Tips for Writing Division 8 Specifications for Doors

Tips for Writing Division 8 Specifications for Doors

As an architect or designer, you’re no stranger to MasterFormat. Relying on this standardized delivery of project information enables smooth communication between you and your clients, and within the construction team. With 50 Divisions and numerous Sections, some of them overlapping, MasterFormat takes time and skill to use expertly. Division 8 involves openings, with several sections related specifically to interior wood doors. Here, we will delve into those sections and provide tips for writing Division 8 specifications as completely and clearly as possible.

Which Division 8 Sections Relate to Wood Doors?

Division 8 covers all kinds of openings, including doors, grilles, entrances and glazing systems, windows, skylights, hardware, glazing materials, louvers and vents. The following sections are the ones you will address when specifying Masonite Architectural doors.

Flush Wood Doors (08 1416)

This Section includes:

  • Solid-core doors with wood-veneer faces. 
  • Solid-core doors with plastic-laminate faces. 
  • Factory finishing flush wood doors 

Stile and Rail Wood Doors (08 1433)

This Section includes:

  • Interior and exterior stile and rail wood doors
  • Interior fire-rated stile and rail wood doors
  • Fire-rated wood door frames
  • Factory fitting wood doors to frames and factory machining for hardware

    Door Hardware (08 7100) 

    This Section includes:

    • Mechanical door hardware for swinging doors and sliding doors
    • Cylinders for door hardware specified in other Sections
    • Electrified door hardware

    Glazing (08 8000)

    This Section includes:

    • Glass for windows and doors 
    • Glazing sealants and accessories
      Sliding interior wood doors with hardware

      Things to Keep in Mind When Specifying Doors

      At Masonite Architectural, we strive to help architects and designers execute a successful project. We want to help you cover everything you need to write clear and concise Division 8 specs, close any loopholes and avoid omissions.

      Masonite Architectural stile and rail door in a hotel.

      1. Clearly Define the Quality Assurance Standard

      One of the most important steps is to indicate AWS (AWI) or WDMA quality assurance standard, and which version of the standard. For example:

      • ANSI/WDMA I.S. 1A-13 for Interior Flush Doors
      • ANSI/WDMA I.S. 6A-13 for Stile and Rail doors
      • AWS Edition 2-2015 Architectural Woodwork Standards

      Take care to remove older versions that are no longer used.

      2. Clearly Define Environmental Requirements

      Environmental requirements may be noted in Division 1, Division 8, or both. Take care not to overlook these and be specific when listing the sustainability standard, including the version.

      For example, you may need to specify LEED certification, International Green Construction Code IgCC, Living Building Challenge, CalGreen, Green Globes, or CHPS. Define the environmental attributes to which the doors apply. Include the type of compliance that is needed to meet low-emitting materials credits (NAUF, NAF, ULEF, CARB), and whether the doors use recycled, certified, regional, or rapidly renewable wood. Finally, list documentation requirements, such as SDS, EPD, HPD, or CSR.

      3. Note Product Testing and Certification Requirements

      Clearly define whether product testing reports or third party certification validation is required for the project’s doors. An example of how you might express this is “Fabricate doors with adhesives and composite wood products that comply with the testing and product requirements of the California Department of Health Services.” All door types should comply with the requirements you list.

      4. Include the WDMA Performance Duty Level

      Performance duty level will vary according to where the door will be placed and the building type. Identify which WDMA duty level each door must meet: Heavy Duty, Extra Heavy Duty, Standard Duty. Multiple duty levels can be listed within a project, so you may use Heavy Duty only in high traffic areas, for example.

      5. List Construction Grade and Face Grade

      Remember to list these two grades separately. For construction, specify Premium or Custom. Custom is the standard grade and will differ minimally in appearance from Premium. Due to limited availability, it is generally recommended to only specify Premium grade construction for special circumstances. For face grade, specify A or AA. Note that AA veneers may be more difficult to source due to limited supply.

      6. Check References to Adhesive Type

      For flush wood doors, the AWS and WDMA standards allow manufacturers to use a Type I or Type II adhesive to attach the face to the core, as long as the assembly meets the performance criteria of the duty level specified. Specifications should allow for use of either if you include a reference to “adhesive type.” Formaldehyde-free adhesives may also be available from your manufacturer of choice.

      7. Clarify Wood Species and Cut

      Many factors go into the ultimate look of the wood for a door. You will need to think through species, sapwood vs. heartwood, and wood cut. Indicate the species to be used for the veneer.

      A major consideration is whether you want white or natural characteristics; birch, maple, and ash need to be defined as natural or white. If you do not designate one or the other, most manufacturers will default to natural. Also remember that oak must be identified as red or white.

      In addition to species, always include the cut of veneer, as cut can completely change the look of wood. Choose from rotary, plain-sliced, or quarter-sliced, or — when specifying oak only —  rift cut.

      Masonite Architectural Cendura Series standard wood veneer office door.

      8. Note Face Lay-Up and Matching Requirements

      Another factor in how a veneer looks is how the cuts of wood are faced and/or matched. Specify the desired lay-up such as slip match, balance match, or center match. Include special veneer requirements, such as:

      • Selected flitch material
      • Special flitch width or specific number of flitch pieces
      • Vertical or horizontal lay-up

      Book and running match is the standard default for A grade by most door manufacturers, as it is the most economical lay-up option, followed by balanced and then centered lay-up options.

      9. Define Figured Veneer Requirements

      In addition to all of the above factors that affect the appearance of the veneer, also think about the degree of figuring desired, with either a low, medium or high designation. Common degrees of figuring include Low, Medium, and High. The higher degree of figure typically means a higher cost. Manufacturers will typically quote the least costly, which is a low figure if no degree of figuring is specified. Even specifying a degree of figuring does not guarantee that every door will have the same amount of figure — there is always a range.

      10. Exclude Non-Required Information

      Almost as important as what you include in your Division 8 specifications is what NOT to include. For example, exclude room or sequence match references if they are not required. Room match applies to a room of doors or a hallway of doors where they are located within close proximity of each other, where consistency is important. You can call it out in any specification, but it’s most commonly found in AWI Premium Grade projects. A room match must be specified if truly needed, but keep in mind it can add substantial cost to a project and may not be available from all manufacturers.

      11. Include Laminate Required Type and Thickness

      There are two types of decorative laminate, so take care to indicate which one the doors should have. It’s important to understand the difference between high-pressure and low-pressure laminate (thermo fused melamine).

      Also take into account laminate grades and thickness. Indicate horizontal grade surface (HGS), vertical grade surface (VGS), or post-forming. Thicknesses can range from .28 to .048, with the latter being most common.

      Make sure to include the laminate manufacturer, pattern number, and finish number such as matte or suede in your specification. Manufacturers will bid a generic standard laminate if no specific color is indicated.

      12. Consider Specifying Multiple Surface Types

      Not all door surface types are suited to every application. Understand the differences so that you can specify whether each interior door should have a veneer, laminate, and high-impact surface material. Veneer door surfaces provide the feel of warmth and well-being. Laminate surfaces provide a consistent appearance from door to door in addition to impact resistance. High Impact surfaces such as vinyl or PVC are the ultimate solution for those areas that need the most protection from heavy use.

      Using multiple surface types on a project allows you to specify the best material by location. In some instances, different surface types can be matched with one another to give your project a more consistent look.

      Slip Match Veneer wood door sample from Masonite Architectural
      Plain Sliced Cherry Saffron Stain veneer wood door sample

      13. Define Vertical Edge Requirements

      Not all vertical edges are alike, so noting the type of edges allowed is critical. Otherwise, you will get the manufacturer’s standard construction. Note whether door edges should be matching or compatible – and remember that these are not the same. Edges could be compatible but not match. Consider whether you want:

      • Veneer edge band over SCL
      • Thin hardwood over SCL
      • Hardwood/softwood lumber with outer-ply of different widths
      • Laminate edge bands for HPDL doors
      • Painted/stained edges for laminate doors
      • Veneer edge band over SCL
      List specifics if you want something other than the manufacturer’s standard. Note that, for fire-rated doors, field trimming may not be possible if an intumescent must be incorporated into the construction.

      14. Define Top and Bottom Requirements

      Every part of the door matters, and that includes the top and bottom. Note whether you need these to be:
      • Structural composite lumber
      • Hardwood or softwood lumber
      • Laminate edge for HPDL doors
      • Cleanable smooth impact resistant edge
      As with door edges, remember that matching and compatible are not the same. Also consider you want the same tops for all doors or only those where the top rail is visible from above.

        15. Include Regulatory Requirements for Fire Safety

        Fire-rated doors include a mineral core, but the whole door opening works together in the case of a fire. Flames and smoke can get through any openings in the assembly. Because wood doors do not expand when heated, door edges may burn away. An intumescent seal between the door and frame can fill any gaps that might form, by expanding in the presence of heat. The seal may be incorporated into either the door or the frame. If it’s in the frame, it can be pulled off, so keep that in mind for certain locations like schools. In Division 8, specify whether the door must withstand positive pressure testing (UL 10C) or neutral pressure testing (UL 10B)
        Cross section of fire rated Masonite Architectural interior door

        You will also need to specify Category A or B. Category A doors do not require intumescent sealing or already have it built in. Category B doors require an additional edge-sealing system installed at the jobsite. Category A construction is recommended where an intumescent seal is not necessary. It typically — though not always — costs less, minimizes the risk of intumescent being vandalized while frame applied, and generally looks better.

        16. Be Precise with Door Core and Construction Types

        Be precise when specifying door cores; door manufacturers offer numerous core types. Some of these options will be dictated by building codes. In other cases, a client may want a specific core type in order to reduce noise or provide additional safety. Note the following when specifying door cores:
        • Bonded or non-bonded
        • Whether Particle Board should be wood or can be Agrifiber
        • Note that Particleboard does not necessarily mean wood. Allows Agrifiber if not defined as wood.
        • Requirements for mineral or fire-resistant composite
        • Lead-lined doors, such as for a radiology room in a hospital

        17. Define the Door Hardware Required

        You will need to define hardware reinforcement needs. Indicate if hardware reinforcement blocking is needed for some or all doors. When it comes to door hardware, you might find areas of overlap with Division 28, electronic safety and security. The 2016 MasterFormatⓇ update moved some products from Division 8 to 28, including delayed egress devices, non-integrated locksets, keypad lockets, stand-alone locksets and electric strikes. Confusion may arise over where to specify these things, so you may wish to duplicate this information in both Divisions. In addition, installation, keying and commissioning must be coordinated between the two divisions.

        18. Add Details About Lite Bead and Glazing

        When wood doors include lites, you have some additional specifications to consider. Make sure to confirm glazing requirements and lite bead shape and material. Note whether to include:

        • Wood, metal, or fire-resistant composite
        • Wood or metal lite beads
        • Flush or lip beads
        • Whether MVFs should be primed, painted or veneer wrapped
        • Glass type and thickness
        You may also specify factory glazing or field glazing, but keep in mind that recent codes require lights to be glazed at the factory or by a licensed machiner. Therefore, field installation may not meet code.

        19. Choose the Finish System, Sheen and Color

        Verify the finish system, sheen and color for your doors. For interior wood doors, there are two grades of finish processes: Premium and Custom. First note which of these processes you need. Identify the finish system to be used. i.e. lacquer, varnish, polyurethane and check to see if the manufacturer offers it. Most manufacturers only offer one finish type (TR-8/AWS System 9). If multiple approved manufacturers are noted in the specification, then the construction standards indicate that the chosen manufacturers finish process is considered acceptable When specifying sheen level, use the manufacturers standard gloss level, rather than terms like satin, flat, etc.

        20. Remove Any Door Specifications Not Required

        What you include in your commercial door specifications is critically important — but what you don’t include matters, too. To avoid confusion, remove all references to any project certification that is not required. All project certifications add cost. Recommend that a manufacturer’s letter of compliance to specifications be accepted in lieu of certification. A manufacturer’s letter of compliance is not part of the AWI QCP Certification. Reference to an AWI Letter of Licensing is not a valid statement and is not used by the AWI Quality Certification Corporation that administers the AWI QCP Program. Also, note that not all manufacturers are AWI QCP Participants.

        Final Thoughts on Division 8 Door Specifications

        MasterFormat requirements come from the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI) and Construction Specifications Canada (CSC) and are intended to make information easy to navigate by architects, contractors and others involved with a project. In order to make them as helpful as possible, follow these tips.

        Specifications need to be clear and concise to ensure the product that gets delivered is what you and your client expect. Remember to allow adequate time to flesh out the details of each and every Section.

        Order samples of Masonite Architectural doors to get started planning your next project.