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Entry Door (Laundry Room) - Best Insulation (Wood vs Fiberglass)?


olimits7's Avatar
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11-25-13, 08:44 AM   #1  
Entry Door (Laundry Room) - Best Insulation (Wood vs Fiberglass)?

Hi,

I currently have an exterior pine wood door with 4 glass panel windows that goes into my laundry room. The laundry room doesn't have baseboard heating installed in it, and you can definitely feel the cold in the laundry room when you are in it.

There is also another composite type door in the laundry room that goes into my garage.

From the laundry room I have another 6 panel pine wood door that goes into my family room. The family room is always colder than the rest of the house and I always have to increase the heat just to heat up this room.

I can feel how cold the exterior pine wood door with 4 glass panel windows and the composite garage door are always cold. I was thinking of changing these 2 doors with a better insulated doors.

My question is do you think changing these 2 doors to a fiberglass insulated type doors will help with the coldness in the laundry room?

Thank you!

 
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Gunguy45's Avatar
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11-25-13, 09:22 AM   #2  
You can't change the door from the living area/laundry room to the garage to fiberglass. It has to be fire rated and I don't think any common FG doors are. You say the current door is composite? Is it hollow or solid? Solid is normally acceptable, hollow is not. You could change the slab for a solid core door which would help somewhat with insulation as well.

How thick is the door with glass? I know you said exterior type, but you can get thinner doors with glass as well. Exterior should be 1 3/4" thick. Interior is normally 1 3/8"

Were the laundry room and garage added on after the house was built? That might explain the door with glass.

You might try just weatherstripping the doors initially, if they don't have any. Air leakage will allow a lot of cold air through.

Even replacing/sealing the doors may not help if the walls aren't insulated.


Vic
"I sometimes wonder how some people ever made it to adulthood..."

 
Concretemasonry's Avatar
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11-25-13, 09:34 AM   #3  
What kind of heat (forced air or radiators)?

The first thing learned through the years in different homes is to have enough cold air returns (one or more) in the lowest conditioned space (family room is your case, apparently) to suck the cold out and mix with the rest of before heating or cooling. - It does wonders for uniformity and comfort.

The type of solid door you have does not make much difference, since you would be splitting hairs. You now have 4 holes (windows) in your current door.

I would treat the door installation to the garage as an exterior door and make sure it is well sealed and weather stripped to prevent air infiltration and odors from the garage. You have daily heat source in the laundry room except the washer and dryer, but is a good buffer and break from the cooler garage temps.

Dick

 
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11-25-13, 10:10 AM   #4  
Attached is the layout of that section of the house.

Yes, maybe I should first try sealing and weather stripping the best I can before changing the doors.

The heating I have is hot water baseboard heating in the family room. And I have 1 or 2 A/C central air vents in the ceiling but I close them during the winter. However, I don't feel any air coming through the A/C vents; it mainly seems to come in through the recessed lighting.

I'll check the thickness of the glass door when I get home and see what it is.

Yes, it looks like the existing door is a "hollow" composite door going from the laundry room to the garage. Maybe I should buy a new door for here that is fire rated and "solid"?

I purchased the house this past July; so I'm not sure if the previous owners added this laundry room or maybe the owners before them. It is strange that there is just a 4 glass panel exterior door that goes into the laundry room. When the main French doors is right next to this door. We never use this 4 glass panel exterior door so it's just locked all the time.

I added recessed lighting to the family room and I remember when I had the holes cut open, I could feel air coming through the holes and even through the outlet switches in that room when I took the cover plates off. My only guess is maybe they didn't do a good job insulation by the garage/laundry room ceiling and the air is leaking from the laundry/garage room ceiling into the family room.

I was thinking of using spray foam and injecting it in any of the holes that the recessed lighting cans have to hopefully make it air tight.

Thank you!

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11-25-13, 10:41 AM   #5  
I see better now. I doubt it was added on, but it's possible depending on the age of the home. Odd it has no sort of heat supply.

Makes sense to me in a way. You don't want to go directly from garage to family room. Noise, tracking in dirt, dirty hands etc. Is that a sink in the laundry? I have one as well and my entrance to the house from the garage is through the laundry.

Also makes sense having a door to the patio....more light, natural ventilation if desired, place to clean up after gardening or other outside work.

Yes, please check the door thicknesses and weatherstripping and get back to us.


Vic
"I sometimes wonder how some people ever made it to adulthood..."

 
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11-25-13, 12:01 PM   #6  
Yeah, its strange that they didn't run the hot water baseboard heating in the laundry room too.

Yes, there is an industrial type sink in between the washer and dryer; which is good to have in there.

I'm thinking either they did a bad job insulating the laundry room, or maybe they didn't seal/weather strip the doors that good which is causing the room to even be colder than what it should be.

Do you recommend any type of weather stripping for the top/bottom/sides of the door?

Yes, I'll check when I get home and let you guys know what size the door is.

Thank you!

 
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11-25-13, 02:27 PM   #7  
I don't think the type of weatherstripping is a important as having the entire door sealed. If any of the weatherstripping is missing, it will allow a draft to come thru. As Vic mentioned earlier the garage/laundry rm door should be fire rated [either solid wood or metal clad] Since that door is hollow core - I'd replace it.


retired painter/contractor avid DIYer

 
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11-26-13, 06:54 AM   #8  
Ok, thank you. Yes, I will probably replace the garage door since it is hollow.

I measured the other exterior door with the window panels that goes into the laundry room, and it's width is 1 3/4"; so that's good.

I tested last night and put my hand around the exterior laundry room door and the garage door and I didn't feel any big drafts coming in. But the strange part is when I checked the bottom of the door that goes from my laundry room to the family room I could feel a constant draft coming in. I guess its funneling from some location in the laundry room but can't find the exact spot.

I was going to try adding a "door sweep" to the bottom of the door that goes from the laundry room to the family room to see if that helps.

 
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11-26-13, 08:43 AM   #9  
Hollow core doors don't come with a threshold - was one added? Both solid doors should have a threshold with some type of weatherstripping to complete the seal.


retired painter/contractor avid DIYer

 
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