Modifying Fire-Rated Doors
From contributor S:
The fire retardant finishes will not magically coat the door and provide you with a code compliant label. You need to have a proper label that certifies the door was manufactured with materials and methods that make it compliant to the code. This is done by acquiring a license that allows you to access the materials and such to label these doors. This will cost less than $12,000. You can also do a search for stile and rail labeled doors that should direct you to manufacturers of labeled doors that do custom work. This is much less costly, and will get you the required label.
From contributor G:
A fire rated door is a unit. You cannot alter it, even with another fire rated material without having to go through the rating process. The idea is most likely that they don't know what the combination will do, or they don't know if the additional material will interfere with the fit of the door in the frame or what. I am sure in many cases the answer is obvious, however the rule is you cannot alter the door without recertification.
Talk with someone at UL Labs if you wish to change the rule, but as it stands you cannot modify a UL rated door without voiding the rating. If the plan or code specifications require a UL rated door you may not substitute a modified unit. The only route is to have a certified UL approved door maker go through whatever process is required to make a door to your specs and certify it.
From the original questioner:
Thanks for the input. That's exactly what I've discovered, that certified doors are untouchable. I have found several companies that can mfr them for us, and have already received one such quote. I requested a ULC rating (Canadian), but they've quoted me a UL10C rating, which I'm not sure is the same. A UL rating will not do, it has to be ULC.
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