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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2004 1:31 am 
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Location: Atlanta, GA
Hey folks,

I'm about to put in a door between my first floor studio and the second floor living area (it's a split-level home). I'm going with a prehung, solid core interior-grade door. This means it's already got a hole drilled in it for the doorknob, etc., which I'll have to deal with.

On the house side of the door is drywall, and it's at the bottom of a staircase. On the studio side is paneling right now, but that's soon to be drywall as soon as I get around to it. I need to put the door in pretty soon, though, as my wife isn't going to want to hear the racket that's going to start this weekend. (strangely, there's currently just an empty opening there that's door-sized, but doesn't have a door in it.)

This is the first time I've put in a door, and the Home Depot book says it's pretty easy -- just stick the door in the opening, shim it, nail it, and nail up the trim (I'll do the last one after the drywall goes up). I've also read all the stuff about putting open-cell weatherstripping where the door meets the jamb/threshold, and also about adding mass to increase TL. (putting in two doors here is not practical, unfortunately.)

My question--is there anything I should keep in mind when I'm actually putting the thing in the wall that would increase the isolation of the door? I did a search here, but couldn't seem to find anything specific. You can check out my plans here:

http://www.johnlsayers.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=1637

The door I'll be putting in is the one with the blue box around it (in the second-to-last image on the first page).

Thanks in advance for your help!
-Will


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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2004 2:57 am 
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Here's a basic install scenario for NON acoustic doors -

http://www.homestore.com/homegarden/hom ... e&tran=vud

Notice the pic at step 6, the one with the large GAPS around the door? Here's where the procedure changes. Before you go any further, you need to get some acoustic rated caulk and a few pieces of fiberglass wall insulation - stuff the cracks full of fiberglass, and if the crack is wider than about 1/4" (it probably will be) get some foam backer rod (look in weatherstripping section of your building supply) - work the foam rod into the cracks (both sides of the door) and then caulk with acoustic caulk.

If you can't find acoustic caulk locally (commercial drywall/insulation contractors are best bet, usually around $4.50 per LARGE tube) you can get it here

http://www.acousticalsolutions.com/prod ... /caulk.asp

If you don't need to lock your door, look for one WITHOUT pre-drilled lockset holes and buy a good closer ($100-$300) - Then, use a surface mounted handle (for the pull side) and a large flat stainless or brass plate (for the push side)

sealing around the door - check this thread -

http://www.recording.org/postlite16876- ... strip.html

Door bottoms - if there's a threshold that's extruded aluminum, fill it with plumber's putty before installing, and wipe off the excess - hollow extrusions don't do squat for sound control.

Exterior door sweeps can help some for sound leakage, but not a lot - for around $250, you can get a drop-seal complete door kit here -

http://www.acousticalsolutions.com/prod ... l_kits.asp

Notice in the pic that the extrusion against the floor is not solid? Plumber's putty...

Out of time for now, hope this helped... Steve


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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2004 4:38 am 
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fantastic, as usual. Thanks, knightfly.

So how bad is it if I'm using a door with a lockset hole? What can I do to eliminate transmission through the hole, and what will the difference be doorknob/no treatment vs. doorknob/treatment vs. solid slab (no lockset hole)?

Thanks,
Will


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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2004 8:06 am 
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I haven't done/seen any definitive tests on this - gut feel, knowing how much you lose in effectiveness with the tiniest cracks - I'd say at least 10 dB loss in performance with ANY break in the slab, possibly a bit less with $$$ hardware designed for this -

Personally, I would either find a solid door with no holes or fill the hole with Fixall putty (3-4 stages to fill the entire depth) and then put non-penetrating hardware over it as I mentioned earlier. Then, either a magnetic seal kit or the diy car weatherstripping approach.

IF you can't afford the expensive seal kits (much less a $5000 Overly door) and are willing to step over a 1" sill each time, you can add cleats to the three sides and a flat 1x3 for a door sill - you close the door, stick the weatherstripping onto the cleats and sill first, then push them flush against the door surface and screw only (no glue) - finally, caulk around the joints. This way, when the weatherstrip compresses a bit you can remove the screws, cut the caulk with a razor knife, drill different screw holes and re-install (or just put in new weatherstrip) - This seals the door all around, but you'll need to step over the sill. This is NOT an option for ANY studio that's for HIRE.

If you're feeling REALLY constructive, you can get better results with a single door if you use a HOLLOW core door :?: :?: - (say WHAT!!?!) - yeah, you can make your own mass/air/mass door from a hollow core door by laminating at least 5/8" MDF to both sides, then laminating veneer of your choice over that. You'd need to build your own frame for this, because the thickness wouldn't be standard - the entire thing wouldn't be any heavier than a solid core door, and would give about 10 dB better STC than a solid core door (this assumes the solid core door is 1-3/8", as would be the hollow core before adding the MDF and veneer.)

Just when you thought there weren't any more choices... :? Steve

Also, some framing help here -

http://www.johnlsayers.com/phpBB2/viewt ... c&start=15


Last edited by knightfly on Mon Oct 17, 2005 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2004 8:50 am 
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Hollow-core, eh? Very intriguing, but it makes sense. I assume when you say "build your own frame" that you mean I can't just go pick up a prehung hollow-core at Home Depot and slap some MDF on it--I'd actually have to build the thing from scratch. (this may be a bit over my head.)

But always great to know that there are other options. Assuming that I would have to build a frame, I'll probably stick with the solid core.

Thanks a million, Steve--
Will


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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2004 9:31 am 
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Actually, you probably COULD do it that way - I'd consider "letting in" another pair of hinges though, just to make sure the extra weight didn't cause problems (also more sturdy fastenings of the frame to the opening, at least on the hinge side) - you could cut the MDF and veneer to a size that would take into account the rabbet where the original door stops (and the frame gets smaller) - this step would be a good place for cleats and weatherstrip.

The only time the door would look a little "funny" is when it was open.

Be sure and make the door as wide as you can, the cleats/weatherstrip will eat into the opening size... Steve


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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2004 9:36 am 
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exactly what I was thinking on the way home. Brilliant--thanks, Steve.


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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2004 10:05 am 
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Great minds, same track, both derailed... :?


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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2004 11:54 am 
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Here's kind of what I meant...


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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2004 5:35 am 
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You are the king, Steve. I picked up the hollow core door last night, and I'm planning to get it into the opening tonight, not nailing up the trim, and doing all this stuff this weekend. It won't be all that isolative till then, especially not having closed off the frame, but I've got a rehearsal in there tomorrow night -- and something is better than nothing, which is what's in the opening right now.

Looks like all of this stuff can pretty well be done after the fact, with the possible exception of the hinges (see #3 below). Besides that, a few other questions for you:

1) how bad would it be to substitute 1/2" MDF for 5/8"? My local Home Depot only seems to carry the half-inch stuff. Could I compensate with a thicker veneer?

2) the 3/4" cleats - I assume the 3/4" refers to how far they stand off the door frame. Should I just use 1x3 for this, too? And if I remember right, it should be open-cell weather stripping, installed so it's slightly compressed when the door is closed, yes?

3) can I install the exterior grade hinges along with the interior grade ones, or do I need to replace them? Should the install be done prior to putting in the door? Any trick to this other than just "take the old ones off, put the new ones on"?

4) the flatwood screws on the upper hinge side make sense. So that's basically 3-4 screws on an 80" door -- one near the top, and then one 12" below that, and another 12" below that, right?

5) finally, any recommendations for a closer? I assume you're talking about a commercial-grade system and not your garden-variety storm door deal...

Forgive my newbie-ness, and thanks so much for the drawing--super helpful!

-Will


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PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2004 7:28 pm 
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Hey Will - I'll take 'em in your order -

1 - 1/2" MDF and 1/4" veneer ply on each side (or a thinner veneer on one side to un-balance the leaves of the door) should work pretty good too - I would lay the door on saw horses til the glue is set, so the panels don't slip around.

2 - 3/4" is the SIZE of the cleats, meaning 3/4" square - if you have room, they could be wider for the dimension that lays against the frame. Weather stripping in this case should be closed cell, it's not there to absorb sound but to block it. Slightly compressed is necessary as you said, so you get a good seal. The door should be up against its natural stops in its frame when you set these cleats and weatherstripping.

3 - You would need to replace them all with the same type - the interior hinges are for 1-3/8" doors, while exterior ones are for 1-3/4" doors so you can't mix and match or the pivot points won't line up. You will probably need to cut the pockets wider for the larger hinges, otherwise the whole assembly will stick out from the frame too far. This is one area where "measure twice, cut once" isn't adequate - here are a couple of useful pages that should help here - between the two of them, they cover pretty much everything you'll need -

http://www.millardlumber.com/HowTo/hinges/hinge.htm

http://doityourself.com/doors/installingdoorhinges.htm

4 - Right...

5 - Closers - if you're using the cleat/weatherstrip method of sealing, then a more "commercial" grade closer with adjustable closing force is necessary - not so if you use a magnetic seal system - something similar to this -

http://66.241.223.85/merchant2/merchant ... 00PowerAdj

that is for the 800 Series Power Adjustable 2-5, shown partway down on this page -

http://www.locksusa.com/taymor_doorclosers.asp

The adjustable power lets you dial in enough "scrunch" to make your seals work.

Hope that helps... Steve


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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2004 12:30 am 
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STICKY THIS THREAD PLEASE

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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2004 1:21 am 
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Steve:

Your posts are alwats informative, but this one has surpassed your usual high standard.

Thanks.
Andre


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PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2004 1:56 am 
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Sticky it is; glad you like... Steve


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PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2004 2:16 am 
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Steve, in the spirit of "measure twice, cut once," let me check out my procedure with you to make sure I'm doing things in the right order:

1. install the prehung door and jamb "as-is" in the rough opening.
2. note locations of hinges and remove the door from the jamb (current hinges are loose-pin type).
3. replace the weak, interior hinges on the door with stronger exterior hinges (as per hinge web pages)
4. glue the MDF/veneer onto door; allow glue to set
5. replace door into jamb by screwing other half of hinge into jamb; secure jamb with (2) or (3) 3-1/2" #12 screws
6. insulate around jamb by stuffing in R13 insulation and foam backer rod; caulk
7. put weatherstripping/cleat around interior edge of jamb
8. install closer, drop-seal

Does this look right? Am I missing anything? I wanted to try to get at least 1-3, if not 1-4 done this weekend (4 if I can con a friend with a pickup truck into going with me to home depot to pick up the MDF).

Apologies for having to keep coming back and asking...I'm a bit nervous about installing the hinges, since as soon as you take the plastic thing out that holds the door together, the jamb gets all flimsy (which is what makes me think I should install the jamb first). I'd rather do this right the first time than have to go back and start over with another door!

Thanks so much, Steve--
Will


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