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alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1

How do you REALLY make a stealth door?



I know I saw a thread about stealth doors before, whether here or on another forum I peruse (because this one got blocked at work).

I'm talking about a door that blends with the wall, not a bookshelf hidden entrance or a portal to Narnia.

How is the frame made so that the drywall edges isn't falling apart from exposure from the lack of a frame molding? Is drywall glued to a slab door?

I just want to make my utility room door as discrete as lazily possible, thus without molding around the frame.

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
You wouldn't use drywall on an object like this.


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
said by robbin:

You wouldn't use drywall on an object like this.

Yes I figure that's what is going on, but then... what? how? why? when? who?

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1

1 edit
So you want to update your basement to wood paneled walls like the pic you posted?

Basically it's just like a regular door except the frame is built a part of the wall and hidden hardware is used. Different hardware based on the door swinging in or out. The big problem is the precision involved. The wall is going to have to be perfectly plumb and the door and opening plumb and square. No room for anything to be out 1/4". It would be easier to hide with a paneled wall or something else to distract the eye rather than just sheetrocked walls.


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1

1 edit
No, but it doesn't look wood paneled in the picture either.

Isn't there a trick?

Im not asking for something as stealthy as in the picture, but I'd like to be able to make a door that sort of blends in nicely, I'd basically like to avoid having a molding around the frame.

edit - I guess I should be asking more about how to make a trimless door.

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
In your first post you stated "as lazily possible". The two don't go together. The reason for the door trim in the first place is to hide defects in the wall framing. It will not be easy to achieve what you are thinking without spending a lot of time on it and being very precise in your work.


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
Well if it's impossible without skills in framing, then I'll just forget about it. Not only do I lack skills in that field, but I'd be using a pre-existing frame that is load bearing, meaning I can't exactly "reframe" it

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
You could shim the hell out of it until everything is correct. The big thing is perfectly plumb and square. If there is any twisting or anything nor perfect with the wall, then the door will not close perfectly into the opening.


VioletVenom
Lets go Gators
Premium
join:2002-01-02
Gainesville, FL
reply to alkizmo
said by alkizmo:

Well if it's impossible without skills in framing, then I'll just forget about it. Not only do I lack skills in that field, but I'd be using a pre-existing frame that is load bearing, meaning I can't exactly "reframe" it

Not only skills in framing. What you are speaking of is skills in cabinetry. The difference of tolerances in 1/8ths vs 1/64ths.

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
Probably want a really good trim carpenter to frame it along with the rest of the build as opposed to a framer doing anything to it. This would take very precise work.


natedj
Elected
Premium
join:2001-06-06
Columbia, SC
reply to alkizmo
Also, if you're trying to mimic the photo, your ceilings will have to be dead flat too cause the door slab is full height. ...did we talk you out if it yet?
--
Good judgement comes with experience...Experience comes after bad judgements

cwm1276

join:2004-01-16
Stillman Valley, IL
reply to alkizmo
How about some thing like this?
»www.woodworkingcorner.com/hiddendoor.php

Looks easier than the flat wall. Using this example any design of trim, think wainscoting, on the wall could hide the cracks of the door, you would not have to do full bookcases. As long as you have a design on the wall it would distract the eye from your door.

It will still take some good woodwork to keep the cracks to a minimum to have full effect.


whizkid3
Premium,MVM
join:2002-02-21
Queens, NY
kudos:9
reply to alkizmo
I've seen (and been thru) quite a few stealth doors. They are very typical in lobbies and elsewhere in buildings in Manhattan to hide service areas from areas where the general public goes. They are also used to hide the method to hide the opening needed for access to mechanical & plumbing equipment. The picture you posted, Alkizmo, is very typical of how these are constructed. Some tips I can provide from what I have seen:

1. You will need to have a relatively complex pattern on the wall, such as in your photo, to draw one's attention away from the gaps around the door. If its just a plain wall, the door will be immediately obvious.

2. The wall should be made up of 'panels' with similar proportion gaps between the panels, as between the door and the wall. This way, the door gaps blend in and look normal.

3. Generally, the doors open out (towards you). Hardware, of course, must be designed for this. I have seen the doors open by pushing them in. Also, via the use of a magnet placed in a certain place. Other times, they have an electric catch, that must be released by the security desk, concierge, etc.

4. The materials can be some fancy wood, but often are not. I have seen them made with almost every type of surface material (steel/aluminum, flormica type stuff, glass, mirror, etc.), just not drywall.

Good luck. Let us see it when you are finished.


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
Sounds like a lot of trouble and with my skillset, I would still get something not so "square".

I will try to just keep it as discrete as possible (flat slab, recessed handle, little to no trim).

In the end, my goal is just not to have the door attract attention as if it was a door to another living space, yet not look like a storage locker door

I already have to deal with the problem of the fact that the rough opening is only 70 inches high, sound proofing the door (a bit) and finding a way to "lock" it from the kids, but not stop me from running in there to cut off power or gas if something bad is happening.

but hey, the door is just a tiny part of my basement refinishing project. I just finished the 2nd layer of mudding my drywalls today. THE END IS NEAR!


Cho Baka
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-23
there
kudos:2

1 recommendation

reply to alkizmo
Here are some stealth doors:
»www.hiddendoors.com/
--
The talented hawk speaks French.


Bamafan2277

join:2008-09-20
Jeffersonville, IN
reply to alkizmo
Maybe a pocket door would work a little better. it has a recessed handle and slides out of the way. They do have locks you can put on them too.