How to speak ‘door’

There's more to it than knobs and hinges
Published on Jul 2, 2010

A door seems like a simple enough thing. Yet visit your local door showroom, and you may think the salesperson is speaking a foreign language. In a way, he is: It's the arcane terminology of doors. Most of us are familiar with that old residential standby, the hinged door. But other doors have less obvious names. The ones that slide into a hollow space in the wall are called pocket doors (not, as you might think, sliding doors).Paired doors that slide past each other -- often used for closets -- aren't called sliding doors either; they're called bypassing doors. As a matter of fact, the only sliding door that's actually called a sliding door is the glass kind that leads out to your patio. Each individual door is called a leaf. Hence double doors are said to have two leaves; with the one that's usually opened being called the active leaf. Those narrow pairs of doors that are hinged together in the middle -- also common for closets -- are called bifold doors. Doors that are ...