The Ultimate Dictionary of Wood Door Terms

When ordering and working with Doors, it is important to understand all the terminology associated with them. That is why we at DoorStop have compiled the ultimate dictionary of wood door terms. Arranged from A-Z, these terms will allow you to become a more knowledgeable, professional resource for your clients and vendors.

Adhesive

A substance capable of holding material together by a surface attachment commonly referred to as glue.

Aesthetics

The appreciation of beauty or good taste

Architectural Door

Doors designed for commercial and industrial applications meeting specific standards of construction — for example, fire rating, sound transmission, etc. Generally used to signify higher standards than "residential" doors.

Astragal

A special moulding attached to one of a pair of doors that prevents them from swinging or sliding through the opening. Astragal can also help prevent air infiltration.

Base Moulding

A moulding applied where the floor and wall meet, forming a visual foundation. A base protects walls from kicks, bumps, furniture and cleaning tools. A base may be one-, two- or three-member. The base shoe and base cap conceal uneven floor and wall junctions. Applying a relatively small moulding to the top of a two-member base creates a three-member base.

Bevel

To cut to an angle other than a right angle, such as the edge of a board or door.

Bifold Door

A door capable of folding into two parts, as with doors that hinge together.

Blind Mortise-and-Tenon Joint

A joint where the tenon does not extend through the mortise (a rectangular cavity in a piece of wood, stone or other material) and does not remail visible in the finished joint.

Bottom Rail

The lowermost horizontal member of a sash, door, blind or other panel assemblies

Code

Code refers to a collection of laws, regulations, ordinances or statutory requirements adopted by governmental legislative authorities.

Cold Press

A bonding operation in which an assembly is under pressure without the application of heat.

Cross Rail

The centermost horizontal member.

Door Bevel

An angled cut on the lock side of a door, usually three degrees, that enables it to swing free of the door frame when opening and closing.

A core placed inside the door to provide either strength or fire rating. Core types are corrugated honeycomb paper, particleboard, wood stave, mineral fiber, polyurethane or polystyrene.

Door Face

The wide, flat surface of a door.

Door Jamb

The part of a door frame which surrounds and contacts the edges of the stiles and top rail of a door. there are two ways to classify jambs.

1. "Head" or "side" jambs

2. "Plain" or "rabbeted"

Door jambs are available in wood or composite. Composite door jamb material is generally a better choice for an area that experiences extreme weather or large populations of native insects because it tends to be more durable than wood.

Door Panel

A sheet of thin lumber, plywood or composition material inserted into the frame formed by the stiles, rails and mullions of a door.

Door Stop

The door stop is a raised piece of trim that keeps the door from swinging all the way open. This feature, found at the top and both sides of the door, also protects privacy by preventing a gap around the door.

Double-Action Door

A door, usually interior, with unique hinges or pivots that allow the door to function in both directions.

End Joint

A sheet of thin lumber, plywood or composition material inserted into the frame formed by the stiles, rails and mullions of a door.

Extension Jamb

Flat parts nailed to the inside edges of the window or door frame, so it will fit a wider wall.

Exterior Threshold

A threshold non-symmetrically beveled - the more gradual and longer bevel facing the exterior - which, when secured to the exterior door frame sill or finished floor, prevents water from leaking under the door.

Face

Outer or exposed ply in cross banded construction. Face is also the surface that determines lumber grade.

Fiberglass

The most familiar type of insulation, splun from molten glass, is pure white. Additives and binders often color the fiberglass, with pink and yellow being the most common. Fiberglass comes in rolls, batts and loose insulation. Installation involves blowing it into place.

Finger Jointing

A method of joining wood pieces milled in the shape of fingers, which mesh together. A water-resistant adhesive holds the pieces in place. This method has enabled the millwork industry to create longer lengths of wood and to use shorter pieces of raw material.

 

Finger jointing is not a new woodworking technique, but woodworkers have vastly refined it through the years. The joints on items such as mouldings, windows and door jambs are now so precise that the lines of joining are barely perceptible. When there is no great variation in grain or color, the end-welded pieces appear as one.

Fire doors must meet independent testing facilities' - including the Underwriters Laboratories and Warnock Hersey - standards for fire ratings of 20, 30, 45, 60 or 90 minutes. Door manufacturers achieve the specific rating through the application of specially designed door cores and framing materials.

Flat Jamb

This jamb is a plain piece of lumber, not rabbeted or ploughed. Instead of a door rabbet, this jamb requires a doorstop applied to prevent the door from swinging through.

A flat-faced door that may have a variety of door facings and may be hollow-core or solid-core.

Gap

A flat-faced door that may have a variety of door facings and may be hollow-core or solid-core.

Hardwood

A general term used to designate lumber or veneer produced from termperate-zone deciduous or tropical broad-leaved trees, in contrast to softwood, which comes from trees that are usually needle-bearing or coniferous. The term does not infer hardness in its physical sense. 

Height

The measurement from the base to top of the door.

A type of door that has corrugated cardboard between the stiles and rails and consists of an interior frame of stiles and rails, covered by a skin of veneer or hardboard, plastic or metal.

Interior Door Frames

A door frame installed in the interior wall of a structure. Interior door material types include wood, fiberglass, laminate and metals such as stainless steel.

A high-impact-resistant surface material consisting of decorative surface paper impregnated with melamine resins pressed over multiple craft paper layers saturated with phenolic resins, thermoset at high pressure and temperature.

Laying Panels

Grain of panel running horizontally.

Louvre Door or Louver Door

A door, bifold or shutter constructed with a series of downward-sloping, horizontal slats that allow ventilation, inhibit sunlight and provide some privacy

Mineral Core

Fire-rated core of a door available in 20- 45-, 60- or 90-minute versions.

A panel or core product composed of small particles of wood and wood fiber bonded with synthetic resin adhesives in the prsence of heat and pressure.

Plank and Beam

A type of construction technique where planks and beams - or large timbers - in a framework provide the support structure for a house of building.

A straight-grain appearance achieved through the process of quarter-slicing or through the use of veneer cut in any fashion that produces a straight-grain effect. Cut is radial to the pith to the extent that it produces ray fleck. There is no limit to the amount of fleck.

Rabbet

A rectangular cut consisting of two surfaces cut on the edge of a member parallel with the grain. A rabbet has two surfaces and a "plough" has three. Alternative spellings include "rebate" and "rabbit".

Rail

The cross or horizontal pieces of a door's framework. "Top rail," "mullion rail," "lock rail" and "bottom rail" are different types of rails based on their location in the structure of the door.

Rift Cut

Veneer produced by cutting at a slight angle to the radial to produce a quartered appearance without excessive ray fleck.

Rotary Cut

Veneer produced by centering the entire log in a lathe and turning it against a broad cutting knife.

Rough Cut

Irregularly shaped areas of generally uneven corrugation on the surface of veneer.

Sheathing

A surface, usually of wood or fiberboard, applied to the exterior faces of the studs or wall frame.

Slip Matched

A sheet from a flitch slides across the sheet beneath and, without turning, get sliced at the joint.

A door with a solid interior made from composite wood, agi-fiber, wood staves, particleboard or fire-rated mineral fiber.

Stile

The upright or vertical framework pieces of a door.

Telegraphing

When the internal components of a door show through as lines on the face of the veneer.

Top Rail

Uppermost horizontal member of a sash, door, blind or other similar panel assembly.

Trim

Millwork, primarily mouldings or trim, to finish off - or trim around - window and door openings, fireplaces, walls and other members.

A thin sheet or layer of wood, usually rotary cut, sliced or sawn from a log, bolt or flitch. Thickness may vary from 1/100 to 1/4 of an inch. Also referred to as "skin," "ply" or "veneer ply."

A process involving various methods of slicing to produce different patterns in the gains of wood veneer.

Weathering

Variously shaped metal, vinyl plastic or molded fiber strips which fit tightly against sash or door frame parts to prevent air infiltration through cracks. Adjustable pressure weatherstrip-sash or window weatherstripping on which spring action maintains sash tension. 

Weatherstrip

Variously shaped metal, vinyl plastic or molded fiber strips which fit tightly against sash or door frame parts to prevent air infiltration through cracks. Adjustable pressure weatherstrip-sash or window weatherstripping on which spring action maintains sash tension. 

Width

The measurement from side to side of the door.

Still Looking for Answers?

If you do not see a term listed here,  let us know. We are happy to help define it for you. At DoorStop, we are proud to be the leading distributor of commercial interior doors in New York. We invite you to come and visit us in our new showroom at 20 W. 22nd Street in New York City.

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