I have a wooden threshold on an exterior that has some rot in it. Not
a whole lot, but some. Someone told me that it would be difficult to
replace, but probably much easier to simply dig out the bad part and
them pour in some mortar to fill it in most of the way, then top it
off with wood filler and prime and paint. That's easy enough, but I
was wondering why I would even want to do that when I could dig out
the whole thing, and replace it with some sort of cement product
that's designed to work good if it's only as thick as the previous
door threshold was. Isn't cement going to work better? As to some
background, the house was built in 1950 (Baltimore rowhome), and it's
a below ground basement door entrance where the offending threshold
is. This threshold acts as a lip to prevent water that does not go
down my drain hole from going into my basement, so presumably cement
would work better if I ever have a water problem in my back yard
(which I did have when I bought the house, but I've fixed that).
So, my question is to why I would even want to use a wood
Everything else around it is also masonry (either bricks or concrete).
That someone/hipshooter who told you it is difficult to replace is not well
informed. Dig out the whole thing, no prob.
It sounds like you may have drainage issues which could make your threshold
choice a footnote, not an issue - you may have to raise the cement threshold
to prevent further basement flooding, even if it is a tripping hazard.
Either that, or find a bigger better outside drain hole.
You have many material choices, should you wish to top the cement
replacement dam with a real door-fitting threshold.. Among them, try
http://www.reeseusa.com/category/Fiberglass_Threshold , or you can search
google for fiberglass threshold. The Reese website also has many other
materials for thresholds, including metals such as anodized aluminum, which
I have on my house, and they work great. Most hardware and home centers
have other rot resistant thresholds to sell. Cement may be ok, but requires
a really solid base, and proper drainage pitch, finishing/trowelling, and
may be difficult to remove or adjust. Many metal thresholds have adjustment
screws to re-level them when the door gap changes, which it will, if it's
As previously mentioned, the drainage issue has been fixed. Still,
the threshold needs to potentially keep out water and this threshold
extends underneath the door frame. Fiberglass would be a good choice
if it were the right size and shape, but those mentioned aren't. I'd
use another piece of wood before I'd spend well over $100 for a piece
Cut the old threshold in half with a circular saw being carefull not to go to
Pry out the peices. Remove the staples from the bottom of the jambs thhhhat
held the threshold in place. If possible remove the interior trim at the bottom
and remove the lowest set of shims. This will allow the jamb to move outwards
to fit the new threshold in. If removing the trim is a pain for you, you may be
able to slide it in from the outside and shim it up tight to the jamb and nail
it thru the threshold into the floor below. Either way works fine.
deep. Pry out the peices. Remove the staples from the bottom of the
jambs thhhhat held the threshold in place. If possible remove the
interior trim at the bottom and remove the lowest set of shims. This
will allow the jamb to move outwards to fit the new threshold in. If
removing the trim is a pain for you, you may be able to slide it in
from the outside and shim it up tight to the jamb and nail it thru the
threshold into the floor below. Either way works fine.
I'm going to have to take this thing apart. It's in concrete base,
not wood as some of you were probably thinking. It might just be a
piece of thin wood (1 x 10) with some shims and a back piece of wood
to cover up the shims. If it is then it should be real easy to
replace from the inside of the house.
I finally dug out the door threshold over the weekend. It was a
standard 2" x 10" with a 1" x 2" nailed to it. It was nailed to the
bottom of the door jamb, but since most of the wood there was rotten,
the nails didn't present much of a problem. No reshaping of the new
piece of wood was needed, the slope was built into the concrete (new
piece will slide in from the inside when I'm done putting coats of
polyeurethane on it). Lowes had "appeareance grade" 2x10's that
looked good (and had squared edges) and the 8' piece fit into my car
(barely) and my table saw was all I needed to cut it the right length.
Interesting enough, since I've never worked with rotted wood before
was how little of it showed on the surface.
Actually I didn't because the pressure treated stuff is ugly. I used
regular hardwood (fir, I think) and stained it and will put 3 coats of
polyeurethane on it. It's not like that area is still getting wet
because I fixed the drainage problem and it's under an awning. I
suppose I could have used pressure treated wood and painted it, but
from what I can tell the paint doesn't hold up nearly as well as oil
based polyeurethane. That and the pressure treated wood is not
exactly "appeareance grade" like the stuff I bought is. Plus I wasn't
sure what color to paint it (Match the wall? Match the gloss white
door frame?, so staining solved that problem). The old one was 54
years old, and red oak and not pressure treated or anything and I
expect the new one to last much longer than I am going to live in the
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