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Understanding Drywall Knock Down Frames For Steel Doors

If you have ever took a stroll through a public government building like a city council, town hall, or public library you will find a combination of commercial steel doors and wood doors. Steel doors are typically used on the exterior walls of the building, while solid core wood doors are the primary door of choice for interior walls. Interior walls are typically comprised of steel studs or wood studs and wrapped with drywall. The door frame used on these interior drywall applications are known as drywall knock down frames. In this article, we are going to cover from A to Z, everything there is to know about drywall door frames.

Knock Down Construction

You may have heard the term knock down or "kd" used to describe a door frame. Knock down or "kd" simply refers to the door frame being disassembled and requiring assembly for installation. A drywall knock down frame or drywall KD comes in 3 pieces: the hinge jamb, strike jamb, and head. From the name of these components, I am sure you can guess which component goes where. But for transparency, let's go over it. The hinge jamb is the portion of the door frame that has the hinge preps on it. The strike jamb is the portion of the door frame where the cylindrical lock latchbolt strikes. The head refers to the top of the door frame.



Is It Easy To Assemble?

Many DIY, weekend warriors, or simply first time installers wonder is the assembly hard. The answer is no. As you can see the frame itself is only composed of 3 main components. The hardest part of any door installation is making sure the door and frame are plumb. With a drywall knock down frame, the hinge jamb, strike jamb, and head are designed to wrap around the wall. In many instances, since each component must be inserted into the opening individually, it makes it easier to adjust for leveling. The hinge jamb installs first by wrapping around the wall. The frame head inserts over the hinge jamb. Tongues in the head of the frame slip into the top of the hinge jamb. The strike jamb is installed next and the slots at the top of the strike jamb slip into the tongue of the top of the frame head.

How Does The Frame Anchor To The Drywall
Drywall knock down frames are unique because they use compression to anchor them to the wall. Inside of the door frame are compression anchors, see illustration below. When the frame slips over the wall the base of the compression anchor sits on top of the wood or metal stud. At the face of the frame is an adjustment anchor. By turning this screw counter clockwise, will cause the base of the compression anchor to slowly press against the wood or metal stud. As the compression anchor gets closer to the wood or metal stud, it forces the outside of the door frame to sandwich against the door opening, securing the frame against the wall. Adjustments should be made with the compression anchor screw until the door frame is firm and secure.



Understanding Drywall Frame Jamb Depth

Interior door walls vary in size. The drywall door frame wraps around the wall. The inside portion of the door frame that wraps the wall is known as the "throat." The overall door frame jamb depth can be calculated below:

Frame Jamb Depth = Throat + 1"


So the rule of thumb is, if you measure the wall thickness, then the need door frame jamb width required will be the wall thickness + 1".



Lucky for you, contractors and architects use a handful of standard wall thicknesses coupled with drywall. Here are the most common door frame jamb depths used on walls with drywall.

5-5/8" Jamb Depth: This door frame is used on 2x4 wood stud wall construction with 1/2" thick drywall on each side.

5-7/8" Jamb Depth: This is the most popular door frame. It is used on 2x4 wood stud wall construction with 5/8" thick drywall on each side.

7-3/4" Jamb Depth: This door frame is used on 2x6 wood stud wall construction with 5/8" drywall on each side.

8-1/4" Jamb Depth: This door frame is used on 6" metal stud wall construction with 5/8" drywall on each side.



Now there are some rare instances where the jamb depth you need is not listed. This may be due to the building being remodeled. For example, maybe the contractor put 2 sheets of drywall on one side of the wall. Whatever the case may be, you may need to just use a larger jamb depth frame than your all thickness, and trim it out later on.

Conclusion

Drywall knock down frames are used on both steel and wood doors for interior walls. If you are in the market for a drywall knock down frame, we recommend Gladiator drywall frames. Gladiator manufactures high quality commercial hollow metal door frames that are trusted in public and private buildings across the nation. Gladiator has the ability to manufacture door frames to match your existing hinge or strike prep, making replacement fast and easy. Order today and receive FREE freight on all commercial door frame orders.

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