Creating A Weather-Tight Threshold

Importance of a Weather-Tight Threshold

[mantra-multi][mantra-column width=”1/2″]The threshold is the wood or metal hump on the floor beneath the bottom of door. The area under the door is treated differently to close the gap than the sides and top of door. Click for information about weatherstripping and how to install. It is important to keep the weather outside not only to keep your home warm in winter but also to keep it cold in summer. Another benefit for sealing the threshold is to keep unwanted pests out.[/mantra-column][/mantra-multi]

Properly Sealed ThresholdThere are various types of systems to seal the gap. Most metal types feature a flexible vinyl insert that creates a tight seal when the door closes against it. A good system consist of one unit on the floor and a mating piece on the bottom of the door. These two pieces interlock to form a weather-tight barrier.

In most cases, the threshold with a flexible vinyl insert is the easiest to install. Interlock systems are quite effective when properly installed, but they require a perfect fit or they will not work satisfactorily.

Wooden thresholds must be replaced once in a while due to wear and tear. Replacing the threshold is a straight forward process. There are many types of replacement thresholds to choose from. Most are aluminum and come in standard door widths; however, if your door is not standard width, you can trim the aluminum threshold with a hacksaw.

There are three easy steps to replace a threshold:

  • Step 1: Remove old threshold. If it is wood, there are two ways to remove it. In most cases, you can pry it up after removing doorstop with small flat pry bar or putty knife, but you must work carefully and slowly. If jamb itself rests on threshold, saw through old threshold at each end.

Use hacksaw placed right against jamb, and saw down through threshold, being careful not to scar floor. Once you make cuts, threshold should be easy to pry up. If prying doesn’t work, use chisel and hammer to split piece. Metal thresholds are frequently held down by screws concealed under vinyl inserts. Once you remove screws, threshold will come up easily.

  • Step 2: Install replacement threshold by driving screws through metal unit and into floor. If you don’t want aluminum threshold, cut replacement from wood, using original one as pattern.


  • Step 3: Install door sweep to seal gap. Most sweeps are attached to inside of door with nails or screws. Cut sweep to size, and close door. Tack both ends of sweep to door, then install remaining nails or screws. If you are using screws, drill pilot holes first.

[mantra-multi][mantra-column width=”1/2″] [/mantra-column][/mantra-multi]Sweeps

Some types of sweeps slip under the door and wrap around the bottom. Other types fits on the outside, with a section of it flipping upward to miss the threshold when the door is opened. When the door is closed, this section flips back down to provide a seal against the threshold. This type of door sweep is adjustable to provide a snug fit.