Thresholds can be used at interior and exterior openings. Thresholds are effective at helping to close the gap between the bottom of the door and the floor. Thresholds are most commonly made of extruded aluminum but can also be made of brass, bronze or stainless steel. Brass and bronze thresholds last longer than aluminum and the finish doesn’t wear off. Stainless steel thresholds are very durable and resist oxidation.

In this blog post we will cover 5 common types of door thresholds.

(Images used are from National Guard Products Catalog.)

Saddle Thresholds

Saddle thresholds are a common type of threshold that are often used at exterior openings. Saddle thresholds can be supplied with supports underneath that run the full length of the threshold. The surface of the thresholds can be smooth or grooved or can even be treated with special finishes that add extra grip to prevent slipping.

The thickness of the metal used in the threshold can vary by manufacturer. The height of thresholds can vary anywhere from 1/4″ tall to 1″ or more. ADA requirements may restrict the height of the threshold to 1/2″ tall and a gradual incline no greater than 1/4″ in vertical rise. Thresholds can be supplied in widths from as small as 2″ wide up to 10″ or more.

Custom thresholds are available to meet the needs of the opening. Thresholds can be ordered in widths to match or exceed the jamb depth of the frame as needed.

Heavy Duty Thresholds

Heavy duty thresholds are recommended where forklifts or vehicles will be used. These thresholds will last longer where heavier loads travel. The metal used is much thicker. They can look similar to saddle thresholds or they can even include bumper seals.

HD Threshold

Bumper Seal Thresholds

Bumper seal thresholds include a seal at the top of the threshold that comes in contact with the door when it is closed. This acts as a seal for the bottom of the door to prevent moisture or air flow underneath the door. The undercut of the door is an important consideration for these thresholds.

Bumper Threshold

Thermal Break Thresholds

Thresholds can be built to have a thermal break in the middle of the threshold. This prevents heat or cold from transferring through the metal underneath the door. When temperature differences inside and outside of the opening are significant, condensation can build up on the threshold which can be undesirable and might present a slipping hazard. The thermal break prevents this by separating the threshold into two parts with a thermal seal built into the threshold.

Thermal Break Threshold

Thermal break thresholds can have bumper seals and can be shaped similar to saddle thresholds.

Carpet Dividers

Carpet dividers help divide up the flooring beneath an opening. They can divide carpet and carpet, tile and carpet, concrete and carpet and more. These are especially important in fire rated areas to prevent combustible flooring from allowing a fire to travel underneath the door.

Carpet Divider


These are few of the thresholds available in the door and hardware industry. Many other designs and options exist, each one with different benefits and considerations to take into account when selecting the proper threshold. Beacon Commercial Door & Lock can help you get the threshold your openings require as well as other hardware and accessories for a complete opening solution.