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Hey, you're in the home improvement zone--YOUR HANDYMAN ZONE!

Doors and Components Category

Improvement Project:

How to install a threshold.

Tools / Materials (See Below for Applicability):

  • Adjustable metal threshold (usually includes screws)

  • Power drill and appropriate bit (usually a 1/8" bit)

  • Hacksaw

  • Handsaw

  • Carpenter's knife

  • Screwdriver

  • Tape measure

  • Fine hand file (for metal)



In installing a door and its frame, you'll need to install a proper threshold to help secure the interior of your house from the elements that might otherwise be introduced to the interior of the house through the bottom crevice made between the door and the floor.  With a properly installed threshold, the bottom of the door will become snug tight so as to be a part of the door system that acts a shield from the elements, top to bottom.

Caution: When dealing with sharp objects, such as a power drill, hacksaw and carpenter's knife, make sure you take precautions; read all product manufacturer instructions.

Installing a door threshold can be done in a few steps, and here's how:

  1. With a tape measure, measure the width of the inside door frame so that you can buy a threshold that is nearly or exactly the same size in width; of course, your safe bet is to buy an adjustable threshold.

  2. Then, as may be necessary, cut the threshold to the exact measurement size of the width of the inside door frame with a hacksaw; you may have to use a carpenter's knife to correspondingly cut the vinyl lining/feet (for bottom of threshold) and thin vinyl covering (for top of threshold) to size.

  3. After cutting, if you find that the saw-cut of the threshold leaves a metal edge that is too rough or otherwise sharp, gently file it down with a fine hand file.

  4. Depending on the type of door frame you have, in order to permit the threshold to properly fit at the floor bottom of the inside of the frame, using a handsaw, cut a notch in the lowest part of the door frame's inside stop.

  5. Then, set the threshold where it is supposed to be, at the floor bottom of the inside of the door frame, to see if the door will shut completely without being obstructed by the threshold, itself.  If you find that the threshold obstructs the closure of the door, try taking advantage of the adjustment feature of the threshold in attempting to remedy the obstruction problem; see the threshold manufacturer's instructions.  If adjusting the threshold does not remedy the problem, the door is too tall and, thus, the bottom portion of it should be trimmed. (See the section on how to trim the bottom of a door.)

  6. With the threshold finally cut to size, and after determining where on the floor pilot holes need to be drilled in to correspond with the hole openings found on the threshold, itself, use a power drill attached with the appropriate bit to actually drill in these determined pilot holes.

  7. If not already in place, put into place the vinyl lining/feet in the groves underneath the threshold and then put the threshold, itself, yet again, at the floor bottom of the inside of the door frame.

  8. At this time, close the door completely to make sure the door and threshold work together to provide a tight seal at the bottom of the door; if there is not a tight seal, you may have to slightly adjust the threshold to the appropriate height.

  9. With the threshold finally in place for good, using a screwdriver, screw in the screws through the hole openings of the threshold (and ultimately the aligned pilot holes underneath the threshold) in order to secure the threshold in place.

  10. Then, put into place the thin vinyl covering, which comes with the threshold, over the hole openings of the threshold now occupied by the screws so as to, by design, hide them from view.  (This is the same vinyl covering that usually is already in place on the threshold when first buying the threshold from the store that you immediately remove in the first place to gain access to the hole openings through which the screws go in order to secure the threshold.)

Installing a threshold will help seal your door and, in effect, ultimately contribute to the energy efficiency of your house.

Ed the Handyman


Your Handyman Zone Team


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