Just wondered if anyone had ever tried to veneer the inside of a steel
entrance door. Getting ready to install new french doors on the back of
the house and was thinking of veneering around the glass also changing
the moulding holding the glass. I was concerned about possible movement
of the steel during really hot or cold days distorting the veneer.
Thanks in advance for your responses.
You should look around in the following forum, then post if you don't
Recently someone asked about veneering the inside of a car door. His
problem was getting the veneer to conform to the door panel curve. I
wonder if he thought about heat?.
In the automotive trade, they "veneer" steel with vinyl that looks like
wood. Used to make cares out of wood. I would think that, if the veneer were
one single skin, it would work fine with the contact cement used to affix
plastic laminate to make countertops.
The heat ed steel will similarly heat anything bonded to it and both should
expand and contract in relative unison. No?
If the steel door expanded and contracted much at all with temperature,
it'd bind whether or not it was veneered. Ergo, it doesn't expand and
contract all that much, or you don't have the necessary clearances as
it stands now. Steel's coefficient of linear expansion is something
like 20 parts per million per degree, so even a hundred degree swing (I
sure as hell hope you're not living in a house that has a hundred
degree temperature swing!) would only be a tiny fraction.
Don't worry about it.
For what it's worth: My office building has a steel door (facing east) as
part of the rear entrance. The direct sunlight on the metal door would force
it to warp so badly it wouldn't close and latch properly. We had to install
a super magnet at the top of the door to force it to close and latch on
sunny days. Point of this is that metal definitely moves - as much as wood
it would appear. Doubt that wood veneer would work with metal.
My 2 cents.
Gary in KC
I suspect there is something else at work with that door Gary, rather than
the steel door moving great amounts. Have you ever noticed how little car
parts move? Steel is quite stable at the temperatures we're talking about.
Right. Here's an example I shamelessly ripped off from some web site:
Example - Thermal Expansion of Heated Alloy Steel
100 feet of alloy steel pipe is heated from 32 to 212 F. The expansion
coefficient is 8 10-6 (inch/inchoF).
The expansion can be expressed as:
dl = (8 10-6 in/inoF)(100 feet) (12 in/ft) (212 - 32 oF)
= 1.728 inch
So for 100 feet of steel and a 180 degree change in temperature there's
only an 1 3/4" of movement. Say the door is 3', that would give a
1.75/33, or .05" change over a 180 degree temeprature swing. That's
less than 1/16". It's not a concern with the veneer.
Well... actually... I did veneer a metal door for a client using a door
While is doesn't freeze much down here, it does get hotter than hell.
I did not put the veneer on a french style door, but put it on the
inside of a smooth interior door that was in need of dressing up.
I put the door on the horses, and sanded off the primer and paint to
clean metal. Then I used 3M contact cement as usual. Trimmed the
veneer with the same belt sander. Finished as usual. No problems at
If I were looking at changing the molding on the glass, I really think
you should reconsider. That is part of an insert package, purchased by
the door manufacturer. Most are made to certain specs to maintain a
desired "R" rating and to keep the water out. If you have double paned
glass, you should really leave it all alone since the glass insert is
made to fit the moldings, which are made to fit the door. You don't
want to take a chance on screwing that up, believe me.
Paint the moldings a complimentary color to the new wood veneer finish
and call it a day.
My .02, anyway.
Think we're probably talking apples and oranges here. Sheet steel forming a
hollow core door has a lot of surface area and little support structure to
it. The heat most definitely is what warps it out of shape. Didn't do it
during the winter or on cloudy days - but when the sun hit it on summer
days, it definitely moved and warped. Was really quite noticeable. I suspect
it might have something to do with the uneven heating of the metal (outer
skin versus inner skin).
Gary in KC
I think what Mike was saying, and what I agree with, is that there is a
problem with that particular door.
I can give you one example of anything, but that doesn't mean that that
example is typical or common.
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