Everything you need to know about doors for your home

Though doors are one of the most commonly purchased home improvement products, most consumers have a very incomplete understanding of them. Informed shoppers make better decisions, so it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the lesser-known technical aspects of interior doors so you're more confident when it comes time to make a decision.

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Know Your Door Lingo

Having a working knowledge of the different parts of a door helps you communicate your needs and preferences more effectively when you're shopping. If you plan to install your doors as a do-it-yourself project, knowing technical terminology will make it easier for you to get help if you encounter any difficulty.

The framing around a door is technically called jamb, and is divided into the upper jamb and the side jamb. If you're installing the door yourself, you need to take very precise measurements of the width, height and depth to ensure that the jamb doesn't overlap with the actual door.

If the door you like has a glass body framed with wood, the glass is technically called glazing and comes in varying degrees of transparency. A metal base that spans the floor or ground across the base of the door is known as a sill, and these can also be angled to make for easier entry.

Common Types of Interior Doors

Glass doors and interior wood doors are available in many distinctive styles. Here are some of the most popular types:

  • Bifold doors. Typically used for closet doors or pantries, bifold doors are, as the name suggests, doors that fold in the middle when open. Both halves of a bifold door fold to one side, and they don't take up a lot of space when they're open.
  • Cafe doors. To add accentuation to living and recreation areas, cafe doors make a stylish choice. Cafe doors don't span the entire length of the door frame and are separated into two halves, which swing open independently of each other.
  • Solid core interior doors. Offering superior durability and sound protection, solid core interior doors make a good choice for bedrooms.
  • Hollow core doors. More economical and easier to install, hollow core doors are lighter and more convenient alternatives to solid core interior doors.