Stile and Rail Doors: What you need to know

What exactly is a Stile and Rail door?
What's the correct terminology for the different members and what choices are available within a stile and rail door?


When designing, specifying, estimating, or ordering stile and rail wood doors, it is helpful to have a thorough understanding of the member definitions. What is a mullion or a muntin? What is the difference between sticking and bead? What about the panel options - which is more costly? This post will answer those questions and more.

First, let’s begin with the basics:

Stiles are the upright or vertical outside members of a door, which at Eggers is a veneered construction.

Sticking holds the panels and/or glass in place. We offer four standard profiles for customers to choose from and custom profiles upon request. Sticking and bead are two different things. Sticking is a fixed to the stiles and rails whereas bead is loose.
Bead is used in place of sticking on one or both sides of the panel of glass.

Rails are the cross or horizontal members of the door and they include the bottom rail, top rail, lock rail and intermediate rail. Lock rails are also known as cross-rails.

Panels are made of solid wood, plywood, or composite material and they fill the frame formed by the stiles and rails of a door. Eggers offers three panel types:

  • Raised Panel
  • Membrane-pressed Panel
  • Flat Panel


are the upright or vertical members of a door which are used to separate panels.

Muntins are a short bar, either horizontal or vertical, used to separate glass, extending from a bar to a stile, rail, or another muntin.

A few things to remember regarding stile and rail wood doors:

  • Eggers' standard stile & rail construction requires minimum stile dimensions to be 5" if the door is over 1’9" wide and 2-1/2" if the door is under 1’9" wide. Min 6" stiles are required when machining for mortise locks. Min 5" required for top rail, 8" for bottom rail (non-rated doors) and 8-3/4" (fire-rated doors). Eggers' standard construction is to use a 10" bottom rail as this complies with ADA requirements.
  • Fire-rated stile and rail doors are available with many configurations available with up to a 90-minute label.
  • FSC® certified and no urea-formaldehyde requirements are available with stile and rail doors.
  • Eggers' stile and rail doors are available with acoustical ratings up to STC 40 with lite openings up to 1,296 square inches.
  • Pair matching is not available on stile and rail doors, all pairs will be pleasing match.
  • Creativity has no limit with the classic stile and rail door. Here are our standard door and sidelite patterns. Custom designs, however, are our specialty.

Last updated on April 16, 2018

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