Guide on Door Thresholds - Uses & Types
Ensuring security, warmth and more, doors are an essential part of every home and building in the UK, and they come in different shapes and sizes. However, not many people know about the threshold, what it does and why it is such an important component of a door.
A door threshold is the bottom part of a door frame that you regularly step over when entering or leaving your house. This usually rests on the floor or subfloor.
These are so important as to ensure that they create a barrier between the interior and exterior of a building and prevent water, drafts, and pests from entering a room.
In this article, our Value Doors experts will take a closer look at door thresholds, the difference they make, their functions and types, and how to choose the right one for your door.
What is a Door Threshold?
A door threshold is a horizontal strip of wood, metal, or other material that covers the gap between the door frame and the floor, much like a door lintel does at the top of the frame. It may seem like just another part of the door frame, but it is an essential part of a door that helps to create a seal and prevent water, drafts, and insects from entering a building.
A threshold also provides a transition between two different types of flooring, such as carpet and hardwood, and can help to level out an uneven floor.
Functions of an Exterior Door Threshold
You can have thresholds all around your house. however, the most important ones are the external ones. Exterior door thresholds, or bottom door bars as they are commonly known, have several functions, including:
One of the primary functions of a door threshold is to prevent water and drafts from entering a room. The threshold creates a barrier between the inside and outside of a building and helps improve thermal performance and to keep the interior dry and comfortable.
A door threshold can help to improve the energy efficiency of a building by reducing the amount of air that enters or leaves through gaps between the door and the floor. This, in turn, can help to lower heating and cooling costs.
A door threshold can also help to prevent pests, such as insects and rodents, from entering a room. By creating a seal, it can make it more difficult for these unwanted visitors to find their way in.
A threshold can also enhance the appearance of a door by providing a finished look and helping to hide any gaps or imperfections between the door and the floor.
Types of Door Thresholds
There are many different types of doors and openings therefore luckily there are several types of door thresholds available in the UK, including:
Wood thresholds are a popular choice because they are easy to install and can be painted or stained to match the door or floor. They are typically made from hardwood, such as oak or maple, and easily cut down with a saw to fit any size or shape of door.
Metal thresholds are durable and long-lasting, making them an ideal choice for high-traffic areas. They come in a variety of finishes, including brushed nickel and brass, More often than not you will need to buy the right size threshold to fit the width of the door to save cutting.
uPVC thresholds are part of the frame of a uPVC door. These can often break, snap or become damaged after years of use. uPVC door thresholds are easily replaced and can be cut down to size, although uPVC doors themselves are pretty cheap to replace.
Vinyl thresholds are affordable and easy to install, making them a popular choice for homeowners on a budget. They are also waterproof and can be cut down easily usually with a pair of scissors to fit any size or shape of the door.
Aluminium thresholds are lightweight and easy to install, making them an ideal choice for DIY projects. They are also durable and long-lasting, and can be customised to fit any size or shape of door.
How to choose the right door threshold
When choosing a door threshold such as deciding between an aluminium or uPVC threshold, there are several things you should always consider to ensure that you select the right one for your needs. Here are some of our top tips from Value Doors experts to help you make the right choice:
Choose a material that suits the location, traffic volume, and weather conditions of the door. For instance, if the door is located in an area with high traffic, you may need a more durable material like metal or vinyl.
Choose a threshold height that is compatible with the thickness of your flooring and the gap between the floor and the door. If the threshold is too high, it may pose a tripping hazard, and if it's too low, it may not provide sufficient protection against drafts and water.
To get a good idea of what the standard door size is the in UK, you can follow our guide.
Choose a style of threshold that complements the aesthetics of your door and the surrounding area. For example, a wooden threshold may be more suitable for a traditional home, while a sleek metal threshold may be more appropriate for a modern-style door.
Choose a threshold that is easy to install and fits snugly against the door frame. A poorly installed threshold may not provide adequate protection against drafts, water, and pests.
Choose a threshold that is easy to maintain and clean. Some materials may require more maintenance than others, so consider the level of upkeep you are willing to undertake when selecting your threshold.
By considering these factors, you can select a door threshold that is functional, durable, and visually appealing.
Can you replace just a door threshold on its own?
Yes definitely! It's possible to replace just a door threshold without changing the whole door frame, especially to save money.
Replacing a threshold is often a good solution for fixing a damaged or worn-out threshold that has had years of trampling. To replace the threshold you can simply remove the old one and install a new one in its place.
If you have a wooden threshold, to do this, you can carefully take off the old threshold and cut it into smaller pieces if needed. Then, put the new threshold into the space and secure it with screws or nails. To make sure there are no gaps, add caulk or weatherstripping.
If you have a metal threshold plate, you can simply order a new one, unscrew the old one and screw down the new one. Ensure the weatherstripping is in decent condition, if not, this will have to be replaced too to stop draughts and ensure energy efficiency.
If the threshold is extensively damaged, or if the door frame is also damaged, then it may be necessary to replace the entire door frame. However, in most cases, replacing only the threshold is a relatively easy and effective fix.
Do doors come with thresholds?
Yes, all the doors here at Value Doors come with thresholds as it is part of the frame of the door. You can be sure that they are built to last and durable. You can even add a sill to add to the aesthetics of your opening too and help keep even more water and unwanted guests out.