Hinged Doors

Hinged Doors


Door Types, Styles, Materials Hinged exterior doors usually open in one direction, swing on three or four side-mounted hinges, and usually open at least 90°. A single door consists of one door (leaf) mounted in a frame. A double door consists of two doors (leaves) mounted in one frame. One side of a double door is usually held in place with surface bolts or with bolts built into the door stile. Exterior hinged doors are made in standard sizes. Height is usually 80 inches. Widths are usually from 24 to 36 inches in 2 inch increments.

Hinged doors are usually constructed using natural or engineered wood or using metal as a skin with an insulating foam core. Doors constructed using fiberglass, vinyl, and composite materials are also available.

Many common hinged door styles exist including the flush (single) panel door, the raised-panel door (often six or eight panels), and doors containing various sizes and styles of glazing. A French door (casement door) is a hinged door that consists mostly of fixed glazing, usually divided into several (often nine or twelve) small pieces.

Less common door styles include the jalousie door (also seen as a window). This is a hinged door containing many horizontal panes of glazing that are opened and closed together with a crank. Jalousies are usually found in older homes in southern coastal areas. The Dutch door is a hinged door with a top leaf, and a bottom leaf, that open independently.

Two images side by side with the following caption underneath "Single door with sidelights and transom (left). Double door (French) with eyebrow transom (right).

Hinged Door and Frame Parts Hinged doors constructed from wood consist of parts including a top and bottom rail, a stile along each side, a vertical mullion (between panels, if any), and a lock rail near the center. Hinged doors made from other materials are often molded or routed to simulate stile and rail construction. Hinged doors usually have a sweep at the bottom to seal the area between the bottom rail and the threshold.

Hinged door frame parts consist of a header at the top, a hinge jamb on one side where the hinges are mounted, a strike jamb on the other side where the lock strike plate is mounted, and a sill at the bottom. A threshold is installed on top of the sill. An astragal (T-astragal) is attached to one side of a double door to seal the gap where the doors meet.

Diagram depicting door parts

Installation Exterior doors are usually installed in a framed rough opening consisting of a header supported by jack and king studs appropriate for the door size. The rough opening size is specified by the door manufacturer. The rough opening is larger than the door on the top and sides to provide room for the door frame, and to allow the door to be installed plumb and square in the opening. The door frame is installed in the rough opening, checked for plumb and square, shimmed as necessary, and fastened to the frame. There should be an even reveal (gap) between the door and the frame of about ⅛ inch on all sides. The door should remain in place when partially open. Doors that move when partially open (a condition sometimes called ghosting) may be improperly installed, or the framed opening may have shifted position.

Doors are usually attached to wood framing using 16d casing nails driven through the shims and elsewhere through the header and jambs as required for secure attachment. Extra nails may be installed around the hinges and the lock strike plate for additional support at those vulnerable points. When doors come with pre-installed molding, such as brick mold, nails are also driven through the molding. Special attachment requirements may apply in high wind areas. Door manufacturers may have specific installation instructions including instructions for flashing around the door.

Threshold installation and sill installation are important for door operation and for sealing against the elements. The threshold and sill should be fully and firmly supported. Thresholds and sills that extend past the support may deform or break. Pan flashing and a generous bead of sealant should be installed under the sill to reduce water infiltration. This step is frequently omitted.

Doors should be flashed according to the door manufacturer’s instructions. Absent instructions, doors should be flashed using properly installed header, jamb, and pan flashing that is integrated with the water-resistive barrier. Improper door flashing is common in buildings of all ages and is a common point for water infiltration. See the flashing section for details about proper door flashing.

Locks, Hardware, Accessories A hinge plate is mounted on the door and on the frame jamb, usually in a recessed mortise. A pin connects the two plates and allows the door to swing. A pick-proof hinge is one that has caps on the top and bottom that prevent removal of the hinge pin. These hinges are recommended on doors that swing out to prevent removing the door by removing the hinge pins.

A door lock (entry lock) restricts entry through the door from the exterior by requiring a key or a combination to open the lock. A door lock is operated using a knob or handle. A dead-bolt lock is a higher security lock that inserts a solid bolt into a reinforced strike plate and (ideally) into the strike jamb. A double-cylinder deadbolt requires a key to operate from both door sides. A single- cylinder deadbolt requires a key to operate from the exterior and uses a knob on the interior.

A kickplate (often a thin piece of brass) is sometimes installed on the bottom rail to reduce damage. Kickplates sometimes conceal damage to the bottom rail.

Most doors have some type of weather stripping that seals between the top and sides of the door and frame. Most doors also have a threshold and a sweep that seals at the bottom of the door.