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10 Myths, Misconceptions or Mistakes with Wood and Doors


Myth or Mistake?


                            Loch Ness Monster - is it Real?


Myth 1: External Fire exit doors need to be Fire Rated - Not True - Fire exits doors are exactly that, they are a means of escape from fire and are not primarily designed for fire retention.

Myth 2: Pvc Doors outlast Wooden Doors - Not True - Wooden doors have been fitted to buildings for 1000's of years, Pvc doors have not, the conclusion and experience we have of pvc doors is that they require replacing within 25 to 30 years maximum, if the locks become worn they last less than that as the likelihood is the replacement lock is not available.

Myth 3: Dowel jointed doors are weaker than the traditional Mortise & Tenon jointed doors - Not True - Studies and test have shown that the technique of using the "splined dowel" with modern adhesives are just as strong and will last as long as any traditional joint method. 

                                                         Multigrooved Dowels

                                                               Splined dowels

Myth 4: It's not raining so I don't need to decorate - Not True - Oh yes you do, all wooden doors need protection from "moisture", ever looked at your car on a dry morning when it looks wet but it hasn't been raining, moisture in the air damages wood, protect the wood before installation and it will last....longer than you!

Myth 5: Toughened glass is Safety glass - Not True - Ok, it is in part but would you really like to make the mistake of running in to a 12mm or 15mm thick glass door, me neither, as far as low level domestic glass is concerned you simply need to make sure the glass has been tempered (heat treated) and has the correct approval "stamp" which is usually added during the processing of the glass, tempering the glass makes it safe in a much as if you break it a shattering effect takes place, never make the mistake of trying to cut this stuff as it goes off like a bomb....but safely!

Myth 6: Security 5 Lever locks are the same as 5 point locks - Not True - A 5 lever lock is an individual lock designed to comply with your home insurance, it has "5 levers" or "detainers" inside the lock, these levers are manufacture in such a way as to ensure that the repetition of an individual key pattern is somewhere in the hundreds or thousands before the key pattern is repeated. 5 point locks are generally fitted to more modern doors, Pvc, Composite and wooden doors, the 5 point lock is a lock that has 5 points of contact with the door frame, they have advanced as time has gone on to incorporate "shoot bolts" and "hook bolts" both of which are very effective in keeping those unwanted visitors at bay long enough to try your neighbours house as an easier target, selfish but true.

For Myth 7, 8 and 9, Acknowledgement; Eric Karsh Eric Karsh of Equilibrium Consulting dispels myths about building with wood at the AIA 2012 National Convention.

Myth 7: Wood Burns - Not true - or at least wood burns slowly as it is fire resistant. While wood burns it creates a charring layer creating an insulated layer for structural fibres. Good design helps to keep the fire controlled, solid wood panels compartmentalizes fire, preventing the spread of the fire to other compartments.

Myth 8: Wood Rots -- Not True -- If there is a good envelope designed and created to protect the wood, the wood will not rot. Karsh references old structures in Asia that still stand today.

Myth 9: Wood is Weak and Unpredictable -- Not True -- Engineered wood products have a high degree of control and performance. Karsh compares a solid concrete wall to solid wood panel and they come out parallel in comparison.

Myth 10: Chinese Door Gods - you decide on this one - Chinese door gods were and to some extent still are are hung on the entrances to businesses, houses and temples. This tradition has its roots in the Tang dynasty, the story is that the Emperor of the time was apparently haunted by a ghost which resulted in restless nights. The Emperor posted his most trusted generals Qin Shubao and Yuchi Jingde to guard his door, the ghosts did not come so from then on, the Emperor put a picture of his 2 generals on his door.

Don't hang the Door Gods facing back to back, it is believed to be bad luck to do so.



Myth 7, 8 and 9, Acknowledgement; Eric Karsh Eric Karsh of Equilibrium Consulting dispels myths about building with wood at the AIA 2012 National Convention.


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