Performance doors are often specified on projects where a defined level of performance is required – typically they provide a level of protection from one or more of the following: fire, noise, vandalism, intruders, x-rays, germs (hygiene) and even bullets. In some cases, and particularly with fire rated doors, it is necessary to provide third party certification as proof that the doors meet the necessary performance levels.
In the UK, there are two approaches to the supply of performance doors – the assembly of individually certified components and the provision of fully certified doorsets. So, how do they compare?
Individually certified components
The principle here is that all the components, including the door leaf, the door frame and the hardware (hinges, closers, etc.) are sourced from different suppliers. Each component is tested and certified and the assumption is made that, when they are combined, they will perform to the level of the weakest component. The components have not been tested and certified as a complete doorset.
As the components are delivered separately, these doors need to be installed by a competent carpenter relatively early in the build, often before the plastering and decorating has been done, exposing the doors to potential damage. What’s more, there is a risk that essential intumescent materials are omitted – perhaps due to forgetfulness, a lack of training, as a means of cost cutting, or to speed up the installation process. This is made more likely by the fact that intumescent materials often have to be sourced separately and may not be placed with the other components ready for the installer.
Intumescent materials aside, there is a greater reliance on the installer to do a good job. When the door leaf and door frame are sourced separately, it takes both skill and time to ensure the door is flush with the frame, the frame is plumb and square, and that there are no large gaps. The result is a door that looks shoddy but, more importantly, it can also affect the performance of the door when it really matters.
Fully certified doorsets
The alternative is to specify fully certified doorsets, where the door leaf, frame and hardware are all provided by one supplier as a complete solution. This exact combination of parts will have been tested and certified together, giving complete confidence that the entire doorset will perform to the stipulated level.
Late second fix
What’s more, as the doorset is supplied with the door already hung in its frame, it can be installed in the late second fix phase of the project, meaning the chance of damage from plaster, paint, bangs or scratches is dramatically reduced. It’s much quicker to install too, saving time and money on site.
As the door leaf and frame are manufactured together, you can also be more confident that the colours will match.
In summary, here are 10 great reasons to always specify doorsets:
- Fully certified installed solution
- Late second fix = less damage
- Quicker and cheaper to install
- Less reliance on the skill of the installer
- Better match of frame and door leaf
- One supplier, so everything comes together
- No missing components
- Door always flush with the frame
- No excessive gaps
- Less risk
At Performance Doors, we can supply door leaves if that’s what you need, but our strength lies in the supply of fully certified doorsets. All are made to measure to meet your exact requirements. For more information, please get in touch with one of our highly experienced team today.