Door and Door Terms

by Julie

A Door and Terms about a Door

A door and its terminology can be a bit confusing once you starting shopping for interior doors for your home. A homeowner, just starting out on their house building or remodeling project, generally doesn’t have a clue about doors or, really, most of the other selections too.

Funny how, even though a door and frame are all around us, we may not know much about them.  I’m a builder and when I decided to write a book all about doors, I still had to do a lot of research!
As a builder, I use certain terms with the suppliers and subcontractors.  But, I realized that a homeowner may not know about a door and the terms used.  There’s a lingo all about doors that may limit you in some way once you go shopping, so here’s a start.

Some common door terms to get you started:

Passage doors refer to doors that you pass through from both sides.  Therefore, all types of doors-pocket, double, single-(except bifold) are designed to walk through.

Bifold doors are not generally used on doorways where you pass from one room to another since they only open from one side.  Sometimes there is an exception to this, however.   This doesn’t work very well, though.  Trust me, I know, because the house I bought had a set of bifold doors on the master bathroom.

Prehung Doors refer to doors hung on their hinges and installed in the frame. These are also called door units. They are ready to install in the house.  If you can, decide your casing upfront so that the prehung doors arrive in the frame, with the casing attached.  They are totally ready to go.  In some instances, however, the casing will be installed later and the doors are ordered without it.  The doors may still be ordered in the frame, though, for ease of installation.  This is often true in older homes where you might need to custom craft the casing to match something in the house.

Slab Door has two meanings.  The first relates to prehung doors.  You will hear suppliers talk about the ‘slab’.  That means just the door without the frame.  Sometimes, you may order just the slab.  That might be the case if you are replacing an existing door and will keep the current frame in the house. The other definition is that a flush door is also called a slab door.

Just some of the door and door information you will see and hear once you start shopping. For a good visual aid, see the illustration of a door and its parts.


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