How to Identify Door Parts

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Identifying parts of a door is easy.
Identifying parts of a door is easy. (Image: Door image by Mimis nena from Fotolia.com)

Although doors are simple devices that open and close with the touch of a hand, they are actually comprised of many different parts. Some of these parts are installed on the door itself, while other parts are install on the wall around the door in order to support it. All of these door parts work together to provide structural and mechanical support for opening and closing the door. Identifying the different parts of a door is easy since most doors have a basic standard design.

Locate the very edges of the door frame which meet with the surface of the wall. The frame is comprised of door jambs, which are the vertical pieces on either side of the door, and the sill, which sits at the bottom of the floor underneath where the door closes. The top horizontal section of frame above the door, is called the head.

Look underneath the sill, located at the bottom of the floor and identify the threshold which is directly under the sill. The threshold is a thicker piece of wood, or sometimes stone, that provides a secure location on which to install the sill. It is the area that you step on when entering or exiting through the door.

Locate the main door itself and identify the parts it contains. The side of the door that is attached to the jamb will contain two to three metal hinges which secure it to the frame. Some doors also have insets, which are pieces of decorative glass in the center.

Locate the parts of the door lock. The flat piece of metal that has a square hole in the center is called the strike plate. The strike plate is located on the side of the door jam where the lock sits when the door is closed. The actual lock is installed into the side of the door where it meets the jamb. On the front and back of the door near the edge there is a handle to open and close the door as well as the location to insert the key.

Look at the very bottom of the door and locate the flexible rubber gasket that is attached to it. This is called the door sweep and serves to create a weather tight seal at the bottom of the door.

Tips & Warnings

  • A sidelight is a rectangular window that is placed directly beside a door to allow in light as well as to see visitors through.
  • If the door has a sidelight the post between the door and the sidelight is called the mull post, not a jamb.
  • If the door has a decorative window located directly above it, this is called the transom.

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