Archinet UK

Doors Resource: Door Glossary

We list below the advertisement terms used to describe types of door and door components, with an explanation of each.

Access Control. Systems for providing controlled access to zones of large buildings to specified users or groups of users. Often card operated, acess control systems are used in offices, hotels, hospitals, and schools. 

Accordion Door. A door made up of connected vertical slats, which can fold on themselves in concertina fashion when the door is opened. Accordion doors are space saving but do not provide good sound insulation.

Air Curtain. Also known as an Air Door. Fan-operated electric heaters, which blast a vertical curtain of hot or cold air down the face of a doorway. They help to retain heat or cool within the building, without discouraging entry.

Anti-Ligature Door Furniture. Anti-ligature door furniture is designed to prevent self-harm or suicide by making it impossible to attach a wire or cord to the door handle or other door furniture. Used in risk situations. 

Architrave. The  wooden moulding around the top and sides of a door or window. Acts as a trim to cover any gap between the door frame and the surrounding wall. Originally the lowest part of a classical entablature.

Australian Door. A pair of plywood doors, which swing freely in and out, of a kind often seen in Australian public houses and bars. Australian doors are generally brown or red in colour.

Automatic Door. A door which opens automatically, normally using electric power. Operation may be by an infra-red sensor or a manual push button. Automatic garage doors are often operated with a remote control.

Backflap Hinge. A backflap hinge a type of butt hinge with a deep flap (or knuckle). Backflap hinges are robust but ugly, since the hinge is fixed to the face of the door and frame, instead of being inset into the edge of the door.

Barn Door. A wooden door used on a barn, or of a type similar that used on a barn. May be a large single hinged door or a pair of such doors, or single or double sliding doors hung from a steel overhead runner.

Barrel. The barrel is the central part of a door lock, containing the mechanism which detects the shape of the key. Modern door locks have replaceable barrels so that the key can be changed without replacing the whole door lock.

Batten Door. A batten door, also known as a planked door, is a door which is made up of vertical boards running the whole length of the door. These are held together with horizontal rails, also known as ledges.

Batwing Door. A batwing door is a pair of swing doors, with double action hinges enabling the doors to swing inwards and outwards. Extending only between shoulder and knee, batwing doors are traditional in Western saloons.

Bell Push. A push button used for activating an electric door bell or chime. The bell push may be wired or wireless. Wired door pushes connect to a bell powered by battery or transformer. Wireless bells are battery powered.

Bifold Door. A bifold door is made of vertical panels hinged together at their sides. They are suspended at their joints from an overhead track, and open in concertina fashion. Mainly used as glazed patio doors or wardrobe doors.

Blast Proof Door. A strong steel door designed to resist explosions and volatile chemical eruptions. May be hinged, sliding, folding, or bi-folding. Mainly used in military and industrial applications.

Blum Hinge. Also known as a concealed hinge. An articulated hinge, widely used in Europe for kitchen cupboard and wardrobe doors. Still made by the original Blum company of Austria, but also widely imitated.

Bolt. A door fitting consisting of a sliding bar, which may be of circular or rectangular cross section, which secures a door or window from the inside of the building by sliding into a retaining piece known as a keeper.

Bottom Rail. The horizontal wooden member running along the bottom of a panel door. Joined to the vertical members along the edges of the panel door (known as stiles) with mortise and tenon joints.

Butt Hinge. The simplest and most common type of hinge used for doors. Comprises two leaves, each of which has a knuckle through which a pin passes. Screwed to the edge of the door and the inside of the door frame.

Butterfly Door. A pivot door with the pivot at the centre, so that when swung open the butterfly door forms two doors allowing passage in both directions. Used to provide high capacity throughput in public buildings.

Bypass Door. A sliding door made up of two or more leaves, all of which can slide on an overhead track. Mainly used as wardrobe doors, but also used as glazed patio doors.

Cabin Hook. A hook used for holding a door open. Comprises a wall fixing plate, a hanging hook, and a keeper plate fixed to the door. Originally used in ships' cabins to avoid an open door swinging with the motion of the ship.

Cabinet Door. Door to a cabinet, most usually a kitchen cabinet. May be made of frame and panel construction, or of solid panel. Commonly fixed with Blum hinges, also known as concealed hinges.

Cam Lock. A lock that will only open when its dial is turned through a prescribed sequence of positions which are identified on the dial face by numbers or letters. Used for security locks on safes and vaults.

Card Operated Door Lock. A lock that is opened using a plastic card carrying an electronic code. Widely used in hotels, and also used as part of am access control system in offices, hospitals, and schools.

Cat Door. A small door, normally fitted inside a back door, to allow a pet cat to pass freely out of and into the house. Usually has a top hung flap which can swing in our out.

Centre Pull Knob. A fixed knob, fitted to the centre of a front door, at mid-height. Used for pulling the door closed, but also as a decorative feature. Common on 18th and 19th century panel front doors.

Codelock. A door lock with buttons marked with letters or numbers. Permits entry only when the correct code is punched into the codelock. The combination can be changed regularly to improve security.

Composite Door. Door made not of solid wood, but of a composite material such as Medium or High Density Fibreboard (MDF or HDF). May have a moulded skin of fibreboard or glass reinforced polyester (MDF).

Concealed Chain Door Closer. A door closer that is operated by a concealed chain similar to a bicycle chain. This is fixed to the door frame and to a sprung cylinder inset into the hinge edge of the door.

Concealed Hinge. Also known as a Blum hinge after the original Austrian manufacturer. Widely used on kitchen cabinet an hinged wardrobe doors, the hinge is articulated and is not visible when the door is closed.

Continuous Hinge. Also known as a piano hinge, a continuous hinge is a long hinge which extends the full length of the hinged door or panel. Gives a very neat appearance, for example on the lid to a piano keyboard.

Cranked Bolt. A bolt used for securing a door whose shaft is cranked (ie stepped out part way along its length. This enables the hole for the bolt to be offset into a strong part of the door frame, rather than being right at its edge.

Crash Bar. Also known as panic bars or push bars, these are horizontal bars at waist height fitted to the inside of fire escape doors in public building such as cinemas. The automatically open outward opening doors when pressed.

Cross Rail. The term cross rail is used to describe the horizontal structural members in a panel door. They include the top rail, the bottom rail, and one or more intermediate rails.

Curtain Doorway. A curtain doorway is a door made of vertical flexible strips, usually of transparent plastic. Curtain doorways are mainly used in industrial premises, to retain heat or cool while allowing the passage of small vehicles.

Cylinder Lock. A lock in which a cylinder rotates to move a bolt. Inserting the key lifts and aligns the pin tumblers to free the cylinder to rotate. The pin tumblers are held down with springs.  

Cylinder Pull. A cylinder pull is a bracket handle attached to a circular ring which fits around the lock on the outside of an external door. It is usually in brass or chrome, and can be used to pull the door closed.

Deadbolt. A deadbolt, also known as a dead bolt or dead lock, is a lock which provides improved security because its bolt cannot be moved into the open position except by rotating the lock cylinder.

Digital Door Lock. A digital door lock, also known as a codelock, is a lock fitted with lettered or numbered buttons. Entry is permitted only when an authorised set of these buttons are pressed in an authorised sequence.

Digital Door Viewer. An electronic system enabling the householder to see a CCTV image of a person standing outside the front door. Comprises an external camera and an internal digital screen.

Dog Door. A small door allowing a pet dog to enter and leave a house at will. Normally set into the lower part of a door, but may also be set into a wall. A top hinged flap can swing inwards or outwards.

Door Bell. Bell used to announce the arrival of a visitor at an external door. Traditionally, a mechanical bell would be operated by a wire. Modern systems are power by mains electricity or battery.

Door Canopy. A small roof structure fitted above an external door to provide shelter and as a decorative feature. The structure may be made of timber or UPVC. The roofing may be made of tiles or glass fibre simulating tiles.

Door Catch. A fitting, normally for lightweight doors such as kitchen cabinet or wardrobe doors, which keeps a door closed. The most common types are a spring catch, a ball catch, and a magnetic catch.

Door Chain. A short chain one end of which is attached to the frame of an external door. The other end can be slotted into a keeper fixed to the edge of the door. Enables the door to be opened safely to view a visitor.

Door Chime. An electronic alternative to a door bell. Emits one or more chime notes, similar to a metal tube being struck. More sophisticated door chimes play a choice of popular tunes.

Door Closer. A device for automatically closing a door. The most common type is spring powered and hydraulically damped, and is fitted to the top of the door with an articulated arm.

Door Curtain. The most common type of door curtain is a bead curtain hung in a doorway to keep out flying insects, while allowing people to walk though the door. Other versions are made from hanging chains or plastic strips.

Door Frame. The frame, comprising side and top members, fitted into a doorway to carry a door. In the case of external doors also comprises a bottom threshold. Normally made of timber.

Door Holder. A device for holding a door open. The simplest version is a cabin hook. Pedal door holders have a vertical rod with a rubber ferrule. Magnetic door holders are designed to release automatically in the event of fire.

Door Knob. A knob fitted to a door; normally a turning door knob which operates the door catch. May also be a fixed door knob, fitted to the centre of the outside of a front door to pull it closed and as a decorative feature.

Door Knocker. A hinged metal device which can be struck against a fixed anvil to announce the arrival of a visitor at a front door. In addition to classic traditional designs modern novelty designs are available.

Door Lock. The most common types of lock are mortise locks and rim locks. Mortise locks are inset into the edge of the door. Rim locks are fitted to the inside face of the door, with a shallow plate inset into the edge of the door. 

Door Opener. A powered system for opening a door. Widely used to provide disabled access in public buildings, and to provide easy entry into shops. May be operated manually or by a sensor.

Door Plate. A metal plate traditionally fixed to a door above or below the handle to protect the paintwork of the door. Sometimes highly decorative. Alternatively a door name plate in a commercial building.

Door Skin. The moulded skin applied to each side of a composite door. May be made of moulded fibreboard, or of glass reinforced polyester (GRP). The space between the skins is filled with timber, particle board, or foam.

Door Stopper. A fitting designed to limit the swing of a door. Normally fixed to the floor, with a metal part holding a rubber buffer. May be fixed to the skirting board, with a horizontal metal rod having a rubber buffer at its end.

Door Stud. Door studs evolved from the large-headed nails that were used in medieval times to fix the vertical planks of a door to the cross rails. Door studs, with heaving heads on short nails, have become a decorative feature.

Door Viewer. An optical device, similar to a very small telescope, which is fitted into an external door at eye level. It allows the occupant of the house to identify a visitor before opening the door.

Doorstop. A device for holding a door open. May be a wooden or rubber wedge placed under the door. Other types of doorstop include a fitting fixed to the floor or skirting board, or a pedal operated door stop fixed to the door.

Double Margin Door. A double margin door is a traditional 18th or 19th century panel door which is actually a single leaf but has a vertical groove down the centre giving the appearance of a double door.

Draught Excluder. Device for sealing the edge of a door to prevent draughts. Types include metal and rubber strip, metal and brush strip fixed to the foot of the door, or a long cylindrical stuffed cushion laid against the foot of the door.

Dutch Door. Also known as a stable door. A door divided horizontally into two parts which can be opened independently. The initial purpose was to keep animals out of farmhouses while allowing light and air through the upper part.

Egyptian Door. An Egyptian door is a door whose frame is narrower at the top than at the bottom, the sides of the door being inclined inward rather than being vertical.

Escutcheon. Also known as a finger plate, an escutcheon is a flat metal plate fixed above or below the handle of a door to avoid the door become soiled with finger marks. May be elaborately shaped and decorated. 

Espagnolette. A mechanism for simultaneously locking the top and bottom bolts of a pair of French doors. Vertical rods, terminating in bolts, are extended and withdrawn using a turn handle.

Fanlight. A semi-circular glazed opening, usually semi-circular in shape, above an  18th or 19th century front door. The name derives from the frequent use of radial glazing bars, giving a fan-like appearance.

False Door. An imitation door, painted or inset into the surface of a wall. It is purely decorative, and does not open. Originated in ancient Egyptian tombs, where false doors were built as the threshold between the living and the dead.

Finger Plate. Also known as an escutcheon, a finger plate is a flat plate fixed above or below the handle of a door to avoid finger marking of the door. May be of metal or ceramic, with decorative patterns.

Fingerprint Door Lock. A modern type of lock which digitally reads the fingerprint of the user, opening the door only to an authorised list of users. May be used to provide selective access to zones of large buildings.

Fire Door. A fire resistant door designed to delay the spread of fire within a building. Fire doors are self closing. They may be held open only with magnetic door holders which release automatically in the vent of a fire.

Flap Door. A flap door is a top hung door. Most commonly used as cat or dog doors to allow pets to enter and leave the house at will. Also used in high-level kitchen cabinets, where they can be retained open with a special fitting.

Flush Door. An interior door with a completely flush surface on both sides. Is made of sandwich construction, with an inner core of foam, particle board, or honeycomb cardboard, timer edging, and plywood or hardboard faces.

Flush Door Handle. A door handle which is set flush into the surface of a door, without protruding parts. Used on sliding doors, where leaves need to slide past each other, or on door which need to fold flat.

Flush Hinge. A lightweight easy-to-fit hinge, used on cupboard and wardrobe doors. A cut-out design means that the leaves of the hinge can fold into each other. They therefore do not need to be inset into door or frame.

Folding Door. A door in two or more leaves which opens by folding on itself in concertina fashion. Widely used as wardrobe doors, and also as glazed patio or garden doors, which may open inward or outward.

French Door. A pair of hinged doors, largely glazed, which open from a house onto the garden or patio. Most commonly made of wood, but can also be made of UPVC.

Friction Hinge. A hinge which has a friction stay, usually in the form of a metal slider, which holds the door or window open in any chosen position. Commonly used on UPVC windows and doors.

Garage Door Operator. A electrically-powered mechanism for opening and closing garage doors. Can be used with up-and-over, roller, sectional, and round-the-corner garage doors. Usually with a remote control.

Half Door. Also known as a stable door. A door which is horizontally divided into two parts, which can be opened and closed independently. Originally to keep animals out of a farm house, while allowing air and light to enter.

Hanging Stile. The vertical wooden members forming each side of a panel door are known as stiles. The hanging stile of a panel door is the stile to which the hinges are attached.

Hurricane Door. An especially robust external door, common in hurricane-prone areas of the USA. Constructed of metal, wood, or high quality polymer. Designed to provide an airtight and watertight seal. 

Intumescent Strip. An intumescent seal must be used on every fire door. it contains an intumescent strip, inset into the edge of the door, which swells in the event of fire, producing a smoke-proof seal around the door.

Jamb. The jambs are the vertical members of a door frame, onto one of which the hinges of the doors are fixed. Door jambs are usually made of wood, but may also be made of UPVC. 

Jib Door. A jib door is an internal door which is designed to blend into the design and decor of the wall. Used in 18th and 19th century buildings, jib doors carry skirting, wainscoting, and panelling across their surface.

Keeper. A keeper is the metal part of a door lock into which the bolt or catch slides. Fixed to the frame of the door, the keeper may be surface mounted or may be inset into the door frame.

Keyless Door Lock. A keyless door lock, also known as a codelock, has buttons marked with letters or numbers. A defined selection of these have to be pressed in a defined sequence to effect entry.

Kicking Plate. A kicking plate is a flat plate, normally made of aluminium or stainless steel, which is fitted over the bottom section of a door to protect it from foot damage.

Knuckle. The part of a hinge that holds the hinge pin. Formed by bending around interleaved cut-out sections of each hinge flap. Similar in function to the knuckle of a finger. 

Latch. A traditional type of door fastening consisting of a metal or wooden horizontal bar that fits into a notch or slot on the door frame. Can be lifted from either side with a lever or string. Also used on gates.

Latch Stile. Also know as the lock stile. The stiles are the vertical members running up the sides of a wooden panel door. The latch stile is the stile on the swinging side of the door, away from the hinges. 

Leaded Light. A glazed panel made up of pieces of coloured glass connected by a lead jointing strip. Colloquially known as stained glass. Leaded lights are used as panels within doors, and also as glazed panels above doors.

Ledged & Braced Door. A rustic-style door. Made up of vertical wooden planks, connected together by horizontal rails and reinforced with diagonal rails, known as braces.

Ledged Door. The simplest type of rustic-style door. Made up of vertical wooden planks, connected together by horizontal rails. More prone to sagging than a ledged and braced door.

Letter Plate. A metal plate with flap, fixed to the front door to allow letters and small packages to be posted into the house. The flap normally opens inwards and has a self closing spring. Typically in aluminium or brass. 

Lever Flush Door Bolt. A door bolt, often used for securing the top and bottom of one leaf of a pair of French doors, which is set completely flush into the edges of the door. Normally in brass, chrome, or stainless steel. 

Lever Handle. A door handle with a lever action, as opposed to a turning door knob. Lever handles have largely superseded door knobs for internal doors because they are much easier to turn, particularly for the elderly. 

Lift Off Butt Hinge. A special type of butt door hinge which allows the door to be lifted off the hinges without any unscrewing. The knuckle is formed of only two parts, with the pin permanently fixed to the lower part.

Lintel. May also be spelled Lintol. The lintel is the structural member which holds up the wall above a doorway. Traditionally made of stone or timber, modern lintels are usually made of steel or reinforced concrete.

Lock Rail. The rails are the horizontal parts of the frame of a panel door. The lock rail is the mid-rail, normally at about waist height, into which the lock and door handle or door lever is fitted.

Lock Stile. The stiles are the vertical wooden structural members running up each side of a traditional panel door. The lock stile, also known as the latch stile, is the stile away from the hinges.

Lockset. A lockset is the complete set of fittings needed to fit a door catch, lock, and door handles or levers. It comprises the lock, the keeper which is fixed to the door frame, and a pair of door knobs or levers.

Loose Pin Butt Hinge. A loose pin butt hinge is a but hinge whose pin can be removed. The purpose of this is to enable the door to be removed for re-decoration or maintenance without unscrewing any hinges.

Louvred Door. A door the panels of which are filled with wooden louvres rather than with a solid wooden panel. Mainly used as wardrobe or cupboard doors. Provide ventilation to the cupboard and give a decorative appearance.

Magnetic Latch. Magnetic latches are widely used on kitchen cabinet and wardrobe doors. A small metal plate is attached to the inside of the edge of the door. This engages with a magnet fixed inside the cabinet.

Mid Rail. The mid rail, also known as the lock rail, is a horizontal member forming part of the structure of a panel door. It is normally at about waist height, and is used to carry the lock and door handle.

Mortise & Tenon. A type of joint used to connect the structural frame of a panel door. The rails will have a projecting tenon, which fits tightly into a recess, known as a mortise, in the vertical members of the panel door.

Mortise Lock. A mortise lock is a door lock whose mechanism is fully recessed into a cavity, known as a mortise, cut into the edge of the door. This contrasts with a rim lock, which is attached to the face of the door.

Moulded Door. A moulded door is of sandwich construction, with moulded outer skins and a core of timber, foam, fibreboard, or honeycomb cardboard. The moulded skin may be made of high density fibreboard, UPVC, or GRP.

Moulding. A strip of wood with a decoratively shaped section. Used in doorways as an architrave covering the gap between the door frame and the wall. Also used to create decorative edges to the panels of panel doors.

Mullion. A vertical member providing the division between small panes of glass in 18th and 19th century glazed doors and windows. Mullions often have a decorative moulded cross section, to soften the transition from light to dark.

Multi-point Lock. A lock for a door or window in which the turn of the handle operates several locks. This provides greater security than a single lock, and is often used in UPVC doors and windows.

Muntin. A vertical member set between the two vertical members running up the sides of a traditional panel door, known as stiles. The muntin may separate glazed or solid panels.

Nailed Door. The vertical planks and horizontal rails of a medieval door would be nailed together using heavy clinch nails. Clinch nails project inside, and can be turned over for strength. Decorative nailed doors use short nail studs.

Night Latch. A night latch is a simple rim door lock, sometimes described as a Yale lock. The simpler versions are insecure, since the bolt can be pushed back by inserting a blade. Stronger versions have a catch locking the bolt.

Overhung Door. An overhung door is a door suspended from above, either on hinges along its stop, or from a sliding door mechanism. Top hinged doors are sometimes used in high-level kitchen wall cabinets.

Panel Door. A traditional wooden door, comprising a wooden structural frame holding wooden infill panels. The most common types are the four panel and the six panel door, both of which have a central vertical structural member.

Panel Moulding. A decorative moulding around the edges of the panels in a traditional 18th or 19th century wooden panel door. The moulding is cut into the edges of the vertical stiles and horizontal rails.

Panic Bar. Also known as a crash bar or a push bar. A horizontal bar, fitted to at waist height to the inside of an outward-opening escape door which releases the locks when pushed.

Parliament Hinge. A parliament hinge is a hinge whose shaped wings are extended so that the door can fold back against an adjacent wall. Because they are extended, the wings project outward from the door when closed.

Patio Door. A glazed door leading from the house to the garden or patio. The most common type is the two or three leaf sliding patio door. These are available in timber, UPVC, and aluminium.

Peephole. Also known as a door viewer. A small cylindrical telescope-like device which is fitted into a hole drilled in a front door at eye height. Enables the occupant to see a visitor without the visitor being able to look in.

Pet Door. A small door which allows the passage of pet dogs into and out of the house at will. Has a top hung flap which swings inwards and outwards. Normally fitted into a door but can also be fitted into an opening in a wall.

Pintle. A vertical pin or bolt on which another part turns. Used in doors to support the bottom of a pivot door, and to keep the top of the pivot door in position.

Pivot Door. Instead of being hinged at the side, a pivot door swings on two vertical pivots or pintles. The pivots may be set close to the edge of the door, may be somewhat inset, or may be at the centre of the pivot door.

Plain Knuckle Hinge. A plain knuckle hinge is a butt hinge whose knuckle does not incorporate washers or bearings. Suitable for lightweight doors such as cupboard or wardrobe doors.

Plank Door. A door made up of vertical planks extending the full height of the door. These are connected together with horizontal members known as ledges, which may also be diagonally braced. 

Pocket Door. An internal sliding door which slides away into a slot in the edge of the wall. This provides a neat appearance, and allows flexibility in the placement of furniture and pictures. 

Porch. A small structure attached to a building, normally associated with the front door. The structure may be of timber or brick with typically a slate or tile covered pitched roof. Provides shelter at the front door.

Porthole. A circular window, like a ship's porthole, inserted into a door or pair of doors. Mainly used in offices and public buildings, to enable the user of the door to see whether some one is coming in the opposite direction.

Portiere. A heavy curtain or hanging placed over a door or over the doorless entry into a room. Provides warmth and privacy. Portieres are known to have been in use in Europe since at least the 4th century AD.

Privacy Lock. Privacy locks are used in bathrooms and toilets. They enable the door to be locked from inside with a thumb turn. The lock can be opened from the outside with a screwdriver in the event of an emergency.

Projection Hinge. A projection hinge is similar to a parliament hinge, but its wings are not shaped to reduce the length of the knuckle. Like a parliament hinge, a projection hinge enables the door to be folded back against the wall.

Pull Handle. A pull handle is a fixed door handle, normally made from a D-shaped cylindrical bar, which enables a door to be pulled open. Widely used on self-closing fire doors in offices and public buildings.

Push Plate. A push plate is a flat metal plate, fixed to a door above or below the handle, which protects the surface of the door from finger marking. Often used on self-closing doors in offices and public buildings.

Rail. The rails are the horizontal structural members in a traditional 18th or 19th century wooden panel door. They are connected to the vertical stiles with mortise and tenon joints.

Rebate. A rebate is a longitudinal cut-back in a piece of joinery. For example, a pair of internal doors will normally have rebates running along their vertical edges away from the hinge, so that the can interlock.

Revolving Door. Revolving doors are widely used in offices and public buildings. They can handle heavy pedestrian traffic, while maintaining an air lock to retain heat or cool within the building. They also exclude wind.

Rim Lock. A lock which is fitted to the surface of the door, rather than being inset into a mortise in the edge of the door. A rim lock will usually have a shallow plate with is inset into, and screwed into, the edge of the door.

Rising Hinge. A special type of lift-off but hinge which lifts the door as it is opened. This helps to clear obstructions such as rugs. It also provides a gentle self-closing action.

Roller Door. Roller doors are made up of horizontal steel or aluminium slats which are linked together and which roll up like a roller blind. Their most common domestic use is for garage doors.

Rose. A rose, also known as a rosette, is the flat ring which surrounds the shaft of a door knob or handle, and is fixed to the door. Its holds the shaft in position, and covers the gap between the shaft and the hold in the door.

Round the Corner Garage Door. A slatted or sectional garage door which opens horizontally rather than vertically. Instead of rolling up like a blind, it is stows flat alongside the side wall of the garage when opened.

Saloon Door. Saloon doors, also known as cafe doors, are pairs of lightweight doors which use bi-directional hinges so that they can open inwards and outwards. Associated with public bars, particularly in the American west. 

Screen Door. Screen doors are supplementary doors, with mesh panels, designed to keep insects out while allowing ventilation. They are widely used in the southern USA.

Secret Door. A secret door is a door which is completely concealed, for example as a swinging section of a bookcase. May be used as a decorative feature, or to conceal a safe or panic room.

Sectional Garage Door. A garage door made up of rectangular sections, of aluminium or timber, which are hinged together. May open vertically or horizontally, being parked when open against the ceiling or wall.

Security Door. A reinforced door, usually made of steel, designed to protect against intruders. The frame will also be made of steel, and there will be a multi-point locking system.

Shaker Door. Reflecting the simple, plain, nature of Shaker design, a Shaker door is a panel door in which the inside edges of the horizontal rails and vertical stiles are of simple rectangular section rather than being moulded.

Shrouded Bearing Hinge. Shrouded bearing hinges contain bearings made of polymer bushes to provide a maintenance-free low-friction hinge. Suitable for substantial doors in homes, offices, and public buildings.

Sill. The door sill, also known as a threshold, is the bottom part of the frame of an external door. It provides protection against dirt and water. Door sills are normally made of timber, but may also be of aluminium or UPVC.

Sliding Door. Bypass sliding doors consist of leaves which slide past each other. Folding sliding doors use a concertina folding action. Both types may be used for wardrobes and for glass garden or patio doors.

Sliding Door Gear. Sliding door gear is the equipment which operates sliding doors. These may be top hung, with the weight taken on the top rail, or may use rollers to take the weight on the bottom rail.

Sliding Folding Door. A sliding folding door consists of panels which are hinged together so that they can open in concertina fashion. The most common use is for glazed patio or garden sliding folding doors.

Snib Turn. A snib turn is a small lock operated by turning a flat knob. Often used as a privacy lock in bathrooms and toilets. May incorporate a release on the outside which can be screwdriver operated in the event of an emergency.

Spindle. The spindle is the metal bar, with square cross section, which passes through a door to connect the two door knobs or lever handles with the lock mechanism.

Stable Door. Also known as half door or a Dutch door. An external door divided horizontally into two parts which can be opened independently. Originally used to keep animals out of a farmhouse while allowing air and light to enter.

Stile. The stiles are the vertical structural members running up the edges of a traditional 18th or 19th century wooden panel door. The stile at the hinge side is known as the hinge stile, the other is known as the lock stile.

Storm Door. Also known as a hurricane door. A robust external door specially designed to withstand extreme weather conditions. Usually reinforced with steel, it will have a weather tight seal around all its edges.

Strike Plate. The strike plate is the metal plate fixed to the edge of the door frame, known as the door jamb, into which the bolt of the door catch or door lock extends.

Strip Curtain. A type of door, mainly used in industrial premises, consisting of hanging and overlapping vertical transparent plastic strips. Keeps heat and cool within the building while allowing fork lift trucks to pass.

Stub Mortise & Tenon. A mortise and tenon joint where the tenon is shorter than the width of the mortised piece, so that the end of the tenon cannot be seen. Used for the joints in high quality wooden panel doors.

Suffolk Latch. A rustic and traditional type of door latch. Usually made of forged iron or black painted steel, the latch has a horizontal bar which drops into a catch and can be lifted from either side with a lever.

Swing Door. Also know as a swinging door. A door with bi-directional self-closing hinges, which can swing freely in both directions. May be used in pairs, for example to separate the kitchen area in a restaurant.

Tambour Door. A tambour door is made of slats which are flexibly connected so that the tambour door can slide away around a curved track when it is opened. Used in kitchen cupboards and office filing cabinets.

Tee Hinge. A tee hinge has one short wing and one long tapered wing. The short wing is fixed to the surface of the door frame, and the long tapered wing is fixed to the door, normally aligned with a ledge. Used for sheds and stores.

Threshold. The bottom surface of a door frame. May be of stone, brick, concrete, timber, or UPVC. Also known as the door sill. The threshold keeps out rain and dirt, and is also a symbolic crossing from one realm to another.

Through Mortise & Tenon. A mortise and tenon joint where the tenon is as long as the width of the mortised piece. The end of the tenon is therefore visible in the mortised piece.

Thumb Turn. Also known as snib turn or privacy lock. A small lock, operated with a simple flat knob, mainly used in toilets and bathrooms. May have an external release, operated by screwdriver, for emergency use.

Toggle Catch. Also known as a toggle latch. A toggle catch is a type of catch mainly used to secure toolboxes or storage chests. A hinged loop is slipped over an upstand, and is then pulled back to produce a tight fit.

Tongue & Groove. A method of joining the edges of planks. One edge of each plank has a central groove, and the other has an extended tongue. The plants can be firmly fitted together, for example in a plank door.

Top Rail. The rails are the horizontal structural members of a traditional 18th or 19th century wooden panel door. Such doors will have a top rail, a bottom rail, and one or two mid rails.

Transom. A transom is a horizontal cross piece over a door or between a door and a window above it. It is normally made of wood, and forms part of the door frame.

Transom Window. A transom window is a window above a door, normally a front door. In 19th century buildings transom windows would often be made of leaded glass, incorporating the name or number of the house.

Trap Door. A door in the horizontal rather than the vertical plane. Upward opening trap doors are used for access to cellars, and to flat roofs. Downward opening trap doors are used for access to attics and on theatre stages. 

Up and Over Door. An up and over door is a type of garage door where the door remains a rigid plane and swings up into a horizontal position. May be manually operated or electrically powered.

Vault Door. A highly secure door used in a bank or bullion store. The most secure are circular in shape, made of immensely thick steel, and have multi-point locking systems.

Vision Panel. A vision panel is a glazed window inset into a door. Often used on self-closing doors in offices and public buildings, so that a user can see whether someone is coming in the other direction.

Washered Knuckle Hinge. A but hinge with washers separating the knuckles of the two wings. Reduces friction and wear, and provides a smoother opening action for substantial internal and external doors.

Weatherbar. A weatherbar is a strip fitted to the sill at the bottom of an external door to reduce water penetration and draughts. May be made of metal, or of UPVC. 

Weatherstrip. Weatherstrip is a sealing strip used around doors and windows to reduce water penetration and draughts. Normally with a UPVC or aluminium  base and a rubber or neoprene sealing strip.

Wicket Door. A wicket door is a pedestrian door within a larger door. Used on medieval buildings such as in the main gates to Cambridge colleges. Also used on industrial roller doors.


Publisher: Archinet UK is published by Extonet Ltd, which also publishes the Britain's Best Architects, Beesker, Reviews Index UK, and Wikigiving websites. It is financed only by Google advertising; no payment is received from websites included in our product guides.


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