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Understanding Masonry Knock Down Frames For Steel Doors

If you are in the market for a new commercial door frame, you may have come across the term masonry frame. But what is a masonry door frame? Most people in the market have a common misconception that a masonry frame is only for a masonry wall application like brick, block wall, or CMU. However, this is not true. In the simplest form, a masonry frame is a door frame for exterior building walls. In this article we will go over everything you need to know about masonry knock down door frames.



Design & Construction

High quality masonry knock down frames are constructed from 16 gauge steel with lock and strike reinforcement. However, lower quality models are widely available on the market place today that are only 18 or 20 gauge and feature no hinge or strike reinforcement. Knowing the steel thickness will help you identify if the door frame is of good quality.




Applications

Masonry knock down frames can be installed on the following wall construction types:
  • Exterior brick Wall
  • Exterior block Wall
  • Exterior CMU Wall
  • Exterior Wood Stud Wall
  • Exterior Metal Stud Wall

Knock Down Or KD

When a contractor refers to a knock down masonry frame, they are simply indicating that the frame must be assembled before installation. Knock down masonry frames consist of a hinge jamb, strike jamb, header, and masonry anchors.



Assembly

The masonry knock down frame hinge jamb, strike jamb, and header is designed to fit together inside of the rough opening. At the top of the hinge jamb and strike jamb are tongues that are designed to slip into the slots on the sides of the header. Assembly is very simple and easy with masonry knock down frames.

Butted or Wrap Around

Masonry frames differ from drywall frames since they can be butted against the wall or wrapped around the wall. Brick wall, block wall, or CMU wall are butted frame installations, meaning the door frame sets inside of the rough opening against the wall. Exterior wood or metal stud wall installation can be butted or wrapped around the wall.



Masonry Anchor Types

Punch and Dimple

For masonry knock down frames the most popular installation anchor type is punch and dimple. Punch and dimple uses either a pipe sleeve anchor or butter fly anchor. The masonry frame is punched where the frame anchor is, allowing a masonry sleeve stud bolt to fasten into the masonry wall through the door frame. Punch and dimple installation requires a frame dimpler, since the door frame must be "punched and dimpled" at each anchor location on the door frame. Punch and dimple installation also requires the installer to use a rotary drill in order to drill holes into the masonry wall so the sleeve stud bolt can attach to the frame and wall. Punch and dimple anchors are used on masonry wall applications like brick, block wall, or CMU that have already been erected. If the wall is not yet built, then tee anchors or wire anchors are used.

Tee Or Wire Anchors

A tee anchor or wire anchor is designed to attach to the inside of the door frame. The anchor jets out from the door frame and is used for masonry walls like brick, block, and CMU that have not been built yet. Installation requires the masonry door frame to first be set into place, then the masonry brick, block, or CMU is built around the door frame. The tee or wire anchors are set between the brick, block or CMU and held in with mortar.

Multipurpose Anchors

Multipurpose anchors are used for exterior wood stud or metal stud construction walls. This anchor type is very popular for remodels where new wood or metal stud perimeter walls were added to the building. This anchor type installs on the inside of the door frame like the other anchors, but features straps that project past the frame. The straps are designed to set against the wood or metal stud, and wood screws or self tapping metal screws are used to fasten the strap to the stud.


Knock Down Vs Welded

Some building projects call for prehung doors. A prehung door will utilize a welded masonry frame. A welded masonry frame is when all three frame components: hinge jamb, strike jamb, and header are welded together as one unit. Welded masonry frames are primarily used on new all construction where the wall has not been built yet. Although welded masonry frames are popular, in many ways they are more difficult to level and plumb since the entire door frame must be adjusted, rather than having the flexibility to maneuver each individual component. Also masonry welded frames are very costly to ship, since they are not disassembled. Factors like this make masonry welded frames significantly more expensive than masonry knock down frames.

Conclusion

A masonry knock down frame, also referred to as a masonry KD (Knock Down) frame is a 3 piece frame designed to be installed before or after the wall has been constructed. It consists of a hinge jamb, strike jamb and a head. Hollow metal masonry knock down frames can be used for both exterior and interior wall applications. Masonry knock down frames can be used on wood stud, metal stud, new block walls, or existing block wall applications. If you are in the market for a masonry knock down frame, we recommend the Gladiator masonry door frame. Gladiator masonry door frames are very high quality and constructed from heavy duty 16 gauge steel. These door frames come standard with hinge and strike reinforcement. If you need to replace an existing masonry frame, we can match any hinge or strike location. Order today and receive FREE shipping!

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