Doorway components

Sometimes what seems perfectly clear to someone who works with doors all day, may be confusing to those of us who only open and close them.

Hopefully this information will help make doors and door frames a little easier to understand.

First of all, let’s understand the doorframe:

• Lintel – the horizontal beam above the door that supports the wall above it. Usually wood but can be concrete or stone, particularly in older properties.

• Jambs – the two vertical posts either side of the door, that together with the lintel form the door frame

• Sill – the horizontal beam below the door that supports the frame. Internal doors don’t usually have sills.

• Doorstop – this is the thin, often overlooked strip on one inside edge of the frame to prevent the door opening right thorough to the other side of the frame.• Architrave – a decorative moulding found on a door frame

Now for the door itself:

• Stiles – the vertical boards that make up the outside (left and right) edges of the door. The side with the hinges on is called the hanging stile, and the side with the lock and door handle is the latch stile.

• Rails – the horizontal boards at the top, bottom, and sometimes the middle of a door. Rails join the stiles, and can divide the door into panels.

• Mullions – small vertical boards that divide the door into a number of columns, and is more often used in reference to windows.

• Panels – large boards used to fill the space between the stiles, rails, and mullions. Panels can be smooth or have a variety of raised designs.

• Lights – as the name suggests, these are glass panes used in place of some panels to allow light to enter a room

Lastly, there is door furniture which is a hardware term that refers to the whole range of items that can be attached to a door; items such as locks, hinges and door handles.

Types Of Door

Doors come in a variety of different shapes and sizes depending on their purpose
A few of the different types are:

• Single leaf door – the most common type of door; a single panel that fits in a doorway.

• Stable Doors – also known as Dutch doors or half doors, these were originally
designed to allow animals to feed without allowing them to leave their stable. They have been adapted for our homes, and were very popular at one point.

• Saloon doors – straight out of cowboys films, these doors swing in either direction, and are usually only between knee and chest height to create some privacy

• Blind Doors – Not very common, these doors are designed to blend into the wall, totally disguising the door.

• French Doors – sometimes called a French window, this is traditionally a door size casement window with multiple panes. More recently though French doors usually means a set of double glass-paned doors opening onto the garden.

• Louvered door – a door with angled slats that may be moveable. They are usually found in wardrobe doors as they provide good ventilation.

• Composite door – a single leaf door usually filled with high density foam.

• Flush Door – single leaf door made from plywood or MDF, usually used for interior doors. Flush doors have a smooth finish.

• Moulded Door – very similar to a flush door, with a moulded MDF finish. Also used mostly as internal doors.

• Ledge and Brace door – a row of vertical planks held together by 2 horizontal planks – the ledges – at the top and bottom, and a diagonal plank – the brace. An old-fashioned back door or kitchen door is a good example.

• Bifold Doors – Until recently most commonly used for wardrobes and cupboards where space is a problem. More recently they have become popular as patio doors and as dividers between rooms.

• Sliding Doors – A door which slides along a track, also more commonly found as a glass door leading to a garden or patio.