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Photo Credit: TruStile

In February of 2021, the latest editions of the ANSI/WDMA I.S.1A-21, Industry Standard for Interior Architectural Wood Flush Doors, and ANSI/WDMA I.S.6A-21, Industry Standard for Interior Architectural Wood Stile and Rail Doors received recognition from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Board of Standards Review as official ANSI Approved Standards.

WDMA interior architectural wood standards ensure that all products complying with our standards can be evaluated on a level playing field for performance and construction. The WDMA standards provide architects with a means to specify particular end products using a simple system of references and industry-recognized terminology and nomenclature to select the desired attributes for the finished product.

An extensive three-year review process saw revisions and updates to both of WDMA’s interior architectural wood door standards, with the primary focus of assisting architects and specifiers in understanding how to use the information provided in industry standards to properly select the desired aesthetic grade and performance duty level of the architectural wood doors to be used for a given project.

Photo Credit: Masonite

From the beginning of the revision cycle process, the goal was to harmonize the WDMA architectural interior doors standards with other woodworking industry standards where ever possible. The 2021 edition of the WDMA architectural interior wood door standards is the culmination of working through the consensus based standards process with interested stakeholder from organizations such as the Architectural Woodwork Institute (AWI), the Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada (AWMAC) and the Woodwork Institute (WI).

One of the outcomes of utilizing the standards is to minimize miscommunication between architects, specifiers and manufacturers. Misunderstandings typically begin when the terms used to describe the desired attributes have different meanings.  The very beginning of revision process included defining and coordinating key terms found in the WDMA standards with those terms that are also defined in AWI’s American Woodwork Standard. Through a joint effort, each definition used to define attributes of interior architectural wood doors were reviewed by two technical committees to determine which definitions needed to be changed or whether one of the existing definitions should be used. Through this collaboration, the glossary of terms for the 2021 WDMA IS1A and the IS6A standards will be harmonized with the next edition of the AWI standard.

In addition to improving the common use of woodworking terminology and further correspond with the future AWI standard, the 2021 WDMA interior architectural wood door industry standard was also revised with procedural updates. For example, clarifications were given regarding two separate methods for using Catalyzed Lacquer, TR2A & OP2A for post-catalyzed lacquer and methods TR-2B and OP-2B for Pre-catalyzed lacquer. Previous editions of the WDMA interior architectural wood door standards did not differentiate when the catalyst was added to the lacquer, which led to confusion by some specifiers who were unsure whether the industry standard referenced a catalyst that was added at the factory (pre) or a catalyst added at the time of use (post).

 

Photo Credit: VT Industries

Another noted change in both of the of the WDMA interior architectural wood door standards is an extensive rewrite of the information contractors and subcontractors need to know regarding the purchasing of unprimed or unfinished door slabs with the intent of field finishing. The 2021 WDMA standards added a number of additional best practices to provide guidance to field finishers, including a clarification that when a field finish is applied to the unfinished door slab, the finisher assumes all responsibilities for the end result. Based on the multitude of finish systems that may be used, the WDMA standards encourage field finishers to consult with the finish system manufacturer to determine how the finish system should be applied. The revised WDMA standards further clarify that the contractor applying a field finishes needs to apply a test application to the door slab to determine how the finish reacts with the face veneer and outlines the importance for protecting all labels from being damaged or removed when the field finish is being applied to the door slab. The main point of the section is to convey to all parties that manufacturers highly recommend against field finishing doors and that any party who attempts to apply a field finish needs to understand that they are assuming all responsibilities for the final aesthetic outcome of the architectural wood door.

Additionally, WDMA’s interior architectural wood door industry standards provide information outlining the best practices for the proper onsite storage and handling of the products delivered to a jobsite. This is a critical point because extreme heat and/or humidity will severely impact the moisture content of the door and is the leading cause for dimensional changes in the wood. When manufactured, the moisture content of the wood door panels are kept at a constant level throughout the process in a controlled environment. At the time of delivery, most manufacturers conduct a moisture level reading prior to shipping the products and will instruct the receiver to maintain the humidity levels within a certain percentage. The WDMA standards clarifies that failure to follow guidance for proper storage and handling of the architectural wood door can result in doors that will twist, warp, swell or shrink and may result in permanent damages to the doors’ construction and finish.

Architects, designers and specifiers are encouraged to become familiar with the latest edition of the WDMA’s interior architectural wood door industry standards and to make adjustments to any boilerplate specifications information. Certain revisions contained within the updated documents could have an adverse impact on what the designer thinks they are specifying. As such, it is the responsibility of any party using the new standards to become familiar with those changes.

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