Installing Fire Doors

  • 4-10 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 250-1,000
What You'll Need
Fire door
Fire door seals
Wood file

Fire doors protect your family from possible injuries and fatalities related to domestic fires. Though these doors cannot prevent a fire from starting, they can offer about 30 minutes of protection from a house fire. When fire doors are placed on every bedroom, you and your family have a much larger window of opportunity for escape. This safety measure is especially important in homes with two stories. Two-story homes are often more difficult to escape. Fire doors are moderately expensive. You can usually find a limited selection at home improvement stores. For a wider selection, including custom wood staining and details, specialty door stores will be your best bet.

Step 1 - Check the Door Frame

The door frame needs to be securely attached before you install a fire door. Fire doors offer more limited protection if the frames are weak and won’t withstand the flames. Make sure there are no spaces between the wall and door frame. If you do see spaces, close them. If you have to close more than six spaces on both sides of the door, you should install a new frame before proceeding.

Step 2 - Trim the Door

Depending on the size of the door openings in your home, your fire door will have to be trimmed. Taking proper measurements will help ensure that you don’t trim the door too much. If you are going to install a special threshold, keep that in mind when taking your measurements.

Using a wood file, trim the door. Though you should follow the manufacturer’s instructions, most fire doors will not require any trimming at the top.

Step 3 - Fit the Door Seals

With the purchase of the fire door, you will receive all of the necessary hardware to properly install the door. Locate the door seals and place them according the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure not to replace the hardware that came with the door. The included hardware is certified for use with fire doors. If for some reason you need to obtain new hardware, you should contact the manufacturer for replacements.

Step 4 - Attach the Door

Before completely installing the door, you should make sure that the frame is wide enough to accept the full length of the screws. Next you should fit the hinges to the door frame. For the most ease, use the current door recesses. If you can’t use these recesses with the fire door, you must fill them.

Wedge the door in place to make sure you have trimmed it enough. This will be especially important if there is carpet on one side of the door but not the other. Once the door is in place, affix the hinges and check to make sure that the door swings freely.