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A Glossary Of Terms Related to Home Entry Doors

You want to welcome your family and friends into your home with a door that not only looks beautiful, but keeps your home safe and protected. Whether you’re looking to increase curb appeal, reduce energy costs or bump up your home security, Champion offers a wide variety of colors, styles and glass options to match whatever door fits your home best. We custom manufacture, install, service and guarantee each and every entry door—which means you get the door you deserve, in a style you love.

Like any important part of your home, the more you know, the better equipped you are to get what fits best. So we’ve put together some key terms related to doors and door performance to help you make the best decision on new doors for your home.


Active - This refers to the operable unit of a door, whether that be a leaf, sidelight or hardware.

Adjustable Hinges - With these, you can easily adjust your door to achieve a tight fit against the weather seal for better energy efficiency. Standard on all Champion steel doors.

Air Infiltration - The unwanted passage of air through a door system.

Astragal - This is the vertical molding that closes the clearance gap between a set of double doors when they are closed. It contains the weather-strip.


Brickmold - also Brickmould - Molding used to trim the outside edge of a door frame. It is often applied to pre-hung door units.


Casing - Horizontal or vertical molding that covers the seam between the jamb and surrounding interior walls.

Caulking - Sealant that is used in joints to protect against air and water leakage.

Clad - To cover the door with an insulating layer to protect against weather and provide a finished appearance. Cladding may be painted metal, plastic, or a heavy coating applied by the manufacturer.


Deadbolt - Latch used to secure a door. The latch is driven from the door into a receiver in the jamb or frame.

Doorlite - This refers to the assembly of the frame and glass panel together. When fitted to a door in a formed or cut-out hole, it creates a door with a glass opening.



Finger Joint - A way of joining short sections of board stock together to make longer stock. Champion uses this method for jambs that are >7 1⁄4” in depth to offer the best fit and integrity for your new door.

Fire Door - Door constructed and tested to contain the spread of fire from one room to another. Fire doors are listed and labeled to show their ratings in terms of time, i.e. 20-Minute, 90-Minute, etc.

Frame - The parts that enclose a door sash. They are attached to the wood members lining the rough opening. Vertical frame members are called “side jambs,” while the horizontal piece above the door sash is called “head jamb.” The bottom horizontal member is referred to as the “sill.”



Handing - also Hinging - Describes the direction in which a door swings when opening. Champion’s handing is from your perspective: Inside Looking Out (ISLO).

Hinge - An assembly of metal plates with a cylindrical metal pin. When fastened to both the door edge and door frame, the hinge allows the door to swing or rotate in its frame.


IG Unit - also Insulated Glass - This refers to a unit of insulated glass. IG units improve thermal performance, protecting you against the elements.

Inactive - Refers to a door panel that is fixed in its frame. Inactive door panels are not operable.

Insulated Glass - An assembly made from 2 pieces of glass, separated by a perimeter spacer and sealed as a unit. Insulated glass in residential doors is usually made with two thickness of 1/8 inch tempered glass, separated by airspace up to 3⁄4 inches thick.

Inswing - Term used to describe an exterior entry door unit. When the hinged door panel is opened, the panel swings into the building.


Jamb - The vertical part of the door frame. It includes the perimeter members at the top and sides where the door is hinged and latched.



Latch - A moveable pin or bolt that is part of a lock mechanism. It engages a socket or clip on a door jamb and holds the door closed.

Lite - An assembly of glass and a surrounding lite frame. It is either added to the door on installation or is integrally built into the door at the factory.

Lite Frame - Frames in the glass.

Low-E Glass - Glass that’s been factory coated with a thin layer of material that absorbs and reflects heat and light energy.


Miter - An angled cut across the end of a lineal part, usually done to join with a similarly-cut part at a corner.

Mull - Describes the joining of two door units together or the joining of a door to a sidelite unit.

Mulled - Describes a door and sidelite unit that have been made up by edge-joining two framed units together.

Mullion - A post or divider that runs from sill to head jamb in a door system. In stile and rail doors, mullion is the vertical wood parts that separates panels.

Muntins - also Grids - Thin, vertical and horizontal divider bars that give the glass a multi-panel look. Muntins may be part of the lite frame, on the outside surface of the glass, or assembled between glass in insulated glass units referred to as GBG (Grids Between Glass).


NFRC - This acronym stands for National Fenestration Ratings Council, an industry association that sets standards for testing, rating and labeling doors and windows with heat transmissions and energy information.


Outswing - An exterior door assembly in which the door panel swings outside the building.


Passive - In a double or two-panel door assembly, the door that remains closed and fixed by bolts at top and bottom. The other door panel is used for regular passage.

PVC - also polyvinyl chloride - Plastic material used to make molded or extruded parts.


Riser - Describes the part of an adjustable bottom sill plate that can be moved up or down simply by turning adjusting screws allowing a custom fit for your door.

Rough Opening - The structural opening in a wall where a door unit is placed.


Safety Glass - also Tempered Glass - Glass that has been strengthened by heat processing. When broken, safety glass shatters into small pieces without sharp edges.

Sidelite - Fixed narrow panel that is installed next to a door panel for decorative purposes. Sidelites almost always contain glass.

Strike - A metal part with a hole for receiving a door latch, also with a curved or ramped face so a spring-loaded latch contacts it when closing. Strikes are fitted into mortises in door jambs and screw-fastened.

Style - A number or name defining a door design or configuration.


Tempered Glass - see also Safety Glass - Glass that has been strengthened by heat processing. When broken, tempered glass shatters into small pieces without sharp edges.

Threshold - The horizontal transition piece fixed under the door and bearing on the floor.

Transom - A framed glass assembly mounted atop the door. Transoms are rectangular in shape or have curved or arched tops.


U-Value - This number describes the ability of something (like a particular material or construction) to transmit heat from outside to inside surfaces. Lower U-values transmit less heat than those with higher values.

Urethane - Plastic material composed of two reacting polymers. It’s used as a top coat on doors to protect the finish.



Water Penetration - The unwanted passage of water through a door system.




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