The ABCs of Doors & Windows: Getting to Know Your Door and All Its Parts

This is part two of our blog series, The ABCs of Doors & Windows. Part one can be found HERE.

Just like with windows, doors have a long list of parts and pieces the average homeowner may not be familiar with. Below you’ll find a brief introduction to some of the most common door parts and pieces that will help you better understand your options and hopefully lead to a more informed decision about which door is right for your project!

Frame – Made up of side jambs, head jambs, and mulls, the frame provides the structure to the door opening. It’s the surrounding part of the entry that the door panel fits into.

Hinges – These are the pieces of hardware that allow the door to swing open and closed. Standard-sized doors typically have three hinges while larger, heavier doors may have four or more to help bear the load.

Lockset – The lockset is the complete door lock system including the lock mechanism, knobs, keys, plates, strikes and other components that allow the door to latch and lock in place.

Panel – Sometimes called a slab, the panel is the whole part of the door that swings back and forth. Many doors are divided into several smaller panels of wood or glass.

Rails – The rails are the horizontal segments along the top, bottom and sometimes middle of the door, depending on the panel configuration.

Stiles – The narrow, vertical segments on either side of a door panel are called the stiles. The lock stile is on the side with the door handle or knob, while the hinge stile is on the side with the hinges.

Sidelites (or Sidelights) – These tall, narrow windows are found on one or both sides of the door, allowing more light into the entry way and improving the view.

Sill – The bottom, floor-fastened component of an exterior door frame is called the sill, which helps to seal the entry from leaks and other intrusions.

Strike Plate – This thick metal plate is attached to the door jamb and has a hole to accommodate the door bolt (or multiple holes for multiple bolts), which extends into the plate to lock the door.


Sweep – Creating a weather-resistant barrier between the bottom of door panel and the sill, the sweep is made of rubber, foam, neoprene or vinyl.


Threshold – The threshold is the strip of metal, wood or fiberglass that covers the sill on an exterior entryway, providing an added seal against things like weather, drafts, and pests.

Of course, if you have any questions about doors or what will work best for you project, CONTACT US  today. In our upcoming final installment of the The ABCs of Doors & Windows, we’ll cover those parts common to both doors and windows! To view more videos about windows and their various parts, click HERE.