Door Vocabulary

I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I have a customer know what they want their door to look like but they can’t communicate the necessary structural information. Other times, there is a part of the door damaged that a customer needs to replace but they don’t know the name of it and get incredibly frustrated by not being able to communicate.

Threshold—The portion you step on when you walk through the door.  In an interior door, this is called a transition strip.

Sill—The portion of the framing that supports the threshold.

Trim—The decorative millwork around a door that covers the gap between the jamb and the framing of the wall.

Jamb—The portion that the door hangs off of, closes against, and is screwed into the wall framing.

Door Stop—The part of the jamb that stops the door from swinging past its closed point.

Weather Stripping—Vinyl or rubber strip attached to the door jamb to weather seal the door.

Bore—The hole for the door knob. 

Hinge—The hardware that the door swings on.

Note:  there is no standard sizing or measurements for any of these aspects

Door Swing

You also need to know some basic things when buying a door. A major one is the swing of the door which is determined the easiest from the outside of the room or home. If you look at the chart above, it’s a good starting point in determining this.

You need to know how thick of a jamb you need because walls can be different thicknesses. You need to know how wide and how tall the door is. If you want extra credit, you should bring in the rough opening size which is the measurements between the studs of the opening.


There are a ton of pieces and parts to a door. Your basic door has become more complicated than the cloth hung in the opening to a cave. A door is a complex unit and each piece needs to work together for it to function appropriately. Don’t be afraid to double check your information before heading to the hardware store to buy a door.

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