The key to a door installation with perfect margins lies in the installation of the door frame. If this is not done correctly, headache, frustration and inferior products are sure to follow. Your client’s satisfaction depend on accurate and precise door installation. An improperly installed opening will result in door drifting (unintentional opening or closing of a door when partially opened), hard to open or close doors, door latching, and a myriad of other problems.
A properly installed frame must be square and plumb. To efficiently accomplish this, you need accurate spreaders for bracing frames. Many installers assume that the factory installed spreader bars will help ensure proper installation. This is not the case. Factory installed spreaders are for shipping purposes only and should be removed prior to the installation of the frame. Wood spreaders must be square and are most effect when they are at least 1” thick. The length of the spreader should match the width of the opening with a tolerance of +1/16” and should be notched for frame stops. The width should be as close to the jamb depth as possible.
Before placing the frame in a stud wall, install the snap-in anchors (if used) in the jamb ensuring they fit very snuggly in the throat. A tight fit is essential to ensure that the anchors do not fall during installation.
To properly plumb and square the frame, the installer should be equipped with a square, level and wood spreaders. Once the frame is set in the desired location, you must level the head. Once level, you must square the jambs to the head shimming under the jambs as necessary. Spreaders should then be inserted mid-height and at the bottom of the frame. The frame can now be anchored to the floor using the floor anchors.
With the frame plumb and square, jamb anchors can be affixed to ensure the frame does not move. For frames set for masonry walls, install rubber silencers not to avoid problems with grout in the silencer holes later.