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Glossary of Terms

Every industry has a unique set of vocabulary used to describe its catalog of products and custom features. This doors and countertops glossary compiles the most common terms you will hear as you shop for doors and countertops, from at-home projects to industrial and corporate projects.

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Acacia – Acacia wood is a species of wood that is known for its natural wood grain variation and distinct beauty.

Acoustical Rating – Acoustical rating refers to the various levels of sound resistance or STC rating available in doors. Sound resistance provides added privacy by reducing the amount of noise transmitted.

Active Door – In paired doors, it is the one that has a lock and swings freely; the inactive door has the flush bolts.

Antimicrobial – Antimicrobial surfaces are engineered to inhibit the growth of stains, odor-causing bacteria, mold, and mildew on the surface. These surfaces are designed to be smooth, non-porous, and easy to clean with durable construction.

Astragals – An astragal is a piece of metal hardware applied to door pairs to seal the door properly when shut. Astragals help contain smoke or flames if a fire were to occur.


Barn door – A sliding door that moves along a track mounted to the face of a frame or wall.

Bead – Mitered strips of wood used to adhere the glass into doors (also known as a glazing bead or wood stop).

Bevel – An angled of cut on the stiles of a door (1/8” bevel is typical).

Bi-fold Door – A type of sliding door unit made from two hinged panels that fold as the door is slid sideways.

Blanks – Blanks are referred to as a straight, non-mitered countertop.

Bleed – A process whereby a substance such as natural wood resin permeates and stains the surface of the subsequent coating. 

Blister – A bubbled finish due to stain not being fully dried. 

Blueprint-Matched – Blueprint-matched panels and doors are an aesthetically pleasing method in which all components (walls, panels, doors, etc). in a space will achieve the same grain continuity.

Bore – To drill a hole.

Bottom Rail Blocking – A material used in place of part of a door core to provide improved screw holding or machining on the bottom several inches of a door.

Bow – A curvature along the length of the door; a deviation from a straight line drawn from top to bottom.

Build-Up Kit – A kit that includes blocks used to achieve extra drawer clearance.

Bullet Resistant Doors – Doors that are constructed to resist shots of varying caliber. There are varying levels of bullet resistance depending on specification.

Burl – A swirl or twist in the grain of wood, which usually occurs near a knot, but does not contain a knot. 

Butcher Block  – Butcher block is assembling strips (staves) of real wood to form a larger, solid consumer good such as countertops or chopping blocks.

Butt Joint – A joint formed when square edge surfaces meet perpendicularly. 


Center Match – Veneer components of equal size matched with a joint in the center of the panel to achieve symmetry.

Chain of Custody (COC) –  A tracking protocol for wood products from the point of harvest including all stages of processing, transformation, manufacturing, and distribution. This is used to verify compliance with the forest management organization’s guidelines.

Chatter – Lines appearing across the panel at right angles to the grain giving the appearance of one or more corrugations resulting from bad setting of sanding equipment. 

Clearance – The measurement between the edge of door and top/side jamb of frame, or between the bottom of door and top of finish floor/threshold. 

Concave – An outward curvature. 

Counterbore – To cut a hole that permits the head of a bolt or screw to lie below the surface of a piece of wood. 

Core – The innermost layer of a door.

Crossbanding – This is the natural or engineered wood applied to a door core for strengthening or face material benefits.

Crossrail or Middle Rail – The horizontal rail on a stile and rail door. Not all doors will have a cross rail.

Custom Grade – The middle or normal grade in both material and workmanship, and intended for high-quality, conventional work.

Cut Sheet – VT uses cut sheets to supply customers with the technical data regarding each door’s construction specifications.

Cylindrical Lock – A bored locking mechanism is usually contained within a cylindrical case, and actuated by a cylinder and/or a button in the knob.


Deadlock – A lock with a deadbolt only.

Delamination – The separation of layers of wood or other materials through failure at the adhesive joint. 

Delivery Date – The date by which doors should arrive at the jobsite. 

Door Closure – A device applied to a door and frame to enable the open door to shut.

Double Egress Door – A pair of swinging doors; each leaf swings in the opposite direction of the other door.

Dowel – A peg or a metal screw used to strengthen a wood joint.

Dutch Doors – Dutch doors are doors constructed to be split horizontally allowing for the top and bottom halves of the door to swing independently of one another. These are commonly seen in cafeterias, ticket booths, etc.


Economy Grade – The lowest Grade in both material and workmanship, and intended for areas where price outweighs quality considerations.

Edge Profile – The decorative “lip” on the front of the countertop that makes each countertop unique.

Edging – Wood or laminate that is applied to the vertical edges of a door.

Endcap Kit – An endcap is applied to the unfinished, exposed ends of the countertop. Endcaps not only provide a finished look, but they also help protect the countertops by keeping moisture out.

End Match – Matching between adjacent veneer leaves on a one-panel face. Veneer leaves are book-matched end to end as well as side to side.

Endsplash Kit – An endsplash is a backsplash for the end of the countertop where it meets the wall.

Elevation – An elevation is used to reference each unique door type. For example, a 1-panel door and a 2-panel door are two different elevations.

Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) – A credible document that verifies the product’s environmental lifecycle and impacts related to LEED.

Escutcheon – The metal lining of a keyhole or a protective plate that surrounds it. 

Exit Device – A type of lock typically used in hallways and exits for quick release.


Fabrication – Fabrication refers to any cuts made to the countertop in preparation for installation.

Facing – Plastic laminate or wood veneer that is applied to the core or crossbanding of a door; this is the visible surface of a door. 

False Louver – A non-vented louver designed for aesthetics and ensures privacy by not allowing air to flow in and out of louvers.

Figure – The natural pattern produced in wood veneer caused by annual growth rings, rays, knots, and natural deviations.

Fill – A repair made with color matching putty to fix a defect.

Finish – The final coating of paint or stain that is applied to the wood veneer faces to match the desired aesthetic.

Finger Joint – When the ends of two pieces of lumber are cut to an identically matching set used to increase the length of the board.

Fire Door – A specialty door that is comprised of an incombustible mineral core and other elements (i.e. intumescent or gasketing) designed to resist fire and smoke. 

Fire Door Assembly – Any combination of a fire door, frame, hardware, and other accessories that together provide a specific degree of fire protection to the opening. 

Fire Labels – Metal plates fastened to the hinge edge of the door to identify the fire rating. 

Fire-Rating – Fire-Rated doors and panels are constructed with intumescent cores to reduce the spread of both flames and smoke to allow time for guests to safely escape and fire rescue to arrive. The fire resistance levels are rated in the number of minutes the product has undergone vigorous testing to withstand. Levels include non-rated (0 minutes), 20-mins, 45-mins, 60-mins, and 90-mins).

Fixed Edge – A non-removable, vinyl edge on a Palladium door that provides additional protection in high-impact environments

Fixed Mullion – In a frame, this is a vertical piece of material that separates a pair of doors. A pair of doors with a fixed mullion between them will be quoted as two single doors. 

Fleck – A portion of a ray as it appears on the quartered or rift-cut surface; this is often a dominant appearance feature in oak.

Flitch – A flitch refers to pieces of wood cut from the same log.

Flush Door – A 3-ply, 5-ply, or 7-ply door whose faces are flat in design.

FSC Certified – A certification that requires meeting the highest standards set in place by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) in terms of sustainability and green manufacturing.

Full Height Blocking – A material used to supplement the door core to provide added screw holding, improved machining, or additional stiffness adjacent to one or both vertical edges of a door. It is most commonly used with concealed hardware or to increased strength. Full height blocking extends to the full height of the door.

Full Thickness Countertop – A countertop that is built up with a substate material to make the counter flush on the underside.

Full wrap – An edge profile design where the laminate wraps around the bottom of the countertop deck to allow for easy clean-up.


Glazing Beads – This is another term for wood stops.  They are mitered strips of wood that are used to hold the glass for a lite cut-out in place. 

Graining – A term used to describe the character of the wood.

GREENGUARD – An industry quality standard that certifies products emit low levels of formaldehyde.


Hand – An identification of the way in which direction a door will open. A “left-handed” door would have its hinges on the left-hand inside of a door opening into a room.

Hardware – Cut-outs made to receive actual hardware such as hinge plates and flush bolts.

Hardwoods – Common classification including all broad-leaved trees as opposed to the general category of the cone-bears, which constitute softwoods.  The hardness of texture of the wood itself has no bearing on the groupings (oak, birch, mahogany). 

Heartwood – The center, mature “dead” portion of the tree, usually darker in color in contrast to sapwood. 

Hevea – Hevea wood is a species of wood that is known for its dense characteristics and uniform grain design.

High-Pressure Decorative Laminate (HPDL) – A sheet of laminate that is produced using pressure to combinelayers of paper and resins into a single sheet to adhere d to doors, panels, and countertop surfaces

Hinge Edge – The edge of the door where the hinges are located.

Hinge Face – The facing side of a door corresponding to the hinge pin side. 


Inactive Leaf – In paired doors, an inactive lead is one that typically does not open and usually has a flush bolt.

Inlay – A surface decoration composed of small pieces of contrasting woods or other materials set flush within a wood surface.

Integrated backsplash – A seamless backsplash that is constructed as one with the countertop, not applied separately.

Intumescent – A thick, mineral that provides fire resistance. Intumescent is applied to the cores to create a fire-rated product. When heated it expands to fill voids to reduce airflow to high heat areas.

Island – A countertop whose width is larger than the standard countertop width, includes no backsplash, and includes edging on both long sides.


Laminate – High-pressure decorative material applied as a door face (also referred to as plastic). 

Lead-Lined – Process of adhering strips of lead to accessories to be used with lead doors. 

Lead-Lined Door – A specialty core that has layers constructed with a full sheet(s) of lead. These are often used in hospital x-ray rooms.

Left Miter – A countertop with a 45-degree angle on the left to allow the countertop to form a right(90 degree) angle when paired with a right miter.

Linear Foot – A linear foot is a length measurement equal to one foot. To find linear footage, you simply need to measure the length in feet. The term “linear” means a shape or movement in a straight line so linear foot measurement is a straight line measurement; width, height, or thickness measurements aren’t included. You would measure the length only of the area you want to cover.

Lite – A term used in the door industry to describe cutouts in a door for glass panels

Lock Block – A concealed block of material that is the same thickness as the door stile or core which is adjacent to the stile at a location corresponding to the lock location and into which a lock is fitted.

Lock Edge – The edge of the door where the door handle is located.

Louver – A panel consisting of blades that fits into a cut-out. Louvers come as both true and false louvers.


Mende Board – A layer of engineered particle board used as crossband material. 

Micrometer – A handheld gauge used to measure the thickness of material in fractions of millimeters or inches. 

Mineral Core – An incombustible core material used in fire doors.

Miter-Bolt Kit – A kit necessary for mitered countertops that includes the bolts to join the miters together.

Mortise – A cavity made to receive hardware.

Muntin or True Divided Lites (TDL) – These are strips of wood or metal on either side of a pane of glass that hold the pane of glass in place in a door.

Mullion – A Mullion is the vertical strip of wood in between panels

Moulding – Moulding is decorative detail surrounding panels, stiles, rails, and mullions.


Natural Variation – The term used to describe the differences in wood graining and color from piece to piece.

No-Drip Edge – An edge profile design that prevents moisture from dripping off the countertop surface. VT’s no-drip edge is Caprice


Ogee – An edge profile design that features flowing concave and convex arches and is typically more ornate than other edge options.


Pair – Two doors in a single opening are often called a pair.

Panels – Panels are the components inside of stiles and rails. Panels can be solid wood or glass and vary in size and shape. Doors will have a different number of panels depending on the elevation selected.  

Particleboard – Small wood particles that are bonded together with a synthetic resin to form sheets.

Pilot Holes – A small-diameter hole drilled prior to the insertion of a wood screw to act as a guide for a thread. 

Ply – A term referring to a layer of veneer in a piece of plywood. A 3-ply panel has three layers of veneer - the core and two faces, whereas a 5-ply has five layers of veneer - the core, 2 crossbanding, and 2 faces. 

Positive Pressure – Positive pressure refers to any fire rating applied to a door.

Post-Form Countertop – A post-form countertop is a countertop where it is manufactured by highly automated machines to be cut and formed into a single seamless surface with a rolled front edge. Post-form laminate countertops are available with both an integrated backsplash and without.

Primer – The initial coating of paint that preps the door for the selected finish or paint color.

Premium Grade – The highest grade available in both material and workmanship intended for the finest work.

Press – Machine that uses heat, pressure, and glue to apply crossband materials and face materials, or edge materials to the underlayer. Press can be either a hot press or cold press. 


Rabbet – A stepped recess along the vertical or horizontal door edge. 

Rail – Each stile and rail door has two rails, a bottom rail, and a top rail. These are the horizontal components that make up a door. As the names suggest a bottom rail sits at the very bottom of the door, whereas the top rail is the uppermost part of the door. Many bottom rails are required to be ADA compliant which means the height of the bottom rail needs to be 10 inches or greater.

Reface Door – A door that is repaired by putting a new skin of veneer or laminate on it. 

Remake Door – A door that must be remade due to damage, incorrect detailing, faulty fabrication, or failure under warranty. 

Removable Edge – An edge specific to our Palladium door line that allows the replacement of damaged door edges without replacing the entire door.

Reveals – A decorative element that is achieved by creating precise, shallow channels or grooves in the face of a door.

Right Miter – A countertop with a 45-degree angle on the right to allow the countertop to form a 90 degree angle when paired with a left miter.

Rift Cut Veneer –  A veneer in which the rift or comb grain effect is obtained by cutting at an angle of about 15 degrees off of the quartered position. 25% of the exposed surface area of each piece of veneer may contain medullary ray flake.

Rotary Cut Veneer – A veneer in which the entire log is centered in a lathe and is turned against a broad cutting knife that is set into the log at a slight angle.


Sapwood – The living portion of a tree, usually lighter in color than heartwood. 

Single – One door in an opening is often called a single.

Sketch Face – An application in which a custom design is made from combining different veneers or laminates to achieve a specific aesthetic.

Sound / Acoustical / STC Door – A specialty door that consists of composite sound core material. 

Stave – A stave refers to the “planks” that comprise a butcher block surface.

Straight Countertop – A standard countertop that does not include miters.

Stylus – A 5 ply flush door construction that offers a cost-effective alternative appearance of a stile and rail door.

Stave Core – A type of wood core made from wood planks.

Sticking – Sticking refers to the selected profile that is machined into door components to achieve a specific aesthetic.

Stile – A stile is the vertical component on the outside edges of a door assembly. There are two stiles on every door, one on the left side of the door and one on the right side.

Stop Face – The facing side of a door that would rest against the door stop. This is the narrower side of a beveled door. 

Surface Applied Moulding – Surface applied moulding is decorative detail that is applied to the face of the door.

STC Rating – A STC rating, or Sound Transmission Class rating refers to the various levels of sound resistance, or acoustical performance available. The higher the STC rating the more sound resistant the product is.

Swing – Reference to the hinge orientation of a door; may be left-hand (LH), right-hand (RH), left-hand reverse (LHR), or right-hand reverse (RHR).

Technofire – A .025” strip of material which expands to twenty-five times its thickness when exposed to temperatures of 250-300 F. Used to seal off the gap between Dutch door leaves, the edge of the door and the frame (as an astragal or for positive pressure doors). 


Timber Strand – “Engineered” wood made of striated strands of wood; primarily used to make stiles and rails.  Timber Strand is used as an inner core for certain door types. 

Tempered Glass – Safety glass that undergoes a special process designed to break in tiny fragments of glass rather than sharp shards of glass.

Template Hardware –Hardware that is made to match the master template drawing of holes and dimensions.

Top Rail Blocking – A material used in place of part of a door core to provide screw holding or improved machining at the top several inches of a door. It is most commonly for screw attachment of closer hardware.

Transom – A transom is a horizontal bar that separates a door from a window. A transom lite/window typically sits above a door.

True Louver – A vented louver designed to allow air to flow in and out of louvers.


Undercut – The measurement between the bottom of the door and the bottom of the frame or concrete floor prior to finish flooring/threshold. 


Veneer – A thin slice of wood that is adhered to doors and panels

Vision Panels – These are metal frames that are used for holding the glass in lite cut-outs.

VOC – VOCs are volatile organic compounds that have high vapor pressure and are commonly found in paints, stains, etc. Products with low VOCs are important in reducing potentially dangerous gases.


Warp – Is any distortion in the plane of the door itself and not its relationship to the frame or jamb in which it is to be hung. The term warp includes bow, cup, and twist. 

Waterfall Edge – A countertop edge profile design where the laminate gently flows over the edge of the countertop, providing a simple, clean design. 

WDMA Duty Rating – A set of standard testing and performance requirements outlined by the Window and Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA).

Wicket Doors – A wicket door is a smaller door built into a larger door or wall.

Wood Jambs – The structural components that surround the door, also known as door jambs.

Wood Stops – Mitered strips of wood that are used to hold the glass for a lite cut-out in