When securing a frame what type of anchors and how many should I use?
The type of frame anchor is typically determined by the type of wall the frame is anchored to and whether or not it is a brand new construction or an existing frame replacement. Furthermore, there are multiple anchors for each wall type.
Typically for a brick, block, or masonry type application that is new construction, wire or strap anchors are used. These anchors are either welded to the throat or clip in and will be sandwiched between cinder blocks as the wall is being built. If a concrete wall is already in place, the frame must be secured to the block.
A common way of achieving this is to “punch & dimple” the frame. With the “punch & dimple” approach holes are drilled into the stop and countersunk with a die. Once the frame is in place, sleeve bolts are used in the countersunk holes to secure the frame to the block and the bolt heads will be flush with the stop.
If it is a drywall type application, frames are typically provided with compression type anchors and the jamb face is dimpled at the bottom on both sides of the jamb. Drywall screws are used to secure the bottom of the jambs to the stud, and the welded in compression anchors can be tightened & adjusted by an exposed screw near the top of the frame stop.
Stud anchors are another common approach. With stud anchors, the anchors clip into the frame throat and have straps that bend around the stud making it possible to secure with sheet metal screws.
A quality caulk like Vulkem is highly recommended for the frame perimeter as well, and besides keeping out the elements can also act as an adhesive between the frame and the wall further strengthening the installation. The amount of anchors used is based on the door height & weight, but I would never use less than three per jamb up to 7’0″, and four or more per jamb over 7’0″.
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