This post shares how we installed a door threshold for vinyl flooring on an exterior door, as well as how we tackled installing a door threshold on concrete.
Installing a DIY exterior door threshold for vinyl flooring
Alright, today I’m sharing the finishing touches on our new luxury vinyl plank floors in the basement. When I shared the post with tips about installing LifeProof Luxury Vinyl Plank flooring, I said I just had a few odds and ends left to wrap up. Well, consider the trickiest on that to-do list wrapped up!
(Btw, I also did a super long affordable vinyl plank flooring options review post you might be interested in!)
Here is the spot. Yuck! The tricky thing about this spot is that between the door and the concrete slab, there is nothing. There’s just insulation. The concrete slab ends just where the vinyl plank flooring ends.
You can also see that I waited to install the rest of the shoe moulding until we came up with a solution. (And conferred with ever-trusty dad.) So we needed a way to install a door threshold that accommodated the vinyl floor, the location, and the concrete subfloor.
So here’s what I used:
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- Oak threshold a lot like this one
- Oscillating multitool
- Chisel and hammer
- Hammer drill and various bits
- Masonry screws
- Wood filler and paint
- Safety gear (eye projection, work gloves, etc.)
Here’s how we tackled installing our door threshold on concrete.
Step 1: Cut threshold, drill holes, paint
You might be wondering, why didn’t we just use the coordinating moulding that comes with this flooring line? Well, we had nothing to fix it to. And vinyl plank flooring has a tricky bit in that you have to leave a certain amount, I think 5mm, for expansion.
So I couldn’t just use construction adhesive to glue something down onto the edge of the flooring to cover up this eye sore. Here’s what we did.
We got a piece of oak threshold that we cut to extend all the way to the ends of the sides of the door trim (so it butts up against the edges of the shoe moulding). We drilled three holes in the threshold using a bit an appropriate size for the masonry screws we’d be using. This is the under side.
Then I pained the threshold with a few coats of paint that I thought would blend in well with the flooring. We decided against white on my dad’s advice—since this door goes outside, he thought the white would show everything.
Though it would have looked nice to have all of the trim work bright white, he’s right. This was a better choice. I just took a floor sample and picked a paint sample by eyeballing it. It turned out perfect.
Step 2: Cut out door trim
Next I used my oscillating multitool to cut out the bottom of the door trim. See how it goes down a bit farther than the top of the shoe moulding? It took me a few rounds of cutting to get everything out, especially since I was being extra careful not to hit the floor.
I also used a chisel and hammer in some spots to knock off debris. But this tool is sooo handy for this job. I cannot imagine just using a handheld saw. It’s a messy job, too, so I vacuumed up the dust as I went.
I wanted the threshold to run under the door trim and butt up against the shoe moulding, so I had to make it even. I shared some more about using the oscillating multitool to cut door trim in the initial post I did on installing these floors.
And here the door trim is completely cut out and with the threshold piece slid in to make sure everything fit. Yay! (After this, I went in with some fine-grit sandpaper and sanded the rougher areas where I’d cut down by hand.)
Step 3: Prep floor for installing threshold by drilling holes into the concrete
This is the tricky part. The holes in the threshold were drilled so that they would go down through the flooring and into the concrete slab. However, the flooring’s instructions are very clear that you shouldn’t pin anything down super tightly onto the floor since it requires about a 5mm expansion gap.
We put the threshold in place, drilled down through the holes to mark where the screws would go, all the way down into the concrete.
Then we removed the threshold and used progressively larger bits to make the holes larger and larger. The idea here was to drive the screw down the center of a much larger hole—and if we didn’t screw everything in super tight, we’d still allow some expansion room.
(Note: My dad said I was overthinking this part and that expansion gaps around the walls are the most important, but this was my first floor installation, and I really wanted to follow the directions to a T!)
Step 4: Install threshold
We used masonry screws to screw down through the larger holes and into the concrete slab. Here’s the kind we used:
Step 5: Finishing touches
Once we’d gotten everything into place, I patched the holes and painted over them, caulked the areas where the threshold hit the trim, finished the shoe moulding around the door and caulked that, and finished painting all of the trim (and the door for good measure). And it looks pretty damn good. What do you think?