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warped 5K wood door

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by nshif, Nov 19, 2007.

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  1. nshif

    nshif New Member

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    My fairly new front door has warped to about an inch out. It hasnt seen any real moisture and the fixed half is just fine. Its Alder and has been installed for about 6 months. The door people are blaming the wood stove which is about 7' away and Ive never had the house over 80. I think is the 2 large knots in the outer frame. what do you guys think? This door cost close to $5K. heres some pics

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  2. nshif

    nshif New Member

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    Another showing knots

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  3. nshif

    nshif New Member

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    Proximity to stove

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  4. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I think that your doors are expensive. But then again I bought a fiberglass door for 400$ this weekend and burned alder for heat.

    It appears that the troubled door is the one farther from the stove. I could understand there opinion that the lower humidity in a home heated with wood will be a factor in shrinkage of your doors. I don't think that the proximity of the doors to the stove is the problem. Are they blaming heat or humidity?
  5. nshif

    nshif New Member

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    Im not sure at this point but if it warped one why not the other? Yes they were expensive but you dont put a 400$ door on a 500K house
  6. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    I've done the wood door thing in a couple of homes, with the same results that you are experiencing. I'm finished with wood doors. Fight like hell for your money back, then go get a fiber glass or steel door and don't look back.
  7. Czech

    Czech Minister of Fire

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    IMHO, the doors should be dried to the point of structural stability, regardless of the stove or any humidity or heat. I don't buy it, and would hold the seller responsible. That said, they are wood. Look nice, but like Sandor said, you may fight this issue if you want to have wood doors, even if they are proccessed correctly prior to being made doors. Not sure if alder is more prone to this problem, I've had oak doors that haven't budged an 1/16" in 20 years, regardless of wet, cold, heat, etc. They should have told you up front regardless, again I'm not buying the fact that the stove did this. Just my HO.
  8. kevinmoelk

    kevinmoelk New Member

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    $5K ????

    Really? Yikes! I'd definitely try and get my money back. I agree with gotzthehotz, the doors should be structurally stable, period. If the door people are blaming the woodstove, I'd ask to see in writing on the installation or care and use manual that states the door cannot be within X number of feet of a woodstove, or that using a woodstove will void the warranty, etc, etc.

    -Kevin
  9. jklingel

    jklingel Feeling the Heat

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    I'm w/ the "go get 'em" group. Hell, I made my own doors out of kiln dried 2x6's and it took years for even one of them to warp. BTW: those are some beautiful doors. Congrats; now go get another one that is "right".
  10. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    put a level on each vertical side along the edge that the trim board would meet the door frame.
    If the framing is not plumb, this could be a cause of the problem, and would be the installers fault for not hanging door plumb.
    Btw, does the tongue and groove just end like that with the ends showing, or is it unfinished yet?
    That wood door is prolly kiln dried wood. If dryness was a problem with wood doors, they would never be used. And that would be the problem if stove related. Which is b/s. Same with the humidity outside. I bet one or both of the sides is out of plumb, they matched the walls and there might be the problem. While your at it, check & make sure its squared properly. My parents have had all wood doors on their house since the mid 80's, same doors, and never a problem like that.
    You can try running a couple large humidifiers, would be good for you, but seriously doubt it will make any difference with the door. Poor install is my first guess.
  11. nshif

    nshif New Member

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    Hog
    T&G;is unfinished at this time, no interior trim yet ( winter project )
    Door frame is plumb and square. right side of right door is fine, top left corner is the only part that is out from the dead bolt up getting progresivly worse to the top left corner and disappears about 1/2 way the the hinge side, door was fine for at least the 1st 3 months. The door slab is warped.
  12. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Only thing I can think of then, is that the wood used to make the door was not completely dry, and is now drying and warping.
    I seriously doubt a wood stove caused that to warp that much. After spending 5k on doors, I would have them replaced under warranty. Was the stove in before the doors or vise versa? If they are blaming the stove now, if it was in before the installed doors, they should have told you the stove might cause problems before hand. My point is, if stove was already there. what they are blaming on now, should have been brought up pre-install. Which if it is the case, its still a warranty issue IMO.
  13. tbl01

    tbl01 Member

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    Believe it or here in various locations in NY $500 k gets you a small 80 x 100 building lot. Houses in the $500 k range do have $400 dollar front doors. By the looks, your place looks closer to a MIlll around here.


    How long ago was the door installed? Almost everyone who has an older house has been exposed to bathroom or bed room door expanding on a damp day only to have the door not close properly with in the confines of the jamb.

    My guess is if it was sitting for a period of time (Un-sealed)when it had a chance to adjust to the natural moisture content of the surrounding's,(kiln dried or not) then all of a sudden the moisture content of the surroundings is quickly, and drastically reduced( wood stove) the door is going to check no doubt.
    If it was sealed you wouldn't get the delta in shrinkage and expansion.

    And if the door is not hung properly to begin with that will only magnify the issue . Hanging a door properly is a lost art.

    Thats a tuff one. Stay on the door dealer!
  14. nshif

    nshif New Member

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    The door is a little over 6 months old and was sealed about a week after arrival on site and installed about a week later. We dont really have humidity issues here in Ca it remains pretty constant except when its raining which we havent had much of this year. There are 2 large knots in what I would call the outer door slab frame, the perimiter of the door which is thicker then the rest of the door slab and both are between the deadbolt and the top of the door where the problem is.
    I havent mentioned this yet but it is an 8' tall door so the dead bolt to the top is a bit longer then a standard door.
  15. WILDSOURDOUGH

    WILDSOURDOUGH New Member

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    Here' s my 2 cents....
    They are wood, and even seasoned (DRY), correctly sealed wood- expands and contracts. Wood is natural and will absorb and release moisture. It is also the most beautiful building material- that's why I put many beams and log lollys in my home (log-sided SIP home). But, they have all 'checked'. Does that mean that it is the woods fault ? Naw- it is just natural for wood. I would think that anyone would have trouble with wood exterior doors- unless that are very thick- like that on a catherdal.

    I'm with the pack that you should go with Steel, or Fiberglass - unless the door is made with wood that is over 4" thick.
  16. kjklosek

    kjklosek New Member

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    If those doors are solid then there is no way they would ever stay flat.

    That wood is too knotty to be used as a solid piece for any door frame part.

    Alder is a particularly nasty wood to work as well. Moves like hell regardless.

    For your reference, The vertical frame pieces are called stiles and the top and bottom,sometimes middle, horizontal pieces are called the rails.

    The part inbetween can be called the panel.

    Typically doors of this size would be made using stave core construction. The stiles and rails are made of narrow strips of solid wood,usually pine, laminated(glued) together. Solid edging of the primary species is then glued to the edges and the faces are then veneered with the primary wood.

    This type of construction helps greatly to reduce the risk of warp and twist of the door. Doors have been made this way for well over 125 years. And for good reason.

    Other than using an inferior species for construction, it appears the doors were simply not well made. Or at least made well enough given the species used.

    I have seen even solid particle board doors of that sise warp.

    Definitely get your money back.

    J.P.
  17. eba1225

    eba1225 Feeling the Heat

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    It is hard to tell at what point does the door start to bend, is it at the knot or somewhere else. If it is at the knot then have at them with full force as it is a manufacturing defect. If it starts to warp elsewhere then you should still pursue them but it would be a little more difficult as they have already stated a position.

    If their issue is humidity, lack there of, you might want to consider placing a humidifier in the room with the stove to offset the dryness.
  18. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    I think the truth lies in the grain. The grain in those boards and the elongated knots mean it is almost assuredly plain sawn wood - the cheapest/easiest kind to make and also the most dimensionally unstable. I would think any woodworker worth his salt would use quarter sawn or rift sawn wood - at least for the door frame on a $5K door. This method costs a bit more because there is more waste, but the wood is substantially more stable. The "tiger stripe" grain of the plain sawn wood might be more visually appealing - and perfectly fine to use for the door panels, but the frame needs to be stable.

    This page explains it pretty well:
    http://westcoastlands.net/SawmillCuttingMethods.html
  19. nshif

    nshif New Member

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    The warp starts at the lowest knot just above the bolt and gets worse as it passes through the upper knot.
    I agree it should be quater sawn, especially on a door of this cost.
  20. eba1225

    eba1225 Feeling the Heat

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    Well that is how the Co. makes their money. Use cheaper wood in the hopes that most will not warp, as most users do not put it through the exteremes that a wood burner may do. If there is a failure blame it on the wood stove as that is the exception to what they typically see, and not on their poor wood choice.

    I would fight tooth and nail to get it replaced or fixed.
  21. nshif

    nshif New Member

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    Appears they are backing off on the wood stove cause I showed them that at a wood stove temp of almost 600 only raised the temp of the door to about 80 and that the rel humidity in the house was 30% plus the stile is now starting to delaminate and the knots are more open. Looks like I might get a new door.
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