced to make sure the environment isn’t too damp or too dry.

3. Installing Wood Doors

Anyone handling your wood doors should have clean hands or wear clean gloves. When moving the doors, do not drag one door across the surface of another. Instead, lift and carry each door to its new location. Or if available, use a panel dolly for stress-free maneuverability.

Installing Hardware

Follow manufacturer instructions for installing locks or other security devices. Details for installation of door hardware can be found on the Masonite Architectural website.

Installation of Fire-Rated Doors

white doors in hotel room

All fire-rated doors must be installed in accordance with NFPA-80 and must be pre-fit and machined by Masonite Architectural or other licensed machiners. While it is best not to cut doors for openings smaller than those for which they are manufactured, licensed machiners may bevel the stiles at the rate of 1/8″ in 2″ so proper clearance can be maintained.

The standard location for Intertek Testing Serve-Warnock Hersey (ITS-WH) and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) fire-rated door labels is on the hinge stile of the door. It identifies the door as fire-rated. Do not remove, cover up, or paint over the metal fire label.

Do not trim the door lock stile with concealed or exposed intumescence. Doors may be undercut a maximum of 3/4″ from the bottom as long as clearances are maintained per NFPA-80.

Why Choose Factory Finished Doors?

While you can choose to finish doors in the field, it’s recommended that you have wood doors finished in the controlled environment of a factory. With Masonite Architectural, every door is matched to your specifications so you are not limited to a list of common finishes.

Choose from numerous stains and paints to match almost any color available. Factory finishing helps ensure consistency of color, texture and coating across your whole project. Our state-of-the-art spray systems with optimal flash-drying and cooling cycles help provide more durability than field-painted wood doors.

If you do choose to finish them in the field, use high quality finishing materials according to the finishing manufacturer’s directions. Always prepare wood doors before applying stain or topcoat. Keep in mind that any natural color variations in the veneer that exists prior to finishing will be accentuated after stain and finish are applied.

Finding the Right Doors for Every Part of Your Project

Masonite Architectural’s wide range of Aspiro and Cendura Series commercial wood doors, customizable to any look or requirement, allow you to specify all of your doors in one place. We are here to help with the entire process, from selecting to installing. For more detailed information, refer to WDMA I.S. 1A, Industry Standard for Architectural Wood Flush Doors.