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Wonkee Donkee XL Joinery – The Door Fitting Dictionary

If you’re thinking of updating your home with new doors in the near future, it’s important that you understand the jargon involved! While doors may appear simple and functional, they include a surprising number of components, each of which has a name and a clear purpose. Things can become unnecessarily complicated if you don’t have a good grasp of the terminology, but with an easy to follow guide, everything should run perfectly smoothly. The team at Wonkee Donkee XL Joinery have come up with a handy list of terms that should help you if you ever draw a blank while reading a set of installation instructions. Take a look below to see their short and sweet “Door Dictionary”.

Door frame: This is fixed to the wall surrounding the door, and is made up of a combination of components, including the casing, the architrave, the jamb and the sill.

Casing: The casing of a door is the simple wooden surround that connects the entire structure to the wall and serves as a border for the opening. It’s also often known as “trim”.

Architrave: A primarily cosmetic piece of joinery, the architrave fits around the casing to disguise the joins between the structure and the wall or ceiling.

Sill: Usually, only external doors have sills. They are also known as a threshold, though this term has now come to have a more abstract meaning that can also make reference to the join between the floors of two different internal rooms divided by a door or archway. The sill makes up the bottom of the door frame and exists to prevent leaves and dirt blowing in from outside as well as sealing the door tightly for security and proper insulation.

Lintel: The lintel forms the horizontal top strip of the door frame that takes some of the weight of the wall above.

Jamb: A door jamb is takes on a lot of the hard work when it comes to the functionality of a door. There are usually two jambs – a lock jamb, positioned on the side of the door closest to the handle and lock, and the hinge jamb on the other side. Both are narrow planks facing each other on opposite sides of the doorframe, the horizontal width of each matching the depth of the frame and the vertical length of each spanning from the floor, or sill, to the lintel. Jambs must be sturdy, as not only do they provide a large amount of the support the door requires, they are also the elements onto which are fixed part of the door’s locking mechanism and the hinges.

Stop: There is a narrow horizontal-facing section of the jamb against which the door rests. This is called the stop.

Hinges: There are usually two or three sets of hinges per door. These are commonly made from metal and pivot in place to allow the door to swing open or closed.

Lock: The lock of the door may or may not be operated by a key. It is the mechanism that allows a door to be fastened to the jamb, preventing it from being opened. There are a huge variety of locks, including mortice locks, deadbolts, latches, nightlatches, multi-point locks, cylinder locks and padlocks.

Door leaf: The door leaf is the component of the door that opens and closes. It is attached to the jamb by hinges, and can be secured to the other side by a lock. A leaf can be glazed, panelled, mirrored or plain.

Handle or knob: A door handle or knob is an attachment fitted to the leaf of the door that can be turned to draw in or release the latch bolt, securing the door in place or opening it easily.

Latch bolt: Part of the mechanism that allows the door to be secured. It usually takes the form of a horizontal bar that is pushed into a hole cut in a scratch plate, which is fitted to the jamb.

Scratch plate: A metal plate with a hole designed for the latch bolt to be secured into. It is usually connected to the door jamb.

Weather strip: A weather strip is a flexible strip of rubber that can be fitted to the bottom of an external door leaf to prevent drafts or dust entering underneath. A brush seal – a strip of brush-like fibres – can also serve this purpose.

Door bar: Otherwise known as a z-bar or carpet strip, depending on its design, this is a this strip, usually made of metal, that secures the edges of two carpets, or the edge of one carpet and the end of a different type of flooring, that meet at the bottom of the door frame.

For more information about the anatomy of a door, contact Wonkee Donkee XL Joinery today on 01938 557733 or visit

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