2 · SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2018 TRIB TOTAL MEDIA
Keep door from rubbing carpeting
Dear James: We had a home built and installed
a fiberglass front door. When we open
it, it hits the oriental carpet on the tile floor.
How did this happen and what can we do
other than cut off the bottom?
— Larry G.
Dear Larry: Unfortunately, the problem you
are experiencing is all too common in new
The weatherstripping on the bottom of a
door is generally vinyl or another rubbery
compound. It will not take long for it to permanently
discolor and wear the section of the
carpet it repeatedly rubs against.
Most front doors are a standard height and
are delivered to a building site already hung in
the door frame. They often have an adjustable
threshold built in to the bottom of the frame so
it seals well against the weatherstripping on the
bottom of the door. Some thresholds can be
one inch high or more.
The subcontractor who installed the front
door probably placed it directly on the subflooring.
Had he checked the complete building
plans first, he would have found you are having
a thick tile floor installed and extra height was
needed. It would have taken only five minutes
more to add a piece of lumber under the door
frame to raise it higher for more clearance.
Cutting off the bottom of the door might
help, but often there is not much edge rail
lumber along the bottom of a fiberglass door.
If there is not enough, you will cut into the
insulation and weaken the door.
Contact the door manufacturer first and ask
about the maximum height you can remove.
Another limiting factor on how much you
can remove is the threshold seal. If you cut
off some of the door bottom, you will have
to adjust the threshold upward so the weatherstripping
still seals against it. Make sure the
threshold will adjust high enough to provide an
It is more work, but you might be able to
cut some off of the top and the bottom of the
door. This will allow you to reposition the door
higher in the door frame and it might then
clear the carpet.
With this method, you will have to drill new
holes for the hinges and the latch, so it will take
more time and careful measurements.
The most complicated method, but actually
the best, is to remove the door frame. Increase
the height of the rough opening and install a
piece of support lumber over the subflooring
as should have been done initially. This is not
a terrible job on a house with siding, but with
a brick or stone exterior, you will have a lot of
A quick and inexpensive fix, but not necessarily
the best or most attractive, is to remove the
existing threshold seal and install a retractable
one. This seal will mount on the interior lower
edge of the door.
A small pin extends out on the side of the
retractable threshold by the door hinge jamb.
When the door is open, the threshold seal is in
the up position so it will clear the carpet.
When you close the door, the pin contacts the
jamb and the seal drops down to seal on the
Installing this is a fairly simple do-it-yourself
job, and fitting instructions are included.
Send questions to Here’s How, 6906 Royalgreen
Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45244, or visit dulley.com.
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