frequently asked questions
Woodworkers FAQ sheets cover almost anything and everything you need to know about joinery. Please feel free to download and use them to get answers to all the questions you ever had about joinery. If you need further help send us your inquiry using the form on this page.
08. PIVOT DOORS
Pivot doors have become popular because they give a wide generous opening and a simple modern appearance that works well with contemporary architecture. There are a number of issues unique to pivot doors that buyers should be aware of before choosing pivots over more traditional single or double door/sidelight combinations.
WHAT IS THE COST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CONVENTIONAL ENTRIES & PIVOT DOORS?
A pivoted single door may be 30% more expensive than a single door and sidelight combination and twice as expensive as a standard width single door. It does however provide an additional 200mm in openable space (if a stock 1200 wide pivot is used). Compared however to a double door design, the cost is very similar but the openable width is 60% less than using two stock doors.
CAN I HAVE ANY SIZE DOOR PIVOTED?
In theory, yes, but in practical terms pivots beyond 1500mm wide and 2400mm high are likely to have excessive warp. Australian standards allow for up to a 5mm warp in a standard 2040 x 820 door before it is classed as a defect. Extrapolating that acceptable warp out to doors 1500mm wide results in bows up to 16 - 18mm being within regulations. For this reason Woodworkers carry a range of pivot doors sizes 1200 wide and either 2040mm or 2280mm high (frame height 2170 and 2400 respectively) which we believe will not exhibit excessive warp over time. All of our standard pivot doors are made 45mm thick to accommodate the pivot mechanism and to reduce the capacity to warp.
IS WARP A PROBLEM IN PIVOT DOORS?
Unlike standard doors, pivot doors are not restrained by hinges down one side that stabilizes any tendency for the timber to move. Pivot doors swing on a point, top and bottom, that provides no restraint to warp movement in the door. Most doors remain stable in any event but as timber is a natural product (with stresses built into it from its life within the tree) it can assume any shape when unrestrained that can pull the fabric of a door into a warp. In most situations, pivot door warps are not easily detectable but we always seek to caution our clients in advance that large doors quite naturally can have larger bows and warps than conventional doors.
WHAT TYPE OF PIVOT DO YOU USE?
Woodworkers insist on hanging all pivot doors on concealed overhead hydraulic commercial door closers. We do this for safety reasons. A large unrestrained pivot door can easily become uncontrollable in high winds but will be perfectly safe when hydraulically operated. More importantly a pivot door can be potentially lethal to children if its action is not controlled. A pivot is a large vertical lever that can crush any body part that becomes caught in the narrow side of the opening and we believe the small extra cost of the hydraulic closer is worth the peace of mind. Regrettably some of our competitors continue to use cheap, dangerous, non-hydraulic pivots & consumers should investigate what is being offered before considering any price difference. The Woodworkers pivot is fully concealed into an 88mm head section over each door and opens as standard with hold open function at 90°, although 105° option is available on request. As standard the pivot is set 150mm in from the side jambs to provide a clear opening 1000mm wide. It has been our experience that pivot mechanisms are reliable and maintenence free however the manufacturer's warranty is limited to 1 year.
DO I HAVE ADJUSTMENT IN THE HYDRAULIC MOVEMENT?
Yes. They have a two stage adjustment of the closing speed. As per the diagram adjacent the first screw adjusts the speed of the closing action from 90° to 20°. The second screw adjusts the speed of the closing action from 20° to 0°. NO SCREW CAN BE TURNED MORE THAN 2 TURNS without the hydraulic fluid being released and the pivot being rendered inoperable. It is imperative that the instructions are followed to ensure the continuing warranty on your closer.
WHAT HARDWARE DO I BUY TO LOCK PIVOT DOORS?
Woodworkers can provide a pivot door kit that provides all the hardware necessary to secure and operate your pivot door. The kit provides the following 1. Mortice deadbolt 2. 80mm Euro cylinder 3. Pair of escutcheons All you need to do is then choose the pull handles you want for both sides.
ARE PIVOTS WEATHER TIGHT?
You have the option of opening your pivot door in one direction only or pivotsave it swing in both directions if desired. A dual swing door has no weather stop beads to impede its action and for that reason is not watertight, draft or insect proof unless door seals are installed (not standard). A single action pivot can be made weather tight, although most pivots get used in protected situations where weathering is a minor consideration. The diagram at right shows how the stops have to be fitted to achieve weather resistance. When your pivot is supplied from the factory your stop beads will be fixed to the outside of the frame along with instructions for site adjustment by your installer.
IS INSTALLING A PIVOT DOOR DIFFICULT?
No. The same rules apply as for any pre-hung joinery, which are detailed on a separate FAQ "Fitting a Frame". The door must be in the frame before attempting installation. It is essential that the frame is plumb and square and that even margins are attained on all four sides of the door before the frame is fixed off. Symptoms such as a pivot door dragging its leading edge on the floor are invariably the result of a frame being installed out of plumb or in twist. There is limited adjustment possible to pivot doors after installation but if correctly installed adjustment should not be necessary.
WHAT WEIGHT DOOR CAN YOU PIVOT?
|Type of Pivot||Capability|
|standard pivot closer||will take up to 80kg|
|heavy duty pivot closer||will take up to 110kg|
All models come with a 'hold open' or 'non-hold open' function. The 80kg and 110kg can be ordered with 90° or 105° hold open, whereas the 170kg unit only comes with a 90° opening.