door jamb vs door frame

Door Jamb Vs. Door Frame – Where Is the Real Difference?

Ever noticed how many of the new carpenters refer to door jamb as a frame? Have you ever found yourself making the same mistake? Well, if you have, you might have found yourself not being able to describe the materials you require when you are working with these components of the door.

What if we told you both of them are different? Yes, both of them are important components of the door. But there is a difference that separates both. And in this article regarding door jamb vs. door frame, we will describe precisely what makes both of these components different. So, stick till the end!

Door Frame Vs. Door Jamb

Among all of the door parts, the door frame is probably the most important one. Without it, the door would not function. It would basically fall onto the floor. However, is a door jamb and frame the same thing? In short, no! They are entirely different. But how? Let us explain.

Door Jamb

In true essence, the door jambs would be the flat surface that runs vertically upward. All side of the door frame has it. Like the frame, the jambs are vital to keeping a door functional.

It is the place where the mounting hinges, door handles, and strike plate will be placed. And without hinges, it will be pretty much impossible to hang a door.

Door Frame

While door jambs are a single piece, the frame consists of many parts. Door frames would have head jambs, side jambs, mulls, and others. Most often, the residential door frames will be made of wood. However, you can exterior doors using door jambs of aluminum, fiberglass, and other composite elements.

What Makes Door Frames and Door Jambs Different?

First, you need to take a look at the horizontal and other components of the frame. Let us take a closer look at each of them:

  • Head Jamb

The head jamb is the horizontal component of the window or door frames. Its placement is on the top.

  • Side Jamb

Side jambs are the vertical components of the frames. It will be on each side of the frames. That means every other side would consist of side jambs. On that note, the side jambs are the important components of the door casing that will be fastened to the framing or wall using nails or screws.

  • Mullion

Otherwise known as mull, it is the seam that is between frames of two units of doors or windows. Usually, the seam would be hidden with door trim. Sometimes, you will also find decorative trim mounted to the standard-sized doors.

  • Door Sill

The sill would be at the very bottom of the door. No, we are not talking about the weather stripping. Those are to create an airtight seal. That said, a door sill is the horizontal section of the frames of the doors.

And it will sit beneath the doors. Usually, the sills would be present on the external doors because they help water to drain off.

  • Frame Stop

The door stops and door stop of the frame is not the same thing. Both the door stops and the frame door stop do the same primary job, that is, to prevent the doors from swinging forward and backward like saloon doors, and eventually, they would hit the wall.

What makes door stops different? The door stops are exterior pieces that you would have to install separately. And unlike door stops, a frame door stop would be a thin strip of wood that would run all around the entire structure. But both save the doors from hitting the wall.

  • Casing

Otherwise known as a door lining, the casing is a set that contains sill and top jambs. A door lining would hang on the door, and it will provide you casing to remove the gap that is in between the wall and the frames.

  • Architrave

The architrave is also known as jamb casing. And it is a decorative wooden piece that will surround the frames. An architrave would be generally used when there is a requirement to hide any of the working parts of the doors.

  • Weather Stripping

You will notice exterior doors having a door sweep on the bottom. It would generally make contact with the floor and make a tight seal.

The strip will restrict the air from passing underneath the doors. As a result, the inside of the doors will be somewhat airtight. Also, the temperature of the house would be left unchanged even if the temperature of the outside changes gradually.

As you can see, a door jamb consists of different components. It is not just a single piece of wood attached to the wall. Without these components, the doors would not function properly. In fact, if any of these is not included with the structure and the doors are installed, they will not attach to the door latch.

However, if you take a look at the door jambs of doors, they will not consist of any components. Instead, it will be of a single piece on its own. And this is the main difference that lies between door jambs and frames.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Are weather seals essential for interior doors?

Not really. The weather seals come into play when you want to restrict the air from passing underneath the outside doors.

  • Can you replace just the door jambs?

Door jambs can get damaged overtime. And it is indeed possible to change the door jambs on their own. You will not have to work with the entire structure.

  • Do all doors have door jambs?

Yes, without door jambs, the door would not function. They are one of the essential parts of functional doors.

  • Should the frame of the doors be made of wooden materials?

There are fiberglass, aluminum, and other materials option available. It does not always have to be wooden. And if you are worried about durability, you can fix that by learning how to reinforce a door frame.

  • Are aluminum doors better than wooden doors?

In terms of durability, they are better. However, you can make a wooden door more secure by learning how to secure a door from the inside.

Final Words

To conclude, in terms of door jamb vs. door frame, they are not the same thing. One is a surface that will run vertically on both sides of the doors, while the other consists of loads of different parts.

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