Door terminology

 Common words associated with door installations

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Because we can't all be experts on doors, door hardware, and other associated joinery products, Wonkee Donkee has compiled a bibliography of terminology recognised by the industry recognised terminology to give you a hand.      

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Active Door

The door panel with a lock or latch attached in a pair of doors. Also, the door which is the first to open.



Commonly referred to as a glue. Adhesives are substances that can hold materials together.



Architrave  is a decorative moulding used to surround the door frame, bridging the gap between the edge of the frame and the wall. Usually only used as internal trim.



The opening in a door where glass is to be fitted when the door is supplied unglazed. 


Bevelled glass

Glass that has the edge of one face ground down to create an angled edge along the perimeter. This creates a better fit.



The moulding strips that surround a pane of glass in a glazed door, or a panel in a solid door.



Bi-folding doors fold together when they are opened. They are typically used to save space or they may be used in pairs as a room divider.



A mould around the outside of an external door's frame.


Butt hinges

A common type of hinge that is often used to assemble doors.


Caming / came

Formed metal stripping that was traditionally made of lead but is usually made of zinc or brass plated steel in modern constructions. Used to create decorative glass panels by being applied between cut-glass pieces to bring them together. Caming is soldered at joints to bond it all together.



The centre segment of a door leaf. This part affects the strength and weight of the door.



The part of the lock the key fits into. The cylinder contains the keyhole and the tumbler of a lock.



A latch that is used to secure a door closed. The latch is driven from the door into a receiver in the frame or jamb.


Door pairs

Typically refers to symmetrical matching doors that have been installed adjacent to each other to form a pair of doors, also known as double doors This creates a door assembly that's double the size of opening of an individual door. Pair makers  can be used to create door pairs from individual doors, or you can buy rebated door pair sets


Door panel 

The main part of the door which is attached to the frame. Also known as the door leaf or door slab.


Door stop

The part of the frame where the door panel rests when it’s closed. It limits the door's opening swing and protects the hinges.


Double glazed

Refers to doors with two layers of glass that have a sealed airspace between them. They help to keep a building warm as well as reduce the noise heard from outside.



A method of door construction. Dowels are used to connect and secure the different section of a door together. 



Doors with engineered components are made up of timbers that are constructed from small fragments of timber which are glued together and then have a veneer applied to cover them. Engineered timbers have enhanced properties and are more sustainable timber products. 



A pressed decorative plate used to trim the opening where the shaft of a door knob or the latch of a deadbolt adjoins the face of a door. They’re usually circular. 


Etched glass

Glass which has a decorative pattern engraved into it by means of a chemical action or mechanical sand-blasting. 



A solid metal or plated plate which lies flush in the edge of a door panel. The latch of a passage lock or deadbolt protrudes through it when the door is shut, this holds the door in place.


Fire door

A type of door  which has had its construction tested to contain the spread of fire between rooms or occupancy areas. Some doors are required to be fire doors through the UK Building Regulations. Fire doors are labelled and listed to show their ratings in terms of the time they can resist fire (i.e. 30 minutes).



Usually refers to the coating on the surface of the door, such as paint or stain, which seals and protects it. Doors can be supplied fully finished, or pre-finished, and ready to hang, (typically with a clear lacquer), or unfinished (so you can apply a finish of your choice). 


Floor clearance

The measurement of the space between the flooring and the bottom of the door.


Flush bolt

A bolt that lies flush with the face or edge of the door when pulled back. 



FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council. An independent organisation that sets globally recognised standards to promote the responsible management of forests worldwide.



Lines that are cut into the face of a door to create a pattern or design.


Handing / Hand of door

The term used to describe or determine the direction a door swings it opens. Most doors are either left or right handed.


For more information see: How to determine the swing of a door



The assembly of metal plates with a cylindrical metal pin that allows the door to swing or rotate in its frame, so it can open and close. The hinges are fastened to a door edge and then to a door frame.



Inlays are decorative strips, designs, or patterns that can be embedded into the front of the door. Usually, the inlay is made of a complementary material or alternative colour to the door, like the aluminium inlays used in some of our Oak or Walnut doors from the Alumina range.



The vertical parts of a door frame. Typically jambs will be blank jambs, with no fitting attached; hinge jambs, where the hinges are fitted; or strike jambs, where the strike is fitted.



A moveable part of a lock mechanism. Usually, a spring-loaded bolt or pin that engages with a clip or socket on the door jambs to hold the door closed. 



Door linings  are internal door frames. 



The material that is used on the outside edge of a door, usually timber. The lipping is the part of a door that can be trimmed so as to not disturb the core material. 


Lock Block

A rectangular block, usually made of timber or engineered wood that is fitted inside a door leaf to reinforce the core material so it can have a lock fitted.


Low-E Glass

Glass that is coated, in factory, with a thin layer of nearly clear material that will absorb and reflect heat and light. 


Mortice & Tenon (M&T)

A traditional method of joint construction in woodworking.  Often used for external door constructions as they are simple but strong joints. 



A vertical post or divider that runs from sill to frame top and divides a door opening. They’re typically found in a multi-panel door assembly, or door and side light assembly.


Multi-point locking system

Multiple locks located in various places on the door panel and frame.


Pairs makers 

Apair maker  is a strip of timber that provides a rebate on one door so that a second door can close properly against it, so two single doors can easily be transformed into double doors.



A pre-finished door is one that has been painted or varnished by the manufacturer and is ready to install. Internal and external doors are available pre-finished from Wonkee Donkee XL Joinery. 



Primed doors have been prepared with an undercoat of primer so they are ready for a top coat finish.



A rectangular depression that is cut or formed along the long edge of a material, usually timber. This cut then forms a step that’s typically used for joints and is commonly used to form door stops on door frames etc.  


Safety Glass

Glass that’s manufactured so that if it’s broken it will shatter into small pieces that don’t have sharp edges. XL Joinery used toughened safety glass in all their glazed doors.


Side Light

Sidelights are usually fixed panels that are installed at the side of a hinged door. These panels are almost always glazed and used for decorative purposes. Sidelight frame kits  are available that give you the option of having one or two sidelights for a single door.


Sustainable sources

Using materials that are from sustainable sources means that every time a resource is used or harvested from the land it is replaced. for us, it means that our supply partners ensure that trees are planted to replace those harvested and that the timber used is specifically grown for use as a raw material. 



Another term used for a door sill. The horizontal part of a door frame assembly, sometimes not found on internal door frames.



Three layers of glass panel that are sealed to help keep a building warm and to reduce any noise from outside. Similar to double glazing but with an additional layer.



Unfinished doors are supplied prepared for a top coat finish to be applied, usually paint or wood stain. Internal and external doors can be supplied as unfinished doors. 



The U-value, or U-factor, is the number given to a structure, an assembly or single material that refers to the thermal transmittance of that structure, measuring how effective it is as an insulator. The lower the U-value the better the structure is as an insulator. 


for more information see:  What are the energy efficiency ratings of doors?



A thin timber facing that’s bonded to a core or substrate with an adhesive so it makes up the exposed, and sometimes decorative, face of an assembly. For many standard doors, the face veneer is made from a natural wood that’s fitted onto pieces made of engineered wood as the engineered wood is usually a superior construction but the veneer is more visually appealing. 



Warping is when a permanent curvature or deviation from straightness occurs. This can be induced in a part or assembly by exposure to excessive heat or moisture, or from a load or force being applied. Solid wood is naturally prone to warping which is why our doors are engineered constructions. Finishing and maintaining a door prevents warping.

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