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replacing an aluminum threshold

jrhou's picture

A friend of mine wants me to replace the threshold on her front door.  The one she has now is only 3/12" wide, and she wants a 6" wide one because of the storm door.

Does anyone have any tips on making it easy to remove the old one, and installing the new one?  they are both aluminum thresholds.


(post #66155, reply #1 of 5)

Assuming that the existing threshold is in a door in a house that is less than about thirty years old........

There will be fasteners that you can't get to without uninstalling the door frame. They go up through the aluminum from the bottom, into the jambs and maybe the trim.

Best way to deal with them is to use a reciprocating saw. If you don't have one and can't justify one, you coud use a hacksaw blade, but that would be no fun at all.

As for the new threshold, be picky. Be sure to get one that is designed for your door's "swing". An outswinging door needs a threshold that is designed for outswingers. And an inswinging door needs one that is designed for inswingers.

And note that door thresholds are one of the places where water can get into your house. Even if the rain is light and there's not much water. And even a little bit of water will cause rot.

So read the instructions carefully, and use a high quality caulk.



Unless you're the lead dog, the view just never changes.

. . . I can't live proud enough to die when I'm gone, So I guess I'll have to do it while I'm here. (Phil Ochs)

(post #66155, reply #4 of 5)

Thank you for the information.  The house is only 2 or 3 years old.  And I am assuming that the old threshold is screwed into the frame.  I do have a reciprocating saw and plan on putting it to use.


Again, I want to thank everyone for their response.

(post #66155, reply #5 of 5)

Use the thinnest metal cutting blade you can get, to minimize tear-up to the bottom edge of the frame. And one place I disagree with YESMAAM is with regard to using a hacksaw blade (in a holder). It isn't that much work to saw through the screws.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

(post #66155, reply #2 of 5)

I recently used solid-surface material (corian type), to replace a worn Aluminum threshold. Aluminum is such a soft metal that putting it underfoot was never a good idea.

Solid-surface can be purchased in different widths where countertops are sold (they sell it in strips as backsplash). There is a growing variety for color and pattern choices.

(post #66155, reply #3 of 5)

What YESMAAM said -- saw through the screws holding the threshold to the bottom of the door frame. (Pry a little in the area first, to open up a crack so that you don't end up cutting the wood.) Also check for any screws through the threshold into the floor below. If you can't remove them, saw through them too. A hacksaw blade is also useful for working under the threshold to cut through any caulk under there that may hang things up.

Thoroughly clean the opening of old caulk, repair any rot in the subthreshold, etc. Study the new threshold to decide the best way to get it in. Ideally you want two beads of caulk, one near the outer edge and another an inch or two inward from there. The trick is to insert the threshold in a way that allows you to achieve this caulking pattern halfway decently (not messing it all up as you slide the threshold in). Requires thought.

You don't need a lot to secure the threshold, but a couple of screws is a good idea, to keep it from moving around. In a pinch, though (concrete surface, eg), caulk alone will do.

Since the new threshold is wider, the ends may stick proud of the door frame. This would allow air and bugs to enter the open sides, so make sure they're caulked well (and the caulk set) before installing.

Be sure, when positioning the new threshold, that any rubber strip or adjustable strip ends up directly under the main door.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville