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Thresholds

When a floor meets a doorway, the edge is usually covered by a threshold. It not only provides a graceful edge to the floor, it often serves as a transition to other flooring such as carpet, vinyl, ceramics or hardwood. An old threshold usually has to be removed to make way for new flooring. New flooring often requires a threshold as a transition to the old flooring in the next room. Home improvement centers stock ready-made thresholds. They’re traditionally made of wood, although some are made of material similar to that in solid-surface countertops. Either can be worked with simple woodworking tools.

MATERIALS: Threshold, 8d nails

TOOLS: Hammer, pry bar, handsaw, cat’s paw (nail puller), circular saw or chop saw, tape measure, drill, nail set

Finish the threshold with the same stain or color you used on the door and frame. It’s easier and cleaner to finish the threshold before you install it.

Removing A Threshold

1 IF THE THRESHOLD ISN’T TUCKED UNDER THE DOOR STOP, pry it loose with a hammer and metal pry bar. Use the hammer to drive the pry bar underneath the threshold.

2 IF THE THRESHOLD IS TUCKED UNDER THE STOP, remove the nails with a cat’s paw. Drive the threshold out from under the doorstops with a hammer. If that doesn’t work, saw the threshold into two pieces and remove them separately.

Installing A New Threshold

1 BEFORE INSTALLING A NEW THRESHOLD, UNDERCUT THE DOOR STOPS. Make the cut by resting a saw on a piece of wood the thickness of the threshold and cutting through the stops, but not into the jambs. Cut the threshold to length with a circular saw or chop saw and slide it under the stops.

2 THRESHOLDS ARE USUALLY MADE OF HARDWOOD, WHICH CAN BEND THE NAILS YOU TRY TO DRIVE INTO THEM. Drill pilot holes by clipping the head off an 8d nail and using the nail as a drill bit. Once you’ve drilled the holes, drive and set 8d nails to hold the threshold in place.

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