MDF Door Handling

Congratulations on purchasing a TruStile MDF door. Our doors are built with superior quality and craftsmanship which results in architecturally correct details and a product that will last a lifetime. Following these simple handling and finishing instructions will preserve the quality appearance of your doors and ensure that you meet the warranty requirements.

Handling and Storage Instructions:

  1. TruStile MDF doors are heavy and can be damaged if they are not handled carefully. When moving MDF doors, lift and carry each door with at least two persons. Do not drag doors or slide them across one another, as this can result in chipping damage along door edges. Handling damage is not considered a factory defect.
  2. All doors should be handled with clean gloves and equipment to prevent dirt and oil from penetrating the surface of the door.
  3. Doors must be stored in a dry, well ventilated area in an enclosed building with an operational HVAC system. Do not deliver doors to the job site until concrete floor, foundations and plaster or dry wall work is completed and fully dry. Never store doors outside exposed to the elements.
  4. Do not subject doors to extremes of heat, dryness or humidity. Relative humidity should not be less than 25% or more than 55% in door storage area. Temperature should not exceed 90º F.
  5. Should a door appear to bow or warp, it means that it has received too much humidity on one side and an insufficient amount on the other. This is not a problem. Simply place the door on three evenly spaced stickers with the crown side up, and it should equalize within 72 hours.
  6. Doors should be stored flat on a level surface in a dry, ventilated area. Place doors on a piece of plywood or cardboard to protect face of bottom door. Two 2 x 4′s should be placed at 12″ from top and bottom of door and one 2 x 4 should be evenly spaced in the middle. It is very important to use a center support so that the doors do not sag in the middle. Cover doors to keep clean, but allow air circulation.
Stack doors horizontally with support in centerStack doors horizontally with support in center
  1. Do not lean doors against the wall.
Do not lean doors against a wall
  1. The factory primer on TruStile MDF doors is not a sealer. If doors are stored for a long period of time (more than one week), doors must be sealed in order to prevent undue moisture absorption. Seal all six sides of each door and any hardware cutouts.
  2. Do not store doors in direct sunlight.

Door Fitting and Hanging Instructions:

  1. All doors should be acclimated to the average prevailing relative humidity of the locality before hanging
  2. When hanging a door, allow adequate clearance for swelling of the door or frame in extremely damp, high humidity environments. The following guidelines should be used for non fire-rated doors.
    1. Width: Specified +/- 1⁄16″ with possible humidity expansion of 1⁄16″ for a total variance of 1⁄8″.
    2. Height: Specified +/- 1⁄16″ with possible humidity expansion of 1⁄16″ for a total variance of 1⁄8″.

Fitting Non-Rated Doors

  1. Trimming to meet your size requirements can change the overall appearance of the door. If you need to slightly trim your door, we recommend that you trim the bottom (do not trim the top) by no more than 1″ and each side by no more than 1⁄4″.

Fitting Fire-Rated Doors

  1. All fire-rated doors manufactured by TruStile must be prefit and machined by TruStile Doors, LLC or an ITS-Warnock Hersey licensed facility
  2. TruStile 45-, 60- and 90-minute fire doors cannot be trimmed by more than 1⁄16″ in total width or 1⁄32″ per side (ITS-Warnock Hersey licensed facilities only).
  3. The standard location for ITS-Warnock Hersey fire labels is on the hinge stile between the top and center hinge. For doors with continuous hinges the label is located on the top rail of the door. These labels should not be removed, covered up or painted.

Hinges

  1. Heavy duty ball bearing hinges are highly recommended.
  2. Use three hinges on doors up to 7′ and one additional hinge for each additional 30″ in height.
  3. Pre-drilling: Screw holes must be pre-drilled to prevent stripping.

Job Site Installation Instructions:

  1. Only install TruStile doors in a closed-in building with operational HVAC once all wet work trades are complete. Relative humidity inside the building should not be less than 25% or exceed 55% and temperature should not exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Allow doors to acclimatize to the temperature and humidity of the installation location before installation (minimum of 72 hours or longer when heat and/or humidity extremes exist compared to storage location).
  3. If hardware installation requires drilling into a top or bottom edge of a door, installer must pre-drill for screws to ensure effective screw holding and eliminate any chance of material splitting.

Field Finishing Instructions:

Acclimation and Storage Prior to Finishing:

  1. Doors must be allowed to acclimate to the average job site humidity conditions prior to finishing (minimum of 72 hours when heat and/or humidity extremes exist compared to storage location).
  2. Factory primer is not a sealer. If doors are to be stored at the job site for a long period of time prior to finishing (longer than one week), then doors should be sealed on all six sides to prevent undue moisture absorption prior to painting.
  3. Do not paint a door with a bow, as it will lock the bow in permanently. See instruction #5 under “Handling and Storage Instructions” to learn how to correct a bow in a TruStile MDF door.

Finishing Instructions:

  1. Before finishing, lightly scuff sand the door with a 180 to 220 grit sanding sponge. You must scuff sand the surface to re-expose the tooth of the primer and ensure proper paint adhesion. The amount of sanding and preparation will depend on the customer’s selected finish.
  2. Machined and milled portions of all doors may have a rougher surface than the non-milled areas after priming. Simply running a 180 to 220 grit sanding sponge along these surfaces will remove this roughness.
  3. Before you apply paint to the surface of the door it should be clean and all nail holes should be filled. Small nail holes may be present on doors and must be filled prior to finishing.
  4. Painting all six sides of each door is mandatory, including the top and bottom edges and hardware cutouts. Improperly sealed doors can take on moisture which can cause the door to warp.
  5. For best results, apply a minimum of two coats of high quality paint, sanding in between coats. Paint should be applied with the door in a horizontal position to eliminate the solvents evaporating too quickly leaving an inconsistent finish.
  6. Do not finish doors that have obvious defects. TruStile will not be responsible for warranty of doors that had obvious defects prior to field finishing.

Special Note Regarding the Finishing of Exterior Doors:

  1. Exterior doors must receive one coat of high-grade exterior primer followed by three coats of high-quality exterior grade paint on all six sides of the door.
  2. Exterior sealers will deteriorate overtime due to exposure and will require annual maintenance. Inspect finish at least once per year to determine whether re-finishing is necessary.
  3. A substantial overhang and protection from the elements will minimize component movement inherent to exterior wood doors. TruStile’s Exterior Door Warranty requires a minimum overhang above the door that extends out at least one-half the distance from the bottom of the door to the bottom of where the overhang begins and at least one-and-a-half times the width of the door.

Acceptable Tolerances for TruStile MDF Doors:

  1. Warp or Bow: Doors 3′ wide by 7′ tall or smaller: 1⁄4″ or less measured diagonally from the top rail to the bottom rail across the span of the door. Doors larger than 3′ wide by 7′ tall: 3⁄8″ or less measured diagonally from the top rail to the bottom rail across the span of the door
  2. Stile and Rail joint: A gap of 1⁄16″ or less.
  3. Machined and milled portions of all doors may have a rougher surface than the non-milled areas after priming. Simply running a 180 to 220 grit sanding sponge along these surfaces will remove this roughness.

Important: Failure to follow these handling, installation and finishing instructions will void all warranties, written or implied.