There are quite a few components to a door, many of them unknown to most people. A basic hinged panel door with a handle, as is commonly found in many homes, consists of the following:
Parts of a standard hinged door
Rails – The rails are the horizontal crosspieces which hold the door panels in place. The centre rail is called the lock rail and is usually thicker than the other rails.
Stiles – The stiles are the vertical crosspieces which hold the door panels in place. The centre stile is called the muntin.
Panels – These form the main body of the door, filling the spaces between the rails and the stiles.
Lites – These are small windows usually located at the top of the door to allow light in.
Hinges – Attached to one side of the door, these allow for the door to swing open and closed.
Handle – Attached to the opposite side of the door to the hinges, the handle allows the door to be secured when closed and opened only by using the handle.
Kick plate – If one is attached, this is located across the bottom third of the door.
Transom - This is a bar of wood (or stone, or another material) that runs across the top of the door frame.
Fanlight - This is a small window (or window-like opening) that features above the transom. Fanlights are useful both for allowing daylight in, and helping with ventilation.
Different parts of a lock
The lock itself will also have a number of common components.
Lock – The internal component of the lock consisting of the tumblers, pins and barrel.
Key- Used to align the pins with the tumblers to allow the barrel to rotate and release the lock.
Bolt or dead latch – This is the part of the lock that inserts into the mortise to secure the door. This retracts when the door is unlocked to allow it to open.
Knob – This is a snib attached to the lock on the reverse side which allows the door to be locked and unlocked manually without a key from the inside.
Strike plate – This is the metal plate that the latch hits when the door closes.
Mortice – The hole drilled into the frame through the strike plate which holds the latch when the door is closed.
Parts of a sliding door
Sliding doors have different components to hinged doors and will have separate installation requirements. Some of the components are as follows.
Rails or tracks – These are what allow the door to slide open and closed.
Rollers – Attached to the hangers, these slide along the rails to open and close the door.
Hangers – These are attached to the door and connect the door with the rollers.
Stopper – These sit at the ends of the rails to stop the door from continuing to slide right off.