I am looking for higher-end sound control. I would like to go to a solid core door with an automatic door bottom. One requirement is that the door not stand out in a hallway of other doors. The manufacturer makes a solid core of the current door. A fully mortised automatic door bottom should not be terribly conspicuous to the occupant or the hallway. But the solid core version of this door is typical Composite (most conservatively I read as MDF) core stuff

Can a solid core Composite/MDF door be successfully routed for a fully mortised automatic door bottom or do I need to go to solid wood?

For those unitiated to automatic door bottoms, here is a typical pictured pulled from ASSA ABLOY for their Pemko 434 product.

enter image description here

  • What is "an automatic door bottom"? Can MDF be routed out? Yes. Will it hold screws? Yes. Will it hold them for a long time, under stress? No, not really.
    – FreeMan
    Oct 12, 2023 at 16:16
  • 1
    Added a picture of an ASSA ABLOY model. They hold a rubber seal up and out of the way while the door is open and when it closes it drops down to create a seal. In general I take your comment to say, "yes it can but it may not hold for 20 years of abuse."
    – foreverska
    Oct 12, 2023 at 16:23
  • Ah, I was thinking this was a door closing mechanism. Yeah, it may not hold up for 20+ years. However, as keshlam noted in his answer, the forces on it don't seem to be hugely significant, so I'd think it would last for a reasonable amount of time. Solid wood would certainly hold longer, but MDF may be long enough for you to be reasonably satisfied.
    – FreeMan
    Oct 12, 2023 at 16:40
  • Have an upvote for including a picture to make it clearer.
    – Ecnerwal
    Oct 12, 2023 at 18:06

1 Answer 1


Conformat screws can hold semi-decently in MDF, and (with some adhesive perhaps) might do the job in this situation. It's mostly taking sideways and inward pressure.

If stuck with an MDF door, I'd be comfortable trying this. No guarantees. If it fails, all you've lost is an MDF door...

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.