Parts of a Door Explained

Parts of a Door Explained

Parts and Pieces of a Door

A basic understanding of the parts of a door can be valuable when you’re shopping for interior or exterior doors. Not only does knowing how a door is framed and built make it easier when it comes to ordering your doors, but this knowledge comes in handy when talking with your door installer or contractor.

Here’s a simple overview of door anatomy:

Door Frame

The door frame is what connects your door to the walls of your home. The frame consists of a head jamb or simply a head, which is the uppermost horizontal part of the frame.

There are also two side jambs on each side of your door, and this is the part of the frame that’s connected to your wall with either nails or screws.

Door Sill

The bottom of the door frame is known as the door sill.


There’s often a small gap between the door frame and the wall, so that gap is covered with a strip of trim wood known as casing.


The threshold is the protective metal, wood, or stone cap that’s installed over the door sill. For exterior doors, the threshold is often sloped outwards to help keep rain and snow outside.

Door Panel

The actual door itself is often referred to as the panel.

Bore Hole

The bore hole is a hole through the door panel where the door handle or lockset is installed. Some doors come with pre-drilled bore holes, although finding new doors without an existing bore hole is common.

Door Hardware 


The hinges are jointed metal fittings that connect the door panel to the frame. Hinges come in a wide variety of styles, including concealed, pivot, and barrel hinges.

Mortise Plate 

The mortise plate is a long, flat metal plate that is mortised into the door panel, creating a flat, smooth surface. The door latch and deadbolt pass through the mortise plate to secure the door to a strike plate in the door frame.

Strike Plate

A strike plate is a metal plate installed on the side jamb on the opposite side of the door panel from the hinges. The strike plate is lined up with the door handle and any deadbolts used, and this plate serves to strengthen the door frame.

Door Knob or Handle

The handle or knob can be completely customized to match your decor and security needs.

Door Knobs

Door knobs are round mechanisms that usually turn to release the door latch to allow passage through the doorway. Decorative door knobs, also called dummy knobs, are non-turning knobs for use on closet doors that are secured with a magnetic latch.

Passage Handles

Passage handles are non-locking lever-style door handles used on interior doors.

Privacy Handles or Knobs

This style of non-keyed door handle locks on the interior side only and is designed for use in bathrooms and/or bedrooms.

Locking Handles

Locking handles are door handles equipped with a locking mechanism that’s released using a key.


A lockset is a door hardware set that includes the handle or knob, a matching strike plate, and a mortise plate.

To learn more about door anatomy and the ways you can customize the parts of a door, contact our team of window and door experts at Thompson Creek.