Internal doors - "solid" oak and other queries

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18 Jan 2022
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I've been encouraged by the Mrs to get doors fitted to help control the dust I'm creating during the renovation. We like the idea of solid oak for durability/longevity and as it will be more forgiving/adjustable for the old frames.

A few questions if I may:

1) Where to people source their solid oak doors from? My local timber merchants only offer veneer. I've found this one company online that offers a solid oak construction although it's made up in layers allowing 15mm of trim down ability all round. Are there better ones out there, is this good etc? Victorian 4 Panel Oak Door - Victorian Doors - UK Oak Doors™

2) Given the weight, I will be fitting a three hinges per door and thinking to go for the 100 x 75mm variety but wanted to check, given the hinge plates on these are 31mm would that be ok on a 35mm thick door or should I look for narrower hinges?

3) For the non-locking doors, will go for a heavy duty flat latch. Where I am confused is the case/backset, what determines what option I pick there?>{brass}?query=heavy duty flat latch

4) I am going to get bathroom-style locks fitted to the bedrooms. I've not seen this done before but with teenage/adult kids and I want give them (and us) privacy. Is there any reason why these aren't fitted in UK bedrooms other than personal choice?

5) One of the doors will lead from the bedroom to a dressing room. I am thinking to fit a bifold door so that it can tuck out the way when open and not obstruct movement around the bed etc. What is the best way/type of bifold door installation so that the door has a solid close to it as my experience with these doors is that they feel a bit flimsy in the mechanism.

Thanks in advance!
I have 4" butt hinges on my internal doors, my doors are 40mm thick and I think just get away with the big hinges, they might look like overkill on a 35mm thick door.

Regarding hinges I personally prefer a traditional double washered butt hinge over the bearing style that you mostly see these days although you can get some bearing style with a narrow knuckle which don't look too bad.
The latch backset can depend on if you are using knobs or lever handles, knobs need a longer backset so you don't hit your knuckles on the casing/lining when turning them. If using knobs they often need to be in line with the lock rail so you can get enough backset as they won't really fit in the stile. I think a deeper backset always looks better, I hate seeing handles squashed up against the frame.

Those latches look a bit overkill for domestic doors, I generally use something like this
Rather than the all in one bathroom sashlock type thing I tend to use a seperate dead bolt, you can keep the same latches right through then just put the dead bolts with a thumb turn where you want them. I'm not keen on the look of a thumbturn squashed under a handle like you get with the all in one type bathroom latch/lock.
Hi Doug thanks for all of that!

Hinges: based on what you've said I think I'll look at the 3" ones instead then as with a 50mm width/25mm a side that should look a lot better on a 35mm door. I don't really notice hinges that much i.e. I am definitely looking to get the ones that operate rather than look better which I thought was the bearing style

Latch: that makes a lot of sense now you've said it. Seems 44/57mm are the common size backsets out there. The house will all be handles (I'm the only knob!). Am I right in thinking that I would need to know the door stile width to know which backset to choose as it would need to line up with the centre of the stile? I'm not 100% against tubular latches but when I first looked into it a year ago these heavy duty ones were well recommended and I like the feeling of a solid closing door (vs the bit of wobble you seem to get with the tubular ones)

Bathroom lock: I do like those separate locks, and in vast majority of cases they do indeed look nicer than the all in one. I may end up going that way but did find these which are at the better end of the spectrum
me and doug have fitted plenty interior doors I guess. my preferences and reasons are a bit different.(and knowing your not a old hand door fitter) three inch butt's are sensible. buy the best ones you can find the bearing ones do look OK if a bit clunky and the knuckle really needs to be outside the door are your architraves going to interfere.
I have fitted the thumbturn latches and they can be stiff (and expensive)especially the lobe ones. I prefer the 3 lever jobs with specific handles( if you haven't got a souber get one now they are good to drill the tubular latch perfectly central and level as well.)
I suggest backplates as there quick to fit roses can be fiddly.
solid oak doors will be bambi( deer) and may chubby(twist)
keep it simple even three hinges can make the door squeak. deep backsets make fitting harder so avoid if possible. remember always buy decent quality ironmongery it's easier to fit.(the screws work for starters)
Part of the decision of crank offset ( backset depth ) can also be based on the width of the stiles of the door.

Id go 3" and check the load rating on the hinges... if you have heavy doors you may want 3 x 3" hinges per door, but the hinges will probably be rated to cope as a pair.
As for the bifold question, you may want to fit a latch to the top of the
door with 2 sets of hinges, allowing the top to locate securely.... this could be one of the short ( inset ) roller catches or a surface bolt ( less attractive and possibly annoying in use )
Another option for a solid close could be a perco style door closer fitted between the doors, set with a weaker tension, but it wouldnt be so good for when the doors are open 🙂
Most of the doors I hang are replacements which is probably why I prefer the traditional style hinge because as @johnnyb says if the architrave isn't set back enough it causes problems with the bearing hinges. Also the leaves are often thicker on the traditional style butt hinges than on the bearing hinges which again is better for replacement doors as it gives you a bit more to play with before you need to start packing out the hinge mortises in the old casings.

Back in the day it was all nice simple lever handles on backplates with 2.5" latches, these days it never seems to be as straightforward.
I fitted some 4 inch baldwin hinges on a exterior door I made the cut outs were 5mm deep. they deep work really nicely though.
keep it simple even three hinges can make the door squeak.
I didn’t realise that fitting not three but four hinges to my doors was a bad idea. Did the fact that I also fitted the jam and fitted the door to the jam on the workbench make the fact that both the doors I’ve fitted that way work perfectly mean that I got lucky or that it was a good way to work? This is a serious question as they were third and forth doors I’ve ever fitted, and I have a couple more to do.
@sometimewoodworker what you have done is fine.

3 or more hinges are good as long as they are all in line, this is generally easy on new stuff but can be a problem on replacements doors.

If you try a new door in an old opening and the hinge side stile needs trimming to fit it's best to just use two hinges or you have to get a bit creative with the depth that you chop them in.
Yep, the frame / lining is very important with 3 or more hinges.... imagine the edge ( not face ) of the lining has a slight bow inwards, 2 hinges ( top and bottom ) will be more or less in line, but that centre hinge will be offset by whatever that bow is if you use the frame/ lining as a reference for hinge depth, which will want to pull the centre of the door inwards.... which causes binding.... so if the lining had an inwards bow of 2 mm, the knuckle of the middle hinge neefs to be out from the lining 2mm to counter the bow and eliminate binding. If the linings are perfectly square, level and inline, you can fit as many hinges as you like without issue
oddly people don't usually space 4 hinges evenly. 2 close together at the top. the other 2 evenly spaced. I've no idea why. I space 6 from the top and 9 from the bottom for normal hinges. I've no idea why either
🙂 i dont think ive ever seen 4 hinges other than on stable doors!

I do 6, 9 and the 3rd centred, but i think in europe they keep they 3rd hinge nearer the top.... i guess to transfer the load where it pulls the most, but personally i can't see it'd make any difference?
I didn't update it but it was a good job. yes three lever secure but it did have some advantages. no deep mortices. no interrupted draft seal. it was fairly easy to fit as well( obviously quite a bit of wood butchery needed. the oak on the catch plate is really just a cover as these have 2 screw holes so are secure. the oak cover I just nailed on with new five clout nails( from dictum) I would do this again as it did work out well. only try a keep the door normal thickness(not 50mm or something) as the key goes in deep from the outside.
I picked the lock itself up in a mixed box for a few quid. looking on ebay they are quite pricey. also you need a box catchplate as the locks come with a thick brassplate.
To answer Q1;
I am not aware of any commercially available, ready made, solid oak (or ash) doors, but I do know of at least two local joinery workshops that can & do make excellent solid, traditional doors. I’m sure that there will be similar joinery workshops throughout the UK that regularly make similar custom doors. However, they will not be cheap.
🙂 i dont think ive ever seen 4 hinges other than on stable doors!

I do 6, 9 and the 3rd centred, but i think in europe they keep they 3rd hinge nearer the top.... i guess to transfer the load where it pulls the most, but personally i can't see it'd make any difference?
That is what I have read, however the suppliers of the high quality hinges I used suggested the spacing I have used and though these doors are solid teak, so not exactly lightweight, the hinge specifications would have allowed for only three I thought that 4 looked better, were just as easy/difficult to fit and I prefer the look of more even spacing.
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