Exterior door threshold quesion [Archive] - Ceramic Tile Advice Forums - John Bridge Ceramic Tile


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Chris H
02-05-2007, 10:15 AM
i did a search, but couldn't find what i was looking for. my parents have a laundry room that's 5x7 on a concrete slab that i'm tiling for them. the door that leads to the garage has a metal threshold. i've removed the threshold as it was coming up anyways. i'll re-install a new threshold, but i want to know if it's acceptable to tile up to the threshold leaving a 1/4" gap and caulking the seam? the room layout is perfect for full tiles from the threshold to the opposing wall so no cuts would have to be made. what would the pros do?

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02-05-2007, 10:29 AM
in for answer......

02-05-2007, 11:52 AM
Others may have different ideas. Yours sounds reasonable. Another option is to use a trim edge or transition. There are a few on the Schluter site. Click on the Schluter logo on the right of this page to see them. (or on the link below)

Chris H
02-06-2007, 08:13 AM
anyone else? getting ready to start in the next day and i'd like to have my game plan mapped out.

02-06-2007, 12:38 PM
Sorry I'm not a pro. I'll be facing a similar situation when I replace my front door. I'll have a new threshold and am not sure how to tile to it. I'll be having the door installed first (becasue I want it at the right height since I'm raiseing my floor with the tile work) so I don't see an option but to tile to the threshold, and have a grout line between the threshold and my tile.

I wish I knew how the pro's did it, cause the way I plan to does not go along with the theory that I shouldn't tile right up next to a immovable object like a wall or door threshold......

I can't imagine how one would use the above linked transitions to help in our circumstances. My only concern with the idea is that the grount line by the threshold my crack in the future due to expansion of the threshold (in my case exterior door, in your case cold garage).

Chris H
02-06-2007, 12:57 PM

that's exactly my predicament. given enough time, that grout line will crack. i just want to make sure that there isn't any better method than substituting caulk for grout at the door joint in this situation.

02-06-2007, 01:47 PM
Well at the very least we can keep bumping till someone tells us what to do..... :turkey: :crazy:

Sweaty Bill
02-06-2007, 09:01 PM
I have a similar issue.

I have a bathroom and a laundry room that i am doing using Ditra. My question is should i put my substrate in the threshold of the doors, and the Ditra there too?

I plan on buying thresholds for the doorways, which both abutt 3/4 inch wooden floors and tiling them in.

Will the threshold be the right height if i use 1/2 subflooring AND 1/8 inch thick Ditra or will that goof it up like i presume. So then do i use thinset under the threshold to keep the height even, assuming that the threshold is pretty thick?

And finally, how do i transition from the threshold to the wood floor? grout?

much thanks to any responders!

02-07-2007, 07:21 AM
So you want the type of transitions that you tile over, is that what you are saying?

Regarding to point of this thread, I've concluded I will just tile to my new front door threshold and then use color match caulk in that area......


Maybe no one knows the right way to do it?!?!?

Chris H
02-07-2007, 07:40 AM
perhaps we should post in the Pro's Hangout??? :scratch:

Chris H
02-07-2007, 11:18 AM
Can someone shed a little light here?



02-07-2007, 11:32 AM
I would do as Randy suggested and use a schulter trim.http://www.schluter.com/english/products/2002/sectiona/renotk/RENO_TK1-320b_USM.jpg

You can see in the diagram that there is a recessed area on the beveled end of the trim(where it's showing carpet here) This would go against the steel threashold and overlap it a bit...leaving a nice clean look. Certainly better looking that caulking.

Mr Sweaty, you only need the Ditra under the tile, so no you don't put it under the threashold. Depending on what you are using for a threashold of course. You can also tile right up to the hardwood and use the same metal trim as above. It can overlap the tile to wood joint and allow another nice clean transition. Depending on your heights of course'....it's a bit hard to see from here. ;)

Chris H
02-07-2007, 11:45 AM
i looked at the trim pieces from schluter and don't see how they'd work. the threshold is curved on both sides and would probably take some bending to get the schluter piece to look right. anyone have any pics?

02-07-2007, 11:54 AM
If I'm following everything, using caulk that matches your grout against the metal threshold might be easiest, granted, I've never used the metal edge by Schluter shown in the diagram. I know Schluter makes metal edges/transistion for many applications, but they can be hard to find for the DIY crowd sometimes.

If you go with the caulk, keep the joint no more than 1/8" wide. The tigher the joint, the easier it'll be to caulk and it'll look neater too.


02-07-2007, 12:57 PM

If this is a threshold that is completely removable and the door is a not a metal door I would reposition my tile by half a tile and cut the entire two walls that you are not wanting to cut. One reason being I have not found to many rooms that were perfectly square with the layout you are describing and Tile would not stay true to the two walls. By moving your layout by half a tile you will be able to cut accuratly walls that may deviate from square or straightness. Another consideration is that the threshold ussually protudes into the room about 1/4" to 1/2" which would mean the rest of that wall would have a larger then normal grout joint compared to the rest of the tile.

By running the tile under the threshold you will have a nicer edge. Now you will also have a raised threshold which will mean you will need to cut the bottom of the door. To me this is no big deal but to the average DIY'er this ussually is a scary venture.

My procedure on cutting a exterior door is this:
Using a pencil mark the door casing where the old threshold is now. Remove the threshold and mark the same casing as to where the bottom of door comes to. Remove door, undercut the door jams (trim) to just above the height of new tile. Install tile noting and notching out for where the Threshold screws go. You don't need to go past those holes but can if you notch out for them. Repositon threshold and make level by shimming with some 3/8" to 1/2" wood on the outside part of the threshold. Remark the new height of threshold onto the casing again. Remove threshold and check the difference in change. This is aproximatly how much you will need to trim off the bottom of the door. Also notice the slight bevel the door bottom was cut before. This allows the door to seal tightly when the door is shut. This bevel is ussually cut at a 3 degree angle. Lightly belt sand the edges to clean them up, and then check for door fit. Once satisfied then remove the door and finish with some laquar, varnish or other sealer and let dry. Replace and WaaLa! You have a professional install. :yipee:

Anyway you asked how a pro would do it and that is how I always do it. ;)
Good Luck!

02-07-2007, 01:34 PM
So if you tile under the threshold of say a front door, what do you do while you are waiting for the tile to dry prior to grouting? Meaning what, no front door for a day or two?

02-07-2007, 01:47 PM
Chris, you can do it either way. Tile under and install threshold (requires flashing over tile edge on the outside) or tile up to the already-installed threshold and caulk the joint with a suitable urethane caulk.

My opinion; worth price charged.

02-07-2007, 04:38 PM
My basement door on slab has an aluminum threshhold, but also has wood on top of that on the inside part of the threshhold. I'm going to tile normally and use a piece of 3/4 round at the joint, and round off the ends where it meets the trim casing.

02-07-2007, 05:35 PM
I'm gonna merge this back with your original thread, Charlie. Way too confusing with people answering the same question in two places.

Those thresholds that have the wood on the inside frequently have a thin removable wood strip on the vertical surface that can be removed and ripped and replaced above the finished floor covering.

02-07-2007, 08:00 PM

Most generally you would leave the door on and the threshold out till your done with the tile. You can temporarly seal out the draft and critters with a rolled up towel. Most times the top of original threshold is still higher then the new tile floor so your door should still clear the tile. If not just trim enough off the door till your ready to actually fit it to the new heigth of the threshold.

Also I didn't mention that you should mark each side of the casing of the new threshold heigth and then remove. Replace door and align those marks back to the door (noting that this new mark is located in the center of the thickness of the door). This point is the pivotal point in which the 3 degree bevel cut is located.

I could go deeper into the issues of cutting doors but that is getting further away from the original question of the threshold. :blah: :)

02-07-2007, 08:17 PM
Also I didn't mention that you should mark each side of the casing of the new threshold heigth and then remove. Replace door and align those marks back to the door (noting that this new mark is located in the center of the thickness of the door). This point is the pivotal point in which the 3 degree bevel cut is located.Well, I maybe can't claim to be a door expert, but as a veteran of a few hunnert of'em I've read that at least four times and I still ain't got no eye-dee what you're tellin' that fella. :shake:

Maybe somebody could translate for this old one? :D

Chris H
02-08-2007, 07:17 AM
i installed it last night before i saw these posts. the recommendation to tile under the threshold sounds like a good one, but i was leery of cracked tiles under the threshold. at any rate, the room was square enough so that the three tiles that met the threshold came in nice and straight. i also checked straightness with a level. i thought about using the schluter metal edge, but i was afraid it would look ugly and/or the caulk wouldn't adhere properly. i've got about 1/8" between the last tiles and the threshold that i'll fill with a matching caulk. looks nice so far. i'll post pics after i grout today.