A handy guide to special purpose doors

For those looking to install Special Purpose Doors, we understand that you might not have extensive knowledge on what you need.

To get the best value for money and a door that suits your needs, it is important to gain an understanding of door terminology. That’s why we have rounded up all the essential information, into one handy guide. 

General Door Terms

• Sliding doors – open side to side on a track, can come in both single and double sliding designs.

• Swinging doors – swing open on a hinge. In-swing doors open into a building while out-swing doors open away. These can also come as a double swinging door.

• Folding doors – can come either as a single or bi-folding door and fold like an accordion.

• Side by side doors – Also known as double doors or French doors, these are two swinging doors hung side by side.

• The Slab – this is the part of the door unit that moves within the frame.

• Active or inactive – active doors are commonly in use, while inactive doors are usually locked and do not move.

• The r-value – this is the door’s resistance to heat flow and describes a doors insulation effectiveness. The higher the value the better the door’s resistance.

Door Frame Terms

The frame of a door is just as essential as the main slab which moves within it. Here are some terms that describe door frames:

• The casing – this is an aesthetic moulding that encases the opening.

• The jambs – the sides of the frame that attach to the door slab via hinges.

• The stop – this runs along the frame’s perimeter and stops your door from swinging too far.

• The threshold – also called the sill, this sits below where the door is hung

• Transoms – decorative glass panels above the door

• Sidelights – decorative glass panels to the side of the door

Swinging Doors Terms

Some specific parts and terminologies are specific to swinging doors, here are some common terms that you might come across:

• Glass inserts – these are slabs of glass inlaid into the door for decorative purposes.

• Panels – raised or recessed sections, also installed for decorative purposes.

• Rails – horizontal panels, however, there are different types depending on their location. The top is called the top rail, the bottom is called the bottom rail, while the lock rail runs where the lock is located.

• Stiles – the vertical panels on a door, similarly to rails, there are top, bottom and rail stiles.

• Weatherstripping – a foam strip that insulates against drafts.

• Lockset – the system that keeps your door locked.

• Right hanging or left hanging – refers to the side of the door that the hinges are on.

Sliding Doors Terms

Sliding doors are built differently to other doors, so they have a few unique parts that only apply to them:

• The sliding panel – the panel that moves.

• The fixed panel – the panel that stays in place.

• Tracks – the panels slide within a track. A lower track runs along the bottom and upper track on the top.

• The latch – the mechanism that unlocks the door.

Contact us today

FSE Special Purpose Doors are experts in all aspects of door manufacture and installation and have particular expertise in fire doorscustom fire doorssolid core doorsheritage door upgrades, acoustic doors, and radiation shielded doors. We supply and deliver fire doors to Sydney and throughout Australia. If you want like to learn more about fire door compliance – or about Special Purpose Fire Doors in general, you can find our products here. To book a quote, phone 1300 4 DOORS, or contact us.

Are you interested in learning more about special-purpose doors? Check out some of our other great blog posts: 

Fire doors: common questions and answers 

Smoke door regulations all building owners should know

Why choose a solid core door?