After almost 10 years of writing daily blog posts on code requirements related to doors and hardware, it always surprises me when a question comes along that I’ve never thought about:

How do you measure the clearance at the bottom of a door when the clearance varies between the push side and the pull side?

I’m sure this is not an uncommon situation, but I could not find a definitive answer.  NFPA 80 limits the clearance at the bottom of a fire door to 3/4-inch.*  In addition, NFPA 101 limits the clearance at non-fire-rated corridor doors in health care facilities to 1 inch.  So is the clearance shown in this drawing acceptable for either of those applications?

I checked with NFPA staff, and they confirmed that the location of the measurement is not addressed by NFPA 80.  NFPA’s advice was to coordinate with the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) regarding where the measurement should be taken.

Do you have experience with this?  Where did the AHJ require the clearance to be measured?


* When the bottom of the door is more than 38 inches above the floor – like a chute door – NFPA 80 limits the clearance at the bottom to 3/8-inch.


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