If you feel a draft around your door or notice water coming under it, the threshold likely needs to be replaced. Thresholds are bottom seals that keep the weather and insects out of the house. Door thresholds are commonly made out of wood or aluminum.
Aluminum is the most popular type of threshold, since it is water-resistant and doesn't rust, but failing to fix the door threshold can cause the door frame to rot. It is easy to replace an aluminum door threshold by following these tips.
Prepare to Work
For this project, you need:
- work gloves
- safety glasses
- broom or vacuum
- chalk or pencil
- tape measure
- metal file
- pry bar
- waterproof caulk
- masonry or wood drill bit
- new aluminum threshold
Measure the height and length of the old threshold. Entry door thresholds commonly measure three feet. The threshold should not come too high off the floor in order to allow the door to close properly. If the old threshold isn't too damaged, use it for a template.
Remove the Old Threshold
Prop the door open, and use the drill to remove the screws in the old threshold, which commonly mount on the outside ends. Some screws may be hidden by a rubber center that you will need to remove.
Detach the threshold. Some thresholds may attach to the side door jambs, and others attach below the jamb ends. If you have trouble removing the threshold, insert a pry bar under the jambs. Sweep or vacuum the threshold space.
It is advised that you buy the same style of threshold as the old one. Dry fit the new threshold, and close the door to test clearance space.
Install the New Threshold
If the old threshold is intact, lay the new threshold over it. Otherwise, prop it in place, and mark where it needs to be cut. Cut the new threshold down to size with the hacksaw, and file the ends to smooth them.
For a new threshold that lacks mounting holes, mark the holes using the old threshold as a guide, then drill the holes. Lay the threshold over the space, and mark the holes, then drill holes in the wood or concrete where it mounts on the door jambs.
Add a layer of caulk around the threshold edges, and secure it in place with the edges facing out. Angle it slightly from the door so water will run off. Apply a bead of caulk on the grooves where the threshold touches on the door jambs.
Let everything dry for one day. You may want to attach a note so no one will use the door. If the door still won't seal properly, if it is seriously damaged, or if you don't trust your skill, contact a professional who installs entry doors.