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Replacing modern style fire doors in a victorian house with something more traditional

(10 Posts)
sorenipples Sun 09-Oct-16 14:27:04

Our victorian semi was previously owned by someone who appeared to be on a mission to remove all character. We are slowly trying to add some back, although essentially the house is a blank canvas nothing to match to.

It is a three storey house so needs fire doors. Currently they are all the nasty cheap flush type, with nasty cheap and broken architraves.

When I replace this do the architraves need to be fire rated? If so where can I source them? I want four paneled doors which we will paint white. Are all such doors equal or do some look more authentic tham others? Any suggestions for where I could source them? I have seen various on line suppliers but am confused as to whether all products are equal. Also looking for suitable door furniture. Victorian style, but suitable for fire doors. Does door furniture need to be fire rated?

Thanks in advance for any help.

RaisingSteam Sun 09-Oct-16 16:04:13

You can definitely buy 4-panelled fire rated doors. ,,https://www.travisperkins.co.uk/Internal-4-Panel-Oak-Raised-Mould-Fire-Door-FD30-1981mm-x-838mm-x-44mm/p/794673 example>>

is this any help? <<http://www.premdor.co.uk/news/detail/38 here>>

PigletJohn Sun 09-Oct-16 16:55:46

a better link for Premdor

and take "moulded doors"

Victorian houses are likely to have 4-panel or 6-panel doors

Here are some typical retail prices. You may be able to beat them. Wickes sells Premdor under their own name.

Fire doors are very heavy so most likely you will most likely need new "doorframes" which are called door linings for internal doors.
www.wickes.co.uk/search?text=fire+lining They are not very expensive. They have a groove in them where an intumescent strip is fixed that expands when hot to prevent the passage of smoke and flame. www.ironmongerydirect.co.uk/search?SearchText=intumescent You can also get these strips with a brush pile which blocks draughts as well as smoke. Your BCO might allow you to omit them, but the certification for the door includes a suitable lining.

If you are going to paint them you do not need the veneered version (which costs extra). Get smooth, not textured (which has a fake grainy surface)

The heavy firedoor hinges are available as lift-off hinges, which are much more convenient. You can get PVD brass plated, or stainless, or paint them. You need three per door. www.ironmongerydirect.co.uk/search?SearchText=hinge+fire+lift

A panelled door will look more in keeping if it is fitted with a Horizontal Mortice Sashlock and a knob, not a lever handle. www.ironmongerydirect.co.uk/products?parameter=fh_location=%2f%2fcatalog01%2fen_GB%2f%24s%3dknobs%2fcategories%3c%7bcatalog01_door_furniture_door_knobs%7d%26fh_start_index=0 You can get 125mm or 150mm mortice latches cheaper if you don't need locks. You can turn oval knobs even with wet hands.

You can put intumescent pads around the lock, inside the mortice, if the BCO requires them. Metal locks will generally be OK. Plastic won't.

A carpenter or joiner can fit doors, linings and locks much better and faster than a handyman or general builder.

Due to their extra mass, fire doors are much better at blocking noise than modern lightweight doors.

PigletJohn Sun 09-Oct-16 20:14:11

here are some Horizontal Sashlocks as usually found on better Edwardian and late Victorian houses (smaller homes will have had pressed steel rimlocks), grand older homes may have had heavy brass rimlocks)


IIRC the National Gallery now has Chubb 3J60 locks on the public rooms, which are an upmarket version, though they cannot be original. Something similar may have been fitted in the 1907 galleries.

and here is a long mortice latch, cheaper and much easier to fit, that you can use with a knob if you don't need a lock


various widths are available.

In both cases they would be fitted so the doorknob is half-way up the centre rail. The firedoors shown do not have tenons so it is OK to cut them out here.

The extra backset is needed with knobs so you don't bang your knuckles on the frame.

sorenipples Sun 09-Oct-16 20:56:00

Thanks Piglet John! I feel so much more confident to approach a local joiner/carpenter now. And I will resist temptation to ask the local handy man to have a look.

Wrinklytights Sun 09-Oct-16 21:17:07

Definitely get a joiner/carpenter. The previous owners got our fire doors hung by someone who didn't know what they were doing and they're dreadful. Handles at a different height on each door, doors that swing open etc.

Wrinklytights Sun 09-Oct-16 21:34:43

If you want something more authentic looking, go for something like this www.distinctivedoors.co.uk/products/654-victorian-4-panel-fire
All the original victorian doors that I've had in various houses have either been flat panels or have had moulding like this rather than the raised panels in most repro doors.

kirinm Mon 10-Oct-16 22:52:16

We've just bought a nice fire rated 4 panel regent door from 'distinctive doors '. Pretty decent price too.

kirinm Mon 10-Oct-16 22:53:16

Ah, just read the post above!

PigletJohn Tue 11-Oct-16 00:44:24

I'm quite used to bevelled door panels, so I had a look at some salvage sites, and Wrinkly is right, they were less common than flat panels in Victorian doors.

To my eye the bulky bolection moulding is inferior to the more usual Edwardian style of building panels into grooves in the stiles and rails, and it is not as durable or strong, but will be in keeping for interior doors. Stuck mouldings are very common on part-glazed doors as they can be prised off and pinned back to hold the glass.

Raised and fielded panels are seldom seen on interior doors except in the grandest houses, but are fairly common on Victorian front doors that survive (usually in a porch and protected from rain).

There is a good variety of original styles on www.englishsalvage.co.uk/interior-doors_itemcat_2032 but also have a look in neighbours' homes if you can to see any original doors remaining.

I think that bevelled panels may be more common on repro fire doors because it maintains a greater panel thickness. On joinery repro doors they are easier to assemble. I still think bevels look better but de gustibus non disputandum.

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