Glossary of Terms

Learn the glossary of terms and phrases of our industry

ASTRAGAL OR T-ASTRAGAL: A vertical trim piece sometimes with integrated weather strip that bridges the gap between two door panels, providing aesthetic as well as functional protection from weather.

BALL-BEARING HINGES: Hinges with ball-bearings inside for smooth operation.

BEVELED GLASS: Extra-thick glass, (usually 3/16″ or 1/4″) the edges of which have been ground down, or beveled, at an angle from an established margin along the perimeter. One face of the glass is beveled, and the other remains flat. Beveled glass has a three-dimensional quality.

BI-FOLD PATIO DOOR SYSTEMS: These top hung patio doors are great for opening a large wall. Configured in countless ways, the doors sit shoulder to shoulder when closed, and when opening, slide through a track and fold toward each other, “accordion style.” Available in all wood or aluminum clad in more than 18 wood species, these doors are convenient, multi-functional and beautiful.

CAME: The lead strips which separate individual pieces of glass in a leaded glass panel. Came in Art Glass Etc., Inc. entry doors is available in either lead color, shiny brass or chrome-look.

CASING: A decorative strip of wood with mitered corners, which is nailed to the interior and exterior edges of a door or window frame to cover the joint between frame and wall.

DUAL GLAZED: Also called Insulated Glass. The most common glass option for windows and patio doors in which two pieces of glass (often with energy saving films applied) separated by a peripheral metal spacer and sealed on the edges with rubber, are glazed into the sash opening. The dead air-space between each piece of glass increases sound-absorption and energy efficiency.

GLAZING: A general term referring to any type of glass installed in a door or window.

JAMB: The frame which is fastened into the rough opening of a structure, to which a door or window sash is hinged or otherwise attached.

LIFT AND SLIDE PATIO DOOR SYSTEMS: These European-style sliding patio doors are a creative way to open an entire wall of a house with ease. High-tech hardware with a rotating handle engages the wheels and allows the massive doors to slide with a gentle push. Lift and Slide doors are 2-1/4″ thick and can be pocketed into walls. They are available in any wood species.

MORTISE & TENON CONSTRUCTION: A centuries-old method of locking wood together involving the cutting of a mortise, or hole in one piece of wood and the formation of a tenon, or projecting part on another. The pieces are then fit tightly together to form a secure bond between the two components.

MOULDING or MOLDING: A decorative trim piece usually made of wood, which serves a dual function, to hold in place a wood panel or piece of glass in a door and, in the case of raised moulding, to add a three-dimensional quality to the surface of the door.

MULTI-SLIDE PATIO DOOR SYSTEMS: This is a sliding door system with more than two doors sliding past each other. They differ from lift and slides in that the rollers in the doors are always activated, so no lever actuation is required to begin sliding the doors of a multi-slide unit. These doors can be pocketed into walls.

PANEL: Refers to either a piece of glass (glass panel) fit into an opening in a wood door, or to a wooden piece (a shaped wood panel) inserted into an opening in a wood door. Sometimes this term is used generically—“door panel” to refer to the individual doors in a patio opening.

POCKET DOORS: Doors that slide into a pocket, or cavity framed into the wall. Pocketing doors can be used for interior or exterior openings. They require additional framing and space planning, but have the added benefit of “disappearing” into the wall and leaving the entire opening unobscured.

PREFINISHED: Door or window products, which are professionally stained and clear-coated before delivery to the sash & door dealer. Also known as a factory finish.

PREHUNG OR PREHANGING: A term which applies to an entry or French door unit in which the door or doors come hinged, weather-stripped and with a complete jamb or frame, sill and casing.

SIDELITES: Side panels, which look like narrow doors and flank the entry door or primary French doors. Sidelites usually have glass, and can be fixed or operable. The design of the sidelites and the glass they contain generally reflects the design of the door or doors they are paired with.

SILL: The bottom horizontal component of a door frame. It is the part one walks over when passing through a doorway, sometimes called a threshold. Sills are available in a variety of materials such as oak and aluminum.

SLIDER: A sliding French patio door made up of one fixed door and one active door that slides in front of the fixed door. In larger openings, there might be fixed doors on the outer edges of the opening with sliding doors that met in the center. Designed as a replacement for standard sliding aluminum patio doors found in many post World War II homes, these door systems save space inside the home or out on the patio because the doors do not swing outward or inward.

STICKING: Strips of wood or other material with 45 degree-mitered ends, nailed into the glass opening of a French door to hold in the glass. Sticking can have square, beveled, Ovalo or Ogee details along the edge.

STILES & RAILS: The vertical and horizontal structural members of a door or window sash.

SWINGSET: An industry term for a swinging French patio door or doors. This is a set of one or more hinged French doors in a frame.

TEMPERED GLASS: Glass which has been heated, then cooled, creating a “safety” glass which when broken, shatters into very small pieces with blunt edges instead of long shards.

TRANSOM: A fixed sash unit, rectangular or radius, framed in wood and/or aluminum cladding, that is placed above a doorway to allow light into an entry or room. The glass design in the transom generally reflects the design in the doors and sidelites below.

TRIPLE GLAZE: A glazing method used in entry doors with leaded glass panels. The leaded glass panel is sandwiched between two pieces of clear tempered glass separated by metal spacers along the perimeter. The outer edge of this unit is then sealed with rubber, to create a fully sealed glass unit with an overall thickness of 7/8″. Benefits: reduction in sound transfer, energy efficiency, easy cleaning.