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Door Definitions...

Here is some terminology that might help in your research and planning. Many times it can be so confusing when you just don't understand what contractors are talking about. Once you have a grasp of what some of the terms mean it all seems to make sense.

Active Door: In a double-door unit, this is the one that will be used as the primary entrance. This door will also contain the operational handleset. The inactive door uses a “dummy” handle.

Adjustable Threshold: A threshold that may be adjusted up or down in order to customize a doors seal for different types of weather or humidity.

Astragal: The component that closes the gap between a pair of doors. Used to provide a door stop, on exterior usage also has a weather seal.

Backset: A measure of the horizontal distance from a lock face to the center of the keyhole or cylinder. Measured from the center of the lock edge for a beveled front, and from the lower step of the lock face for a rabbeted front.

Bevel of Door: The angle of a door’s edge to the outer surface of its stile. The typical bevel is 1/8” in 2”.

Beveled Glass: Glass which has had the edge of one face ground down at an angle along the perimeter in order to create a better fit. Typically used only on thick glass.

Bored Lock: A tubular or cylindrical lock placed into a door via a bored opening.Brickmould: A mould around the outside of a door’s frame. Used for decorative purposes.

Came: A metal strip, typically made of brass, which is used to hold pieces of glass in place. Used for more decorative designs.

Casing: A decorative wood paneling attached to the interior edge of a window or door frame. Covers the gap where the door frame meets the wall.

Door Stop: The part of the frame upon which the door panel rests when closed.

Double-Acting Door: Door which is hinged in such a way that it may be swung open both inward and outward.Floor Clearance: A measure of the space between the floor and the bottom of the door.

Flush Bolt: A bolt that is flush with the face or edge of the door when retracted.

Frame: The surrounding edge of the door to which the door panel is attached. Includes the head, sill and jambs of the door.

French Door: A door whose panel consists of glass panes throughout its length surrounded by narrow stiles.

Hand (Door Handing): Which direction the door opens. When looking at a door from the outside, it is a right hand door when the handle is on the left; it is a left hand door when the handle is on the right. This is reversed if the door swings out.

Head: The horizontal piece of wood that tops the door frame.

Hinges: The plates and pins used to attach the door unit to the frame.Inactive Door: In a double-door unit, this is the one that will be used as the secondary entrance. This door will also contain the “dummy” handle and flushbolts.

Insulated Glass: Two pieces of glass spaced apart by a metal strip and sealed with rubber to create a more weatherproofed joint.

Jamb: The vertical component of a door frame. Different types include the hinge jamb, upon which the hinges are attached, the strike jamb, upon which the strike is installed, and a blank jamb, which is not prepared for either a hinge or a strike plate.

Jamb Depth: A measure of the depth or width of the jamb, perpendicular to the door panel when closed.

Knocked Down: Indicates that the product has been pre-assembled at factory, unassembled for shipping and must be assembled on site.

Lock Rail: Horizontal member of a door unit located where the locking mechanism would be installed.

Lockset: The complete handleset with locking system.

Mortise & Tenon Construction: A way of locking two wood pieces together to form a tighter bond.

Mull Cover: A mould which covers the mull post.

Mullion: The vertical post dividing a door opening.

Muntin: Small pieces which separate the glass from the window frame in a divided light or grille style patio door.

Opening Size: The measure of the doorframe’s opening. Measured from the floor to the head rabbet vertically and between the jam rabbets horizontally. Larger than the actual size of the door itself: it also includes room for clearance.

Overhang: How far the roof extends past a wall.

Panel: A piece of wood or glass placed into openings left in a wood door.

Pre-Hung: A full unit with the door hinged and an assembled jamb, frame, sill and moulding.

Primer: The coating applied before a coat of paint or finish.

Rabbet: The portion of the doorframe the door panel is fit into. May also describe the protruding edges (typically ½” further) of a pair of doors.

Rough Opening: Dimensions of the opening in the framework of the home required to install a complete door unit. (allowing ½” clearance on top and each side for stabilization shims)

Sidelite: The side panels beside a door, typically filled with glass for decoration and to allow more light.

Sill: The bottom horizontal piece of a door unit. Includes both the threshold and the subsill.Specifications: A document describing the materials and standards used for a construction project.

Stiles: The two outer vertical wood pieces of a door panel.Strikeplate: The plate that covers the latch and deadbolt of a lock. Used to protect the jamb.

Subsill: The area below the threshold. Often will have a way to drain water away from the door.Swing-in: A door which opens inwards towards the house.

Swing-out: A door which opens out from the house.

Tempered Glass: Glass that has been heated and cooled so that it shatters into small pieces when broken. Also called safety glass.

Threshold: The bottom of the door frame; the piece which is stepped over.

Transom: A piece of decorative glass placed atop the doorway.Trim: A strip placed over the face of a doorjamb for decorative purposes.

Triple Glaze: A decorated piece of glass between two clear pieces of clear glass.

Weather-strip: The flexible strips surrounding the door panel designed to impede airflow and reduce moisture when the door is closed.