Door frames

  buy top quality internal door frames from xl joinery  
  Door frames can be simple or decorative. Internal frames and external frames  

A door frame is the structure the door leaf or panel is fitted to and provides a solid structure within a rough opening. For hinged doors, the hinges attach to the frame; for sliding doors, the track is fitted to a frame for rollers to slide across; and folding doors have hinges and tracks in their frames. They come in different sizes to fit the size of the opening and the depth of the wall.


The strength and durability of a door frame will affect the longevity of the door itself. A weak or poorly fitted door frame can pose a security risk and is likely to wear out much quicker. You will also find that the quality of the door frame will influence the insulation provided; gaps in a frame can let cold air in and warm air out.


Whatever the shape, a door frame's primary job is to provide a seal around the door. Interior and exterior  door frames will usually have different properties, as frames used outside will have to face the elements.

  Some door frames have decorative elements, for an unusual look  

When you buy a door you will usually have the option to have it pre-hung, as a door sets. This means the door will come with hinges and frame already attached. This should make installation quicker, as the door will already be firmly in place in its frame. This option is also useful for new builds, or if you need to replace the frame, as well as the door. While internal doors sets are usually bought in separate parts with a door slab and door frame (lining) external door sets are a popular choice for the modern home, as they are complete and ready to install into a rough opening.


Doors sold without being fitted to a frame are usually called slab doors. These doors will be cheaper than a pre-hung door, so if you're just replacing the door itself, and you can find the right size, this might be the best option. To replace a frame and door with separate parts is more difficult, as getting the exact dimensions is so important. If you are replacing an external door frame, you need to ensure you follow Building Regulations.


Here at Wonkee Donkee XL Joinery we stock XL Joinery frames for external doors and linings for internal doors. We also have an excellent range of frames for folding room dividers or internal French door sets, to suit various rooms in your home, including bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms and patios. 


Internal door frames

  Internal door frames and architrave. New doors for interiors with attractive door frames  

Internal door frames, usually called door linings, are usually constructed to span the thickness of the wall, so they're not significantly recessed into the gap. They tend to be more forgiving than external door frames when making adjustments to ensure the frame is square because any gaps between the frame the wall will usually be covered with architrave. 


Internal door frames are often open frames, or they may have particularly low sills, or ones which recess into the flooring to sit flush. They will not be as sturdy as external frames, as they don't need to be as strong or durable, and they will be easier for a DIYer to assemble themselves if they choose to.  

       buy top quality internal door frames from xl joinery    

What are the parts of an internal door frame?

  Door frames. A door opening needs to have a frame fitted so a door can be attached  
  The head of a door frame is the horizontal piece across the top  


The head of a door frame can sometimes be called the upper jamb or lintel. This horizontal piece sets the width of the frame where the door will be fitted. The head will usually have grooves for jambs to fit into, and often have two sets of these grooves for different widths of frame. Any material which extends past the jambs can be cut off if the frame is not to be built into an opening.

  A door frame has door jambs. The door itself hangs from these jambs  


The jambs are the side pieces of the frame, running vertically. They're sometimes called the legs. One of the jambs is where the hinges will be attached, to hang the door. This is sometimes called the hinge jamb. The other side is where a strike plate or lock keep will be fitted, and is sometimes called the latch jamb. The width of the jambs usually matches the width of the wall.

  The door stop of the frame is a lip which stops the door from opening the wrong way  


The stops are thin strips which are fitted to the jambs, or occasionally moulded into the jambs themselves, sometimes called rebated jambs. They catch the door when it's closed, so it can only be opened one way. This is necessary to stop the door going too far and breaking the hinges. Stops are not fitted on swing doors, which can be opened from either side of the frame.

      buy top quality internal door frames from xl joinery  
  The threshold of a door is also called the door sill, you walk over this part when you pass through a door  


The sill, or threshold, of a door frame, is the bottom, horizontal section. The door will rest against this piece when it's closed, which will close the gap between the bottom of the door and the floor. Internal frames usually don't have sills. If they do, they will normally be low profile sills for easy access and are generally used to separate rooms with different types of flooring, or there will just be a simple floor profile in the place where a sill would be. 

  The architrave, trim or casing of a door is the visible part of the frame  


The architrave borders a frame, and its role is decorative rather than structural. It can also be called door trim, moulding, or casting. Architrave covers most of the frame and hides the gap where it joins to the wall. Architrave can be plain or moulded into various designs, and will often be finished to match skirting boards or dado rails. 


External door frames

  External doors and frames for instant kerb appeal  

External door frames are usually recessed within a wall due to the increased thickness of external walls. Because of this, they need to be more accurately fitted into a rough opening because any gaps between the frame and the wall will often just be sealed with silicone and not trimmed with architrave. If external doors have any architrave it's usually called moulding. External doors usually have stops built into the jambs, rather than fitted separately.


External door frames are usually sold as closed frames, as the sill is an important seal to prevent leaks. If you buy an open frame you need to ensure you also use a suitable sill. Flush sills on external doors need to incorporate a channel for collecting and draining rain water. External frames often come ready assembled, with all components in place, and frame kits usually have the weather strips already in place.


You can save time by choosing a pre-finished external door frame, or choose your own finish and prepare an unfinished frame for installation on site. 

      external door frames from XL Joinery @ Wonkee Donkee  

What are the parts of an external door frame?   

  External frame parts or components detailed  
  Door frame head and jambs have weather seals  


The head of the frame is the horizontal piece across the top. It will usually have a stop moulded or rebated into it, where the door touches the frame when it’s closed. There will also be a groove for a weather strip, or the weather strip may already be installed.  

  external door frame jambs with weather strip or weather seals  


The jambs are the vertical side pieces of the frame. They also have stops moulded or rebated into them and they will also have weather strips. The weather strips on the frame create an effective seal when the door is closed to prevent draughts and leaks. 

  The threshold of a door is also called the door sill, you walk over this part when you pass through a door  


The door sill, or threshold, is particularly important on external doors as a barrier to the elements and has a weather strip or seal like the other frame pieces. The sill will often be slanted, so any water will drain away from the door. Some frame kits also include a weather bar or door sweep, which fits on the bottom of the door slab and creates a tight seal with the sill when the door is closed.

      external sidelight frame kits  

What are the different types of door frame?

  Door frames are required so doors can be hung from them  

Door frames can be purchased as one piece, fully constructed and ready to be fitted into an entrance opening; or they can come as individual pieces for you to assemble yourself. The ready-made frames might come separately to the door leaf or the door might be pre-hung - already attached to the frame.


Ready-assembled frames and pre-hung doors will be more expensive than ones you need to assemble yourself, but they will have been constructed by professionals and should meet the high standards needed to keep the door working correctly. External doors are often sold with ready-assembled parts, but internal doors are more regularly sold as separate pieces. 

  A door frame will be fitted together so the door will either open outwards or inwards  

Inward opening door frames and outward opening door frames

An important thing to consider when choosing an external door set frame for hinged doors is the orientation you want it to open into, as most hinged doors will only open in one direction. This is important so that the stop is fitted in the correct position within the frame and prevents the door being opened in the wrong direction. External frames are usually chosen to be inwards opening, but there are exceptions. 

  Open door frames do not have a sill or threshold for clear access at floor level  

Open door frame

The most simply constructed door frame consists of a head supported by two vertical stiles, without a sill across the bottom. These are called open door frames and are used for interior doors, where a raised threshold at the bottom of the door could hinder access.



  Closed door frames have a sill or threshold across the bottom  

Closed door frames

Exterior door frames will need to have a sill or threshold; these are called closed door frames. This horizontal piece at the bottom of the frame completes the seal around the door. The door sits on the sill when it's closed. Internal frames can also have sills, but they are usually much lower profile than external ones. 

  Internal white bedroom door with glass panelling  

Frames with glazing panels 

For extra light or added decorative features, you might want a door frame which includes glazing panels. There are many different options for adding glazing panels; they can be added to the side or top of frames and are made in a variety of shapes.


For more information see: Glazed doors

  Over panels are glass panels built into the frames of door, above where the door fits  


When the glazing panel is placed above the door it's called a fanlight or an over panel. When the jambs of a frame with an over panel reach the height of the room it will usually be called a storey frame because it reaches the next storey of the building. The horizontal part of the frame which joins the main door frame to the fanlight is usually called a transom bar.

  Doors with sidelights have glazing panels at the sides of them  


When a glazing panel is placed at the side of the frame it's called a sidelight. This is because glass panels set in doors are usually referred to as lights or lites. Sidelights can be either side of the door and can extend out to varying sizes, depending on the look you wish to achieve and the size of the door opening. External sidelight frame packs are available in Hardwood  or Oak

      external sidelight frame kits  
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