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How To Install A Storefront Door Frame?

In this article we explain how to assemble and install a commercial aluminum storefront door frame.

Step 1: Identify Storefront Door Frame Components

When storefront doors and frames are shipped they are often packaged together. Be sure to separate the proper frame components from the door components.

Frame Header

The storefront door frame head refers to the top portion of the door frame.

Frame Lock Rail

The storefront door frame lock rail is the side of the door frame that is prepped with the deadlock receiving hole.

Frame Hinge Rail

The storefront door frame hinge rail can vary in prep depending on if the storefront door uses butt hinges or offset pivots. For offset pivot frames, the frame hinge rail will be blank. For butt hinge rails, the door frame hinge rail will be prepped for door hinges.



Step 2: Assemble Storefront Door Frame

Attach the frame lock rail and frame hinge rail to the door frame header. The frame lock rail and hinge rail are prepped for attachment and can be screwed into the door frame header. Install the offset pivot into the frame header. If a door threshold is used, install the threshold clips at the bottom of the lock and hinge rail.



Step 3: Set Storefront Door Frame Into Rough Opening

Carefully set the frame into the building's rough opening. Be sure the door frame is level and plumb. If a threshold is going to be used, install the threshold into the door frame by attaching it to the threshold clips at the bottom of the lock and hinge rail.

Step 4: Attach Storefront Door Frame To Building

Most storefront door lock and hinge rails use a special filler extrusion, which snaps into the center of the rail. This filler extrusion is designed to cover the screw attachment points on the door frame. Some storefront doors may not use a filler extrusion.

If Filler Extrusion Is Used

If a filler extrusion is used on the lock and hinge rail, then start by pre-drill the the door frame rails where you plan to use screws for attachment. Once the holes are drilled uses the proper screw fasteners to attach the door frame to the building. After the door frame is properly anchored to the building the filler plate can be installed into the door frame lock and hinge rails. When installing filler extrusions we recommend starting the filler extrusion at the bottom of the door frame. Snap the bottom portion (about 6") of the filler extrusion into the door frame rail. Then press your foot against the bottom snapped in portion of the filler extrusion so it cannot pop out. Bow the center of the filler extrusion so that the top portion can fit into the top of the door frame rail. Snap in the top portion of the filler extrusion into the top portion of the door frame rail. Then proceed to snap the remainder of the filler extrusion into the door frame working from the top all the way to the bottom.

If Filler Extrusion Is Not Used

Some storefront door frames do not use a filler extrusion. This could be due to the design of the door frame. There are also some cases where due to the location of the door frame on the rough opening, you are unable to use anchors on the center of the door frame, and must anchor on a different location of the door frame rail. Whatever the case may be, these anchor points will be exposed and visible to the public eye since there is no filler plate to cover it. For this reason these anchor holes need to be countersunk so that the screws fit flush into the door frame. Begin by pre-drilling the the door frame rails where you plan to use screws for attachment. Then use a countersinking bit on a drill to countersink each hole in the door frame rail. Finally use the proper screw fasteners to attach the door frame to the building.

Attaching Frame To Wood Studs

If the storefront door frame is being attached to wood studs, then we recommend 3 inch wood screws. You want to make sure that the anchor you use will penetrate into the wood studs deep enough for a strong attachment. If the wood screws used are too short and only screw into the wood studs about a 1/2" the door frame will not be as secure and could be kicked in if a forced entry took place.

Attaching Frame To Metal Studs

If the storefront door frame is a being attached to metal studs, then self tapping screws can be used. Again, be sure to use long enough self tapping screws. Ultimately, you want the door frame to be attached very securely for safety and security reasons.

Attaching Frame To Masonry Brick or CMU (Concrete Masonry Unit)

When the frame is attached to brick or some type of masonry wall, a rotary drill will need to be used to pre-drill holes into the masonry wall. Once the holes are drilled plastic anchors can be inserted into the holes. Finally, use long masonry screws to screw into the the plastic anchors.

Step 5: Seal The Door Frame

Once the storefront door frame is attached, silicone caulking can be used to carefully seal the frame to the building.

Tips For Making The Door Frame More Secure

With storefront doors, if vandals want to get into a building, they will most likely just break the glass and enter the building. So cart bars and protection bars behind the glass are your best defense. However, in many break ins the door frames are kicked in. The best defense for this is using a lot of anchors when attaching the door frame into the building. Another great defense, is using extra long screws for attaching the frame to the building. The longer the screws, the harder it is to kick in the door frame.

Conclusion

Storefront door frames can be attached to wood studs, metal studs, or masonry walls. If you are in need of a new storefront door and frame package, we recommend Comanche storefront doors. Manufactured in the USA and available in any size to meet any rough opening requirement.




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