Insulation and upholstery of doors

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In this article: methods and materials for insulating a metal door; do-it-yourself upholstery of a wooden front door; self-pasting of a metal door for its insulation; sealing joints; insulation of a balcony door.

Insulation and upholstery of doors

To one degree or another, the entrance doors serve as a reliable obstacle to outsiders from entering our houses, but they are far from always able to keep an “outside” atmosphere from entering from outside. Cold winter air from the entrance, and even more so from the street – persona “non grata” in our houses, for heating which, and so it takes a lot. Any door separating living quarters from the street must be well insulated – how to do this and what materials to use you will learn from this article.

Insulation of an entrance metal door

Metal doors are good if we consider their strength qualities, but the metal that forms them perfectly conducts cold and noise. Ideally, steel doors should be equipped with an inner layer of insulation during their assembly at the enterprise, and to their full thickness. To insulate steel doors, manufacturers use mineral wool, basalt mineral wool slabs or expanded polystyrene. Expanded polystyrene or mineral wool boards are more effective in the case of steel doors, because these heat and sound insulators do not lose their shape over time, while the mineral wool will gradually cake under its own weight.

Insulation of an entrance metal door
1. Reinforced frame. 2. The inner contour of the rubber seal. 3. Intermediate heat and sound insulation layer. 4. Internal finishing panel. 5. Vertical stiffeners. 6. Door cavity filler. 7. Fastener. 8. Outside finishing panel. 9. Hinge on the support bearing. 10. Steel sheet. 11. Outer contour of the rubber seal. 12. Steel platband. 13. Fastener. 14. Decorative platband.

How to insulate a metal door “economy” version, ie hollow inside and without factory insulation? Consider two options for insulation and sound insulation, depending on the following typical structures of the entrance metal door: the inner door trim is missing or screwed to the frame with screws; outside and inside the joints of metal sheets to the frame are made by welding, i.e. one-piece.

If the trim panel on the inside of the door is screwed to the frame, it must be carefully removed. Behind it is a structure of metal ribs that give the steel door leaf the necessary rigidity – between them you need to lay and fix the insulation. The distance between the outer and inner planes of the steel door leaf depends on the size of the metal stiffeners, most often it is 40-50 mm. You can find out by measuring the thickness of the door leaf at the end, taking into account the thickness of the skin on both sides, in addition, measure the height and length of the door leaf. The next step is the acquisition of insulation of the required thickness and, if the door trim from the inside is absent or damaged, a sheet of fiberboard or hardboard to the size of the door leaf. Internal insulation of the door can be done with foam, but it is better to use expanded polystyrene – this material has stronger bonds, which means it will last longer.

I’ll start with the option “without inner trim” – if the trim is available and removable, it will simply need to be removed from the frame of the door leaf. After acquiring a sheet of fiberboard larger than necessary, it must be marked and cut with a jigsaw to the size of the sash. Then measure the position of the door peephole, protruding parts of the locks and mark them on a sheet of fiberboard, cut grooves or drill holes, bore them with a file to the required size. Having prepared a fiberboard sheet in this way, you should attach it to the door leaf and make sure that its dimensions, cut grooves and holes exactly match the positions of the locks and the peephole.

So, the inner lining of the door is removed or freshly made, from a fiberboard sheet, finished. We proceed to filling the internal voids in the door leaf structure with expanded polystyrene panels. Expanded polystyrene is cut with a knife into blocks corresponding to the size of the sections between the stiffeners inside the door leaf. If you did not manage to purchase a polystyrene foam plate of the required thickness, then a “thicker” plate can be narrowed with a hacksaw or a wire heated over a fire, fixed on two wooden handles. To prevent the expanded polystyrene from falling out before the installation of the external panel, drops of “liquid nails” are applied to its blocks in several places, after which each block is installed with slight pressure in the part of the door structure, according to the dimensions of which it is cut. After installing the outer panel on the door, you do not have to worry about the insulation falling out.

Insulation of an entrance metal door

Using a screwdriver with a magnetized bit or a screwdriver with a magnetized end, screw the previously removed inner lining sheet or prepared fiberboard panel onto the door. If the bit or screwdriver is not magnetized, you just need to connect them to any magnet for about half an hour. To install the manufactured fiberboard panel, you can pre-drill holes in the fiberboard itself and in the frame of the door leaf, or you can do without them – the screwdriver will easily screw in a self-tapping screw that looks like a drill at the end. You will need to fix the panel with 3-4 self-tapping screws on each side, and the same amount must be screwed into the stiffeners (crossbars) – if their design does not allow this, it is necessary to fasten additional segments from the metal corner to them for fastening the self-tapping screws. After finishing the installation of the cladding panel, grind the edges of the fiberboard panel under the edge with a file or emery cloth.

Next, consider the insulation of a metal entrance door with one-piece (non-removable) panels on the sash. It should be noted right away that the method described below will somewhat change the appearance of the door from its reverse side – much better if you purchase a steel door with a layer of insulation already installed inside. By the way, it would be better to order an entrance metal door than to purchase a ready-made one – a custom-made door will ideally meet your requirements, although it will cost more.

So, the sheathing panel is non-removable and, most likely, is made of a metal sheet – it is necessary to create an additional frame on it for insulation. You will need wooden slats 25-30 mm wide, 20 mm thick (a thicker slat will require reinstalling the locks). The slats are attached along the perimeter of the door leaf on the side facing the inside of the room; self-tapping screws are used for fastening, for which holes are drilled in the metal casing – the diameter of the drilled holes should be slightly less than the diameter of the screws. For each perimeter rail you will need 3 self-tapping screws, the result of fastening should be a tight fit of the rail along its entire length – if in some places the rail lags behind the door panel, then press it by screwing in additional screws. In addition to installing the slats around the sash perimeter, you will need to install 2-3 transverse slats of the same width and thickness between them, in a horizontal position and at the same distance from each other. Upon completion of the installation of the rails, you need to sand the areas around the heads of the self-tapping screws, fill the cavities formed by them with putty on wood or putty for windows, cover the top with oil paint or varnish.

Before installing the expanded polystyrene plates, it is necessary to prepare a fiberboard panel, mark and cut it to the size of the door leaf. The process of laying polystyrene foam insulation, preparation and installation of a fiberboard panel is described above. Insulating doors using this method increases the thickness of the sash, so be prepared for a possible need to replace the door peephole – it may not be designed for the increased door thickness.

I consider the methods of filling such insulation materials as expanded perlite or vermiculite inside the door leaf as an unsuccessful solution – there will hardly be perfectly impermeable seams in the door leaf of a steel door, which means that when trying to fill the leaf with bulk insulation, the material will pour out of the leaf through the cracks. In addition, it will not be possible to fill the sash completely – an air compressor will be needed, but its use will not guarantee 100% filling..

Owners of houses and apartments who have decided to improve the safety of their home by installing a metal front door should keep the old (wooden) door in place. An air vestibule between the old wooden and new metal doors will significantly reduce heat loss and sound permeability, as well as reduce the risk of freezing a metal door in the winter season.

Do-it-yourself door upholstery

The only way to insulate a wooden front door is to upholster it, and you can carry out this operation yourself, preferably with an assistant. You will need a dense and durable upholstery material – leatherette, genuine leather, vinyl leather, etc. To calculate the needs for upholstery material, we remove the dimensions from the door leaf, add another 50 mm to these dimensions for folding the edges – before buying the material, you need to know the exact length and width of the leaf, because the width of the upholstery materials sold in retail outlets may not be sufficient. In addition to the material for the upholstery of the door, material is required for the rollers on the sides and on top of the wooden door leaf, they require two strips, the length of which is equal to the length and two strips, the length of which is equal to the width of the door – the width in all cases is the same and equal to 150 mm.

Do-it-yourself door upholstery

Insulation of doors during upholstery can be done with foam rubber or isolon, the second material is better than foam rubber in terms of insulation, but it will cost more. Mineral wool is not suitable for door upholstery, because will not give visual volume and will sag under the pressure of the upholstery. The optimal insulation thickness is 20 mm, it is usually sold in sheets 1 m wide, 2 m long.

To fix the upholstery material and create a decorative ornament on the upholstered wooden door, you will need special nails – decorative, with a wide head painted in non-ferrous metals. When choosing the color of the hats for furniture nails, it is better to choose those that match the color of the existing door handles and the visible part of the locks. Nails with vinyl leather heads look good.

In addition to the materials described above, when upholstering the door, you will need: furniture stapler with staples (leg length 10 mm); screwdriver with bits and / or screwdrivers; a hammer; pliers; scissors; wallpaper knife with replaceable blades.

It is more convenient to work on the door upholstery when the door leaf is removed from the hinges and laid on the table. It is required to remove locks, handles and a door peephole from the door leaf, remove the old upholstery, if any. There is no need to remove the door hinges, they will not interfere with the upholstery process.

The entrance wooden door will be properly upholstered on both sides – this is more aesthetically pleasing and better heat and sound insulation is achieved. The upholstery of a door that opens into the living space begins with the creation and installation of rollers. Prepared strips of upholstery material are fastened seamy side out along the sash perimeter – first side, then end. The edge of each strip should overlap the door leaf by 40 mm, if the door has a patch lock, then the strip for this side will have to be cut into two parts, removing a fragment for the width of the lock and fixing the strip with a furniture stapler up and down from the position of the patch lock … If the locks are only mortise, then the fastening of the strips under the rollers begins approximately from the middle of the door. To form the rollers, you need strips of insulation that you purchased earlier – cut four strips of 100 mm wide from it, the length should correspond to the section of the door perimeter, in the roller of which the strip of insulation will be laid. It is not necessary to cut the strips to full length at once, you can make several, the total length of which will be sufficient. Having laid the prepared strips of insulation in strips of upholstery fixed along the contour of the door and, gradually wrapping the upholstery with the insulation placed inside into a roller, secure it with a stapler. The formed roller should protrude beyond the door leaf by 20-30 mm, without clinging to the door trims when opening and closing the door. In the corners, at the mating points of the side and end rollers, it is necessary to cut them at an angle of 45 ° and carefully fasten them in relation to each other.

Do-it-yourself door upholstery

Having finished with the rollers, we move on to the upholstery of the main plane of the door. Just in case, I remind you that the process of upholstering the door described above and below refers to its internal, i.e. facing the living space, the surface. The upholstery of the outer side of the door will be described upon completion of the upholstery work on its inner side..

We cut out a rectangle from the insulation, remove the length and width from the plane between the rollers installed on the door. We apply insulation to the door and fasten it with a furniture stapler from top to bottom.

Further upholstery of the door will be more convenient to carry out with an assistant. We lift and apply the upholstery material to the door surface, tucking its edge from above by about 50 mm so that the upholstery slides slightly behind the rollers and, with 60-70 mm indentation from the upper and side edges of the door, we drive in a furniture nail with a wide head into the left door leaf angle. Then, pulling the upholstery slightly and tucking it in the same way as in the left corner, we drive a second nail into the right corner. Before proceeding with further fastening of the upholstery with nails, you should check whether the upholstery is evenly fixed, is it skewed to the side? You need to stand in the center of the door leaf, with your palms from top to bottom, draw over the material, straightening and slightly stretching it. Having reached the bottom of the door and removing your palms from the upholstery material, spread your hands to the lower corners of the upholstery, pressing them against the corners of the sash. Make sure that the upholstery material extends the same distance from the edges of the door on either side. If everything is even, continue upholstery, if not, then you need to remove the hammered nails, shift the upholstery material in the required direction, hammer in the nail into the corners and re-align the position of the upholstery material.

First of all, the upholstery in the upper end of the door is attached to furniture nails – with a step of 100-120 mm. Next, we go to one of the lateral sides, observing the distance between the nails driven in and not forgetting to bend the edges of the material, pulling it a little as it is fastened. Having passed one side with nails from top to bottom, we take on the second, having finished which we proceed to fixing the upholstery at the lower end of the door. This completes the door trim on the inside..

For the upholstery of a wooden door that opens in the direction “into the room” from the outside (outside) side, you will need to perform a slightly different procedure. Armed with a pencil or sharpened crayon, go outside and close the door behind you – outline the outline of the door leaf in the closed position. The rectangle outlined by you will be covered with upholstery material, and the sections of the sash that go beyond the door frame cannot be covered with upholstery, because fail to close the door tightly afterwards.

We begin work on the upholstery of the door from this side immediately with the fastening of the insulation and the main part of the upholstery material. Having stepped back from the top line of the perimeter you outlined 10 mm inward and bending the edge of the material, we fasten, we check the correct placement in the same way as when upholstering the door from the inside, but do not fasten the upholstery material at the bottom of the door, leaving it free to sag.

The roller will need to be installed on the door frame, cutting out strips of upholstery material for it of the same size as for the inside of the door. Insulation strips should be wider than the previous ones – about 150 mm. The rollers, formed of upholstery and insulation, are installed as follows: on the side of the door leaf with hinges – along the jamb line (without a ledge); on the side of the placed locks and in the upper end – with a 50 mm projection. The lower roller is attached to the end of the door with the condition that in the closed position of the door it is tightly pressed against the threshold along its entire length. Do not nail the bottom roller to the threshold – the shoes of those entering and leaving the house will quickly tear it! At the end of the work, we fix the lower edge of the main casing, then we put the locks, the door handle and the peephole in place.

“Upholstery” of the entrance metal door

In the case of a metal door, as you yourself understand, you will not have to upholster, but to paste over. For this, in addition to insulation, upholstery and a wallpaper knife, you will need 88th glue and a brush to apply it. When insulating a metal door, rollers are not installed along the perimeter of the sash – pasting begins immediately with fixing the insulation and wrapping it over it with upholstery material.

Getting started – after cleaning the door surface from dust and dirt, apply glue with a brush to the entire surface of the door leaf. Then (without distortions!) We apply a sheet of insulation to it, press it a little, smooth it with our palms, going over the entire surface of the insulation. It is necessary to place the insulation so that its edges protrude slightly beyond the boundaries of the door leaf – after gluing they will need to be cut with a wallpaper knife so that the edges of the insulation go exactly along the contour of the leaf. To fix the upholstery material, it is required to apply glue: on the reverse side of the upper lip of the door leaf, designed to cover the gap – in the case of pasting the outer (outer) side of the door; on the upper door end – in the case of pasting a metal door from the inside. It will be convenient to press the upholstery material to surfaces with a layer of glue applied with a wooden block-rule. As with the upholstery of a wooden door, the upholstery material is previously attached only to the upper part of the sash, after which it is smoothed out with slight tension to its lower part – the position of the material is checked for displacement.

Then the upholstery is glued to the part of the door where the hinges are located (when going around the hinges, you need to cut the material to their width), then to the side of the door with the locks, while the fabric is slightly stretched to eliminate wrinkles. The bottom end of the door remains, and if you insulated the door without removing it from the hinges, then gluing the upholstery to it creates problems – it is difficult to align the material, to achieve the absence of folds. It will be much easier to remove the door. Upon completion of the pasting-insulation of the metal door, carefully inspect the places where the upholstery was glued, cut off its excess. When cutting holes for the protruding parts of the locks and under the door peephole, be careful – it is better if the cut holes are slightly smaller than the fittings for which they are cut.

When pasting a metal door on both sides, do not allow the material of the outer and inner upholstery to overlap in the places of gluing – it may fall behind.

Insulation of a metal door at the joints

Sealing of joints can only be done with foam rubber, because no rubber gaskets are suitable for this – they will interfere with the closing of the door and are allowed only if the steel door was originally made taking into account the gaps for rubber seals.

Insulation of a metal door at the joints

Foam seals for joints are manufactured and sold ready-made, i.e. with an adhesive layer on one side – unwind the roll with foam tape, cut to the size of the joints of the door perimeter. If the foam tape is wider and thicker than the gap between the sash and the door frame, it must be cut. Foam sealing tape is glued to the door frame along its perimeter, closer to the outer edges.

Insulation of a balcony door

It is convenient to use the balcony in the cold season instead of the freezer – its walls serve as a weak obstacle to the winter cold. Therefore, it is vital to reduce the heat loss of living quarters in the direction of the balcony, it is advisable to do this even before the onset of real cold weather.

The balcony door can be fully upholstered in the manner described above for a wooden front door. If there is a window in the door to the balcony, then it remains only to install leatherette rollers filled with foam rubber around its perimeter. From leatherette we cut out three strips 150 mm wide, put foam rubber in them and fasten along the edges of the door with a 20 mm indent from the edge. It makes no sense to put the roller on the side of the door where the hinges are installed. it will not close the gap anyway – it will bend back without a return return every time the door is opened. It is better to seal the gap between the frame and the hinge side of the balcony door with foam tape glued to the frame between it and the door leaf.

The described measures will reduce heat loss through the balcony door, but they can be seriously reduced only after the balcony is completely insulated.

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