If your door allows outside air to pass through from the underside or if your existing door threshold is damage due to wear-and-tear or a forced entry attempt, it is likely time to replace your threshold. This project is fairly simple and requires only basic tools that most homeowners typically have on hand. To handle this DIY repair yourself, just follow the steps outlined below.
Purchase a Replacement Door Threshold
Before you begin removing your current threshold, it’s wise to have the replacement on hand. Start by measuring the span of your threshold using a tape measure and using that information to guide your purchase.
In most cases, doors are standard sizes. However, it’s always best to take your own measurements, especially if you live in an older home that may have a non-standard door.
When purchasing the material, make sure to get a new door threshold that is at least as long as your current one. Door thresholds can be cut to the proper length, to err on the side of longer rather than shorter.
Remove the Existing Door Threshold
In most modern homes, you’ll have a threshold made of metal, likely steel or aluminum. It’ll also feature a rubber strip used to help weatherproof the door.
To remove this kind of threshold, begin by pulling the rubber strip out from the slot. In most cases, this can be done by hand, but do make sure to put on gloves before you begin to limit the chance of injury. Simply grip the rubber material at the end and pull it upwards, working your way to the other side.
Once the weather strip is removed, use a screwdriver to loosen the screws holding the metal threshold in place. Then, just pull the old threshold out.
If you’re in an older home, you may have a wooden threshold. To remove these, you may need to use a screwdriver or hammer to remove the screws or nails, respectively. In some cases, a pry bar may be necessary to free the old threshold as well as a saw or chisel (if the threshold extends underneath the current frame or trim). Take care when using a pry bar to ensure you don’t damage the floor or surrounding woodwork during the removal process.
Prepare the New Threshold
Once the old threshold is removed, you can cut the new door threshold to the proper size. First, remeasure the space to confirm the length of the threshold. If the weather strip is already installed in the new threshold, you can remove it first to make the process easier. Then, take the new piece of threshold and mark it to the appropriate length.
Since most new door thresholds are aluminum, you can cut through the metal with a hacksaw. Make sure to wear gloves and safety glasses as metal shards do pose a risk to your safety. Use firm, steady motions when sawing, taking care not to use so much pressure as to bend the new threshold.
After the new threshold is cut, test it to make sure it fits snugly into the space. If it does not fit closely to the bottom of the door opening, you can use shims to get the necessary amount of contact. Simply slide the shims underneath, making sure the threshold stays level while obtaining the ideal fit.
Attach the Replacement Threshold
Now that everything is properly fit, you can install the metal portion of the new threshold. In most cases, you can use the screws provided in the threshold kit by placing them in the guide holes and screwing them into place.
If your floor is concrete, you’ll need to drill holes before attaching the threshold. Mark the location of the holes using those in the threshold as a guide. Next, take an appropriately sized carbide-tipped masonry bit to drill the holes. Then, instead of using the provided screws, select either masonry screws or use plastic anchors to hold the supplied screws in place.
Once the threshold is in place, you can attach the new rubber seal. Measure the length using a tape measure and then use a utility knife to cut the weather strip to size (if needed). After it is cut to the right length, insert the rubber seal into the groove using your hands.
After the new threshold is in place, you’ll need to check the door to make sure it opens and closes properly. If the new threshold is thicker than the previous one, you may need to adjust the door to get the proper fit.
Replacing a door threshold is a fairly quick project, so getting the job done doesn’t have to be a major interruption to your day. And, once the replacement is installed, you’ll have a higher quality seal that keeps the door secure and prevents outside air from entering your home.