How to Replace & Install Door Threshold by Yourself

How to replace door threshold
David Prahl /

It’s amazing how much a simple piece of wood or metal can do to help us feel comfortable in our homes. A threshold, especially an exterior one, can protect a property in more ways than you probably think while, at the same time, it does not require a lot of maintenance. If you are wondering whether your doors can use some new thresholds and whether this is a task you can fit into the weekend, then read on to find all these answers and more!

What is the purpose of a door threshold?

A lot of people don’t pay much attention to the exterior door thresholds in their homes and that is normal, considering how small this part actually is. However, the plate, no matter the type of material it is made of, has several important functions, such as:

  • It fills the gap between the door and the floor, preventing hot air from getting into your home in summer and getting out in the winter months. When you have a properly installed door threshold in good condition, your cooling and heating cost won’t go through the roof.
  • The sill of a door also blocks the path of various insects and other pests to your home.
  • A threshold helps with water drainage, blocking the liquid from getting into you property.

When should you replace a door’s threshold?

This pretty much depends on the condition and location of the specific threshold. External ones are more prone to damage than those on the inside. Given how much foot traffic the pieces endure daily, some types can become worn out pretty fast. One of the main factors that play a role here is the kind of material of the plate.

Wooden thresholds are vastly used, but they are among the most vulnerable, as they can be easily damaged by heavy water, mould, termites and other pests, etc. If you notice any of the latter, then your door can use a new exterior timber sill for sure.

Aluminium thresholds, on the other hand, are more resistant but they have their downsides, too. They are susceptible to corrosion and can bend in places due to heavy impact. If the latter happens, it is best for a new aluminium threshold to be installed.

First thing’s first, though! Before you get your tools ready, it’s good to consider whether you should replace the threshold yourself or hire a professional handyman to fix it. Maybe answering these questions will help:

  • Is your home too old?The style of your thresholds and the age of your house are the main factors when considering how to proceed. After all, you don’t want to risk damaging the door or other structures of the house in the process if they are too fragile.
  • Do you have all the right tools and necessary skills? – Replacing a door threshold is not all that hard, but you will have to be somewhat handy with tools. The work will include using a table saw or hacksaw, so it’s important to be familiar with them. If not, then contacting an experienced handyman will save you the troubles of looking for these tools, as well as trying to operate them on your own.

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How to replace a door threshold by yourself

If you’ve decided that removing the old door sill and installing a new plate is something you prefer to do alone, then we are here to get through the different steps. Prepare your tools and let’s get started!

Tools you need:

  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Notebook
  • Scissors
  • Hacksaw or metal saw
  • Drill
  • Threshold strip
  • Metal drill bit

Take measurements

When purchasing your new threshold strips you need to check which size fits your doors best. As not all doors necessarily have the same dimensions, you will have to check and measure each one separately, especially if you have to change more than one threshold. You’ll need to make two measurements for each door:

  1. The width of the doorway (not just of the door).
  2. The gap between the bottom edge of the door and the floor.
  3. Check the space between the floor and your door to determine what has created it and if the strip was not high enough.

Choose a strip type

There is a large variety of types in the store, so you can find the one that you think will suit you most:

  • Strip you can fit over the existing strip. There are wood strips that could be used to replace entirely the older one.
  • You can also go with a metal strip that can be attached to the existing one.
  • You could simply attach a piece of veneer over the existing strip.
  • And the last and most complex type is the aluminium strip with a plastic or rubberized weatherstrip in the middle.

Perhaps the hardest step is taking the measurement of the strip that you purchase. That’s why you must be sure that the new strips match the strips you measured at home.

Remove the old strip

Use a screwdriver to remove the screws that hold the old strip. If you don’t see them, look for a rubber or plastic strip in the centre and use a flathead screwdriver to remove it. You can find them in the channel of the strip itself.

Pick your new threshold strip

If the new strip is too large then you will need to cut it, making sure you measure and mark it accurately to fit into space. Use a handsaw for a wood strip, but if it is made of metal, you’ll need a hacksaw. Check if the holes on the floor are aligned with these on the new strip. If they aren’t, get a drill and make new ones accordingly. Finally, attach the strip with screws and test if it’s well secured.

Caulk or another adhesive could be used to firmly secure the piece to the floor. If the threshold you are removing has been attached with such a material, you will have to clean as much of it as possible before installing the new plate. The new threshold should be installed in a clean area.

Is the threshold replacement proving to be complicated?

Check availability for a Fantastic Handyman in your area.

Enter your postcode

You can book our handyman services in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth!

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