28 Different Parts of a Door (Diagrams)

If you need to replace an old door or are or are thinking about buying a new one to give your house a fresh look, you will probably have noticed that there are many technical terms for the different parts. And if you don’t know them, these strange names can make things confusing.

One door part that can sometimes confuse people is the “jamb”, and often it gets mixed up with other parts – so to clarify, here we will answer the question, what is a door jamb? We’ll also look at some other components of a door to help you identify the other parts, too.

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Different parts of a door

Different parts of a door
Image: homestratosphere

Here is a list of the main parts of a door – starting with the jambs.

1. Door jamb

Door jambs are the interior sides of the doorframe. The word “jamb” comes from the French word jambe, which means “leg” – and door jambs are sometimes also called the “legs”.

One source of confusion is the part of the frame above the door, which is sometimes erroneously referred to as the “top jamb”. However, this clearly makes no sense since we don’t have “legs” on our head!

Two jambs are required for a door to be open. One jamb holds the mounting hinges while the other contains the strike plate.

The two parts that comprise the sides of the doorframe are the only parts that can be called the jambs – and nothing else.

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2. Head or header

The part at the top of the door that is sometimes mistakenly called the “top jamb” is properly known as the “head” or the “header”.

It does a similar job to the jambs in that it forms a part of the door frame. However, since it is on the top and not the side, it shouldn’t be called a jamb.

3. Doorframe or casing

The doorframe refers to the two jambs and the header together. This is the part of the door that is fixed into the rough opening when mounting a door. Another word that can also be used for the doorframe is “casing”.

4. Rough opening

The rough opening is the gap in the wall that holds the doorframe. The doorframe is fixed into the rough opening by the use of shims, small pieces of wood that are wedged between the sides of the rough opening and the doorframe to hold it in place.

5. Doorstop

The doorstop is a strip of wood that is fitted to the doorframe to stop the door from swinging beyond its closed position. Without a doorstop, when you close the door, it would swing through the frame and damage the hinges.

Sometimes door jambs have raised section built in that serves the same purpose, in which case they don’t need a doorstop. These are known as rebutted or recessed jambs.

6. Door trim

The door trim is the decorative sections that are placed over the door frame to hide the part where the jambs and header meet the rough opening. Without trim, you would simply be able to see a gap between the door and the wall where the shims are wedged in.

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You can attach trim to the wall with caulking sometimes, but not always, especially for interior doors.

7. Hinge

The hinge is the part the door swings on. A door typically has three to four hinges. One part of the hinge is screwed to the door jamb and the other side is screwed to the door itself.

8. Hinge pin

The hinge pin is a metal pin that is inserted into the hinge to hold the door in place. To remove a door from its hinges, you need to remove the hinge pins. You can then lift the door off its hinges by simply lifting it.

You can then lift it off. Threshold or sill

The threshold, also known as the sill, is the bottom part of the door that is directly below the header. Usually only found on exterior doors, this component helps reinforce the structural integrity of the door as well as preventing water from running in underneath.

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10. Stile

The stiles are the side sections of the door itself. The stile on the hinge side is known as the “hinge stile” while the one on the opposite side is called the “lock stile”. The stiles serve as a frame for the door panels.

11. Panels

Panels form the main surfaces of the door, the parts that make up most of the area of the door. Doors come in many sizes and shapes. Some doors have just one panel. Others may have multiple depending on what type.

12. Top rail

The top rail does the same job as the stiles but at the top of the door. It is the frame that supports the panels below.

13. Bottom rail

The bottom rail is the same as the top rail but is located at the bottom of the door. Along with the top rail and the two stiles, the bottom rail encloses the panels that make up the main surface of the door.

14. Lock rail

Not all doors have a lock rail, but if they have one, it is similar to the top and bottom rails but found in the center of the door. If the door has a lock rail, this is the part of the door that houses the lockset, hence the name.

If you have a lock rail in your door, it will usually have one or more panels both above and below it.

15. Mullions

If the door is divided into four sections, each containing one panel, mullions divide the door vertically down the middle, intersecting the lock rail.

A common configuration is to have a mullion running from the top rail to the top of the lock rail with a panel on either side. A second mullion then runs from the bottom of the lock rail down to the bottom rail, again with panels on either side.

In a door that is divided into four sections like this, the mullion at the top is known as the “first mullion” while the lower one is called the “second mullion”.

16. Doorknob or door handle

The doorknob or door handle is the part that is used to open the door. The doorknob is circular in shape and you can turn it to open the doors. If you have a handle, you push it down to open the door.

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17. Lockset

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This refers to the locking mechanism as a whole.

18. Latch

The latch is the part that holds the door closed. The latch opens by pulling the latch into the door when you push down on the handle or turn the knob.

19. Strike plate

The strike plate is the piece of metal that is fitted to the lock jamb where the latch is. The strike plate is hit when the door closes. This prevents the latches damaging the jamb when the door is open or closed.

20. Deadbolt

The deadbolt is part of the locking mechanism in some doors. When you turn the key, the bolt is pushed into a hole known as the mortice, preventing anyone from opening the door.

21. Mortice

This is the technical name for the hole the deadbolt moves into when the door is locked.

22. Keyhole

The keyhole is where you put the key to lock or unlock the door.

23. Weatherstripping

Weatherstripping goes around the door jambs and header to provide an airtight seal. This prevents drafts and increases energy efficiency since heat won’t be lost through the gap.

24. Transom

The transom is a decorative element mounted above a door. It may contain glass, in which case, it would be referred to as a transom window.

25. Sidelight

A sidelight is a narrow window placed either side of a door. These are usually only found on external doors.

26. Rails or tracks

Rails, also known as tracks, are the runners a sliding door moves along.

27. Hangers

Hangers are found at the top of sliding doors. They hold the door in its place by holding it up.

28Rollers Rollers

Rollers are attached to hangers on sliding doors and are what allow the sliding door to slide along the rails or tracks at the bottom.

Many technical names for the different elements

As you can see, there are many technical names for the different parts of a door – and if you are not a specialist in doors, you probably weren’t even aware that every part of a door even had a name. This is because the average homeowner simply doesn’t need to know them!

However, if you are on the lookout for a new door or are looking to repair a part of a door that is broken, knowing the technical terms for all the different parts can be useful, and with our guide, now you know. And remember, door jambs are the “legs” on each side!

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