Home » Your Guide to Steel Door Parts and Specifications: Know What You’re Buying

Your Guide to Steel Door Parts and Specifications: Know What You’re Buying

Knowing the different parts of a steel door can be beneficial for many situations. If there’s a problem with your door that you need a professional to fix, it will be considerably easier to explain the situation to them when you know what exactly the issue is. When you’re buying a new door, understanding the different parts and specifications will allow you to make an informed choice on which door to get for your home. A quick read of this article will teach you all the basic steel door terminology you could ever need when purchasing a new door or discussing your door’s maintenance.


Steel Door Parts

Many parts make up a steel door. Some of these are foundational to the structure of your door, while others are meant to be customized to make your door look and perform the way you prefer.


The Foundational Parts


Photo from Bighorn Iron Doors specs page

The most essential and prominent part of the door is the slab itself. This is what you would generally imagine for the door: it’s the portion that you would open and close to access the rooms of your home. The slab on its own isn’t connected to a frame and wouldn’t have any hardware, such as the doorknob, attached to it.

Another crucial element to the door is the door frame. This is the section that gets attached to the opening in your home and is the part that the door slab gets hung onto. The frame itself is made up of a few different sections. The vertical sides of the frame are called the door jamb. The top horizontal section is referred to as the head jamb, while the bottom section of the frame is called both the sill and the threshold. The threshold is welded to the jamb on a steel door, making it highly durable to hold up against the foot traffic it receives.

For double doors, the frame can contain one extra piece — the astragal. This is the thin vertical section in the center of the doorway. The astragal is in place to seal any gaps and prevent the leak of air, water, heat, or sound.


Additional Parts and Hardware


Photo from Bighorn Iron Doors product page

The additional parts and hardware are the pieces that get added onto either the door slab or the door frame to make the door actually function. The most obvious of these are the key lock and the handle. Both these items are highly customizable options. You can choose between many different lock types, such as traditional deadbolts or more modern smart locking mechanisms. With the handle, you have the choice of pull handles or doorknobs and have a wide array of designs to select from.

If you choose to have a pull handle, your door will also come with a roller catch. The roller catch keeps the door closed when not locked and prevents doors from being blown open in the wind. 

If you choose to purchase a double door, you’ll also find flush bolts installed into the sides of your door. A flush bolt is a locking mechanism used to secure double doors in place by extending bolts into the top and bottom of the door frame.

There will also be a strike plate installed on the door jamb. This is a small metal plate that a deadbolt can pass through to keep the door in place and the lock secure.

Finally, there’s also a door sweep that gets attached to the bottom of the door slab. The door sweep closes any gaps between the door slab and frame, preventing any leaks into the home.


Optional Additions


Photo from Bighorn Iron Doors specs page

There are a few parts of your door that you can have installed if you want, but they aren’t necessary to make your door function well. One of these is hinged glass. Instead of having an immobile glass panel on the door slab, you can choose for it to be hinged. This will allow you to open the glass panel whenever you want, making it possible to create airflow through the door. Cleaning the glass on your door is also much easier when it’s hinged.

You can also choose to add a transom or sidelights. These are additional decorative glass panels installed around the outside of the door frame. A transom is a decorative panel above the door frame, while the sidelights are the panels on either side of the frame.


Steel Door Specifications

You can request certain specifications when ordering a custom steel door. Some of these will affect the functionality of your door, while others are purely aesthetic. Understanding the different steel door specifications will help you order the perfect door for your home.



You can choose two specifications that will affect the functionality of your door: whether it’s thermally broken and the wing of your door.


Image from Bighorn Iron Doors specs page

A thermally broken door is essentially a well-insulated one. Because heat can travel through metal fairly easily, metal doors that aren’t thermally broken wouldn’t make great barriers between your home and the outside. Adding a thermal break in the door makes it much more resistant to heat travel between your home and the outside. This means a thermally broken door will be able to keep your home cool during hot Texas summers while keeping you warm in the winter.


Screenshot from Bighorn Iron Doors custom order page

When deciding the swing of your door, you can choose to have an inswing or an outswing door. An inswing door will open into your home, while an outswing door will open away from your home. While this may seem like a negligible difference, each type does have its own advantage. For example, if you live somewhere cold where snow tends to pile up in the winter, the inswing door is likely the better option for you. Because it swings into the home, you never need to worry about not being capable of opening the door when there’s snow on the ground. 

On the other hand, if you’re not worried about snow, outswing doors may be your preference. In places like Texas, where snow isn’t a big concern, but dangerous winds are, the security offered by outswing doors is hugely beneficial.




Screenshot from Bighorn Iron Doors specs page

You’re also able to choose your door’s finish, which is the color it will be in the end, and the type of glass in your door. These are both essentially aesthetic choices, but there are a couple of other considerations for the glass. Instead of choosing something solely because you enjoy the way it looks, you can pick out glass based on how much privacy it will provide. Different types of glass produce different levels of privacy, ranging from not private at all to completely private.

Custom Order Your Steel Door from Bighorn Iron Doors

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At Bighorn Iron Doors, we create custom-made doors with all the specifications required to make them the perfect choice for your home. With how diverse they are in style, you’re sure to find a steel door design you love, created with all the functionality you need. Get in touch with our helpful team by calling us at (833) 811-7199 or filling out our online form to learn more about steel doors and how you can order your very own custom door.

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