A front door may look like a simple assembly, but many elements contribute to its structure and function.
Before you start selecting a new entry door to complement your home’s exterior, learn the anatomy of a front door with this short guide.
Parts of a House’s Front Door
The parts of a door include the door itself and its surrounding windows.
The slab is the entryway’s swinging face, also known as a door panel or just the door itself. It uses different textures, colors and materials—commonly wood, steel or fiberglass. Some door slabs have entirely flush patterns, and others incorporate raised or sunken portions of the surface, called panels.
A door panel consists of three parts:
- Stiles: Stiles are the vertical segments on either side of the door where the hinge and lockset attach.
- Rails: The top, intermediate and bottom rails are horizontal components of the slab, constructed to protect the core layers in between.
- Mullions: This vertical component separates sections within a panel.
Door slabs also contain an insulation core that helps regulate the indoor temperature and keeps your home energy-efficient.
Windows serve as both decorative elements and a natural source of light for the home. Owners can choose entry door glass in several shapes and designs, including the “caming,” the decorative metal banding that joins the panels together. Alternatively, homeowners can use grilles that sit on top of a single pane to create the effect of division.
Windows are positioned inside of “lites” and can be sized during the design stage. Lites can appear as decorative windows on the side of a door known as sidelights or span the top section of the frame as a transom. Windows can also be inserted inside the door panel. These units add beauty and increase the lighting let inside.
The glass inside the window is referred to as glazing. Exterior doors often have two panes of glass with an inert gas such as argon inserted inside to help with insulation.
Hardware comes in a variety of materials and looks. Some types include the:
- Opening mechanism: The knob or handle someone grips.
- Hinges: The metal plate that secures the slab to the frame and lets it move.
- Locking mechanism: Either a cylinder or multi-point lock.
- Clavos and strap hinges: Rustic nail decorations used on wood or wood-look slabs.
There are also more possibilities for accessories like mail slots, door viewers and knockers.
Each entry door assembly relies on a weatherstrip around the slab to block drafts, moisture and sound. The weatherstripping seal is flexible and designed to compress between the frame when the door is shut. On exterior doors, weatherstripping can promote greater energy efficiency and interior comfort.
The sweep is the seal attached to the bottom part of the entrance door. It consists of rigid materials like aluminum, stainless steel or plastic and functions like a door’s weatherstripping to keep out the elements. Door sweeps are cut to the width of the entry before installation.
Parts of a Front Door Frame
The parts of a door frame support the door, providing stability and sealing for protection. Door frames may also hold the sidelights and transom or be surrounded by brickmould. Components of a door frame include the jambs and sills.
The jambs are three of the sides that surround the door itself. The hinges and locks attach to one of the two vertical side jambs. A horizontal head jamb is placed above. Door jambs support the door, ensuring it hangs level with the floor and closes tightly for protection.
The door sill is a thin portion of the bottom frame that is usually sealed and fastened to the floor. It is made up of wood, metal or composite. Its purpose is to redirect water away and complete the seal with the door sweep. Sills are often covered by a protective cap called a threshold. The threshold consists of durable materials to withstand heavy foot traffic and protect against the weather.
Brickmould is a trim that surrounds the door frame to cover the gap between the frame or windows and the exterior walls. It serves as an aesthetic boundary, creating a seamless look between a door and the rest of the house.
Browse Our Collection of New Entry Doors
As a distinguished Clopay® Master Authorized® Dealer, Quality Overhead Doors is your source in the Toledo area for distinct and beautiful entry doors. Whether you need to replace your run-down door or personalize your home’s exterior, our experts will guide you through the design process and set up a quality installation from our technicians. Request an estimate or get in touch online to start today.
Additional Resources on Entry Doors:
- How to Choose a Front Door Color
- Entry Door Buyer Guide
- What Size is a Standard Front Door
- How to Choose a Front Door Style