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Instaling Sliding Door

Mick182's picture

I bumped out a wall on back of house and will be  installing a new 6' slider. Are exterior doors typically set directly on the subfloor or raised of subfloor?

Interior floor will be 3/4" hardwood. Exterior side I am installing a deck once finished with the interior.

lay it on a flashed subfloor (post #215500, reply #1 of 9)

Typically an exterior door (all kinds) rests on the subfloor. The sill is of sufficient height to accommodate floors of several thicknesses. Don't forget to flash beneath the new sill prior to setting the door in place.

Mel Fros

Is a quarter round type of (post #215500, reply #2 of 9)

Is a quarter round type of molding the way to go to cover gap where hardwoods will meet the interior of the door sill?

Also, is it best to remove the door panels from the unit prior to installing? Thing weighs a ton ;)

molding is ugly! (post #215500, reply #6 of 9)

I typically lay my flooring snug against the sill, with no ugly molding. This is especially true if the ends of your flooring butt against the sill (hardwood typically expands and contracts across the width (not the length) of the board. On the opposite side of the room, presumably a wall, you leave enough room for material expansion/contraction. This gap will be covered by baseboard. If you are uncomfortable with this arrangement, consider laying your flooring 1/8" short of the sill. Use a 1/8 thick spacer and butt floor boards against it. Give your boards a slight bevel cut so that only the top of the board makes contact with the spacer.You may want to give each board a very small rounding over. When the flooring is laid, pull out the spacer. Fill the gap with an expandable, color-matching caulk, such as SANDED tile caulk. My preference is to bevel cut and gently butt the boards against the sill.

Remove the sliding (swinging) panel of your door. Leave the stationary one in place (typically it can be removed, but I would advise you not to). Set the frame with its fixed panel in place. Plumb and level AND check diagonals. They must be even, or nearly the same. Secure your frame. Then re-install the sliding (swinging) panel and check the installation once more, before you fully secure the frame to the wall.

For the single-panel or a French door, leave the panel(s) in place, with spacers and temporary latches undisturbed. Tack the door into place and check for plumg and level, before you remove the temp latches and spacers. Remove the weather stripping and fasten the door frame to the wall with screws. Be sure to shim at each screw. Now re-install the weatherstripping, covering the screws. Any future problem with the door can be remedied by removing these screws (sometimes interior trim as well). I avoid fastening my door to the exterior wall with nails through brick molding. Why? Because the brick molding is held to the jamp by whimpish nails or staples. Questions? 

Mel Fros

Thanks for info. Good (post #215500, reply #7 of 9)

Thanks for info. Good stuff!

The door arrived today and it is a the kind that comes in pieces. The frame needs to be put together and panels installed. wasn't expecting that!

Wot! (post #215500, reply #8 of 9)

So the kit arrived knock-down! Woa! I have not seen the like to 20 some years. Not to worry. Assemble the frame and install the fixed panel. This will provide a measure of square-ness and rigidity prior to installation. Pay attention to how you flash the existing subfloor. The future of the door depends on proper prep work. Also pay extra attention to flashing above the door. I advise not setting the door on finish floor material for the simple reason that when the time comes to replace the floor, you don't want to create additional problems. Have fun. All challenges can be seen as problems or as opportunities to learn.

Mel Fros

Yeah, knock down! wasn't (post #215500, reply #9 of 9)

Yeah, knock down! wasn't expecting that from an almost 2K door.

I put the frame together today but rain halted my progress. 

"  Have fun. All challenges can be seen as problems or as opportunities to learn."

I like your attitude!  :)

Mick (post #215500, reply #3 of 9)

typically I look at the inside of the thresh vs. the flooring coming and ask the  homowners what they want to see with their choice of throw rug.  Nothing worse than to have them come in with a thick one even if there is an inch and a half threshold.  Preformed pan or homemade?

You can probably remove the active panel but the fixed may want to stay.  Clamps will be your helper.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


No pan. Just flashing the (post #215500, reply #4 of 9)

No pan. Just flashing the opening.

I highly recommend a sill pan (post #215500, reply #5 of 9)

I highly recommend a sill pan called SureSill. Available at homedepot online it is performed pvc that you cut to fit and then attach end caps with pvc weld.  This sill is sloped for drainage but ribbed for level support of the door. No way for water to blow in under it as it has a raised back lip.  You caulk the sill pan bottom to your subfloor and then set the door on top of the pan without caulk.  Any water that find it’s way under the door from any source drains away.  I did caulk the top of the raised interior lip to prevent air comin in under the door.  Not spam and I am not getting a dime for this... it’s just what I found after spending days tearing up rotted subfloor from a previous “expert” installation without a sill pan