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Types of Door Weatherstripping and Thresholds

Grainger Editorial Staff

Do you feel a draft even when your facility's entry door is closed? If the answer is yes, it might be time to replace or add weatherstripping as well as the threshold. Door weatherstripping and thresholds not only help keep the elements out, they also help with energy conservation and sound transmission. And, if this is happening to your entry door, imagine the energy loss that could be happening throughout your facility.

Weatherstripping or gasketing, can rip or wear out over time. Replacing it is certainly less expensive and easier than replacing your door. And if you consider that even an 1/8" gap around your door could be equivalent to drilling a 5-1/2" diameter hole in an outside wall, you want to make sure to fill that gap. So how do you know which weatherstripping to choose when there's such a variety to choose from?

Below are listed the most common types to help you decide what to install:


1.V Strip is also known as tension seal. It is a durable plastic or metal strip folded into a 'V' shape that springs open to bridge gaps. It is installed along the top and sides of the door.



2.Felt is sold in rolls and comes either plain or reinforced with a metal strip. It is inexpensive and may only last a year or two. Place it around the door in in the jamb so it compresses when the door is closed.




3.Foam is made from open or closed-cell foam, or EPDM rubber with a sticky back. It comes in a variety of widths and thicknesses so it's ideal for odd-shaped cracks. Sticks easily to the inside of the door frame.




4. Tubular Rubber, Vinyl or Silicone is typically made of a narrow sponge of rubber or vinyl tubing that comes attached to a wood or metal mounting strip. Silicone types are usually inserted into milled grooves. It is installed at the base of doors or the bottom of a door; between a door and its jamb.




5. Door Sweeps are flat pieces of plastic aluminum or stainless steel fastened to a strip of nylon, plastic or vinyl, or a sponge brush to fill any gap between the door and the threshold. It is placed along the bottom of the door on the inside.


Door thresholds not only help keep drafts, dirt, moisture and insects out, they are also the first step in weatherproofing your entrance. Thresholds can wear out over time due to foot traffic and outdoor exposure. As with weatherstripping, even a tiny gap under your door frame is like drilling a hole in an outside wall. Thresholds are usually made of aluminum or wood, and come in different sizes, styles and finishes. Typically, if you have an aluminum threshold, you would replace with aluminum. If you have wood, replace it with wood.

Thresholds can be categorized into one of four basic types:



1. Saddle-type thresholds are the most common. When used with a door sweep, this threshold becomes more effective limiting air flow as well as water and dust. The height of the saddle should close the gap between the floor and the bottom of the door within 1/8".




2. Panic-type thresholds are typically used for doors that swing out. This type of threshold is designed for the vertical rod of the door so it engages. It also provides weatherproofing protection at the bottom of the door.




3. Interlocking-type thresholds are ideal for buildings who may have specific requirements concerning in-swinging doors that are exposed to the elements. These thresholds have an "L" or "J" hook on the bottom of the door that interlocks with the threshold itself. These thresholds are also ideal for exterior, out-swinging doors when they are flush with the building's face and have no overhang protection.




4.Vinyl-type thresholds are similar to saddle type thresholds except that there's a strip of vinyl inserted across the top of the saddle for a more effective seal. The vinyl can wear out if placed in high traffic areas so sometimes putting the vinyl on the bottom of the door is more feasible to prolong the life of the vinyl. Once you've installed the weatherstripping and threshold, it's a good idea to test the door and make sure that it closes and locks easily. This should be done regularly to check for changes in the door adjustment or weatherstripping and threshold.



The information contained in this article is intended for general information purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication. No representation is made that the information or references are complete or remain current. This article is not a substitute for review of current applicable government regulations, industry standards, or other standards specific to your business and/or activities and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific questions should refer to the applicable standards or consult with an attorney.

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