If you’re in the market for a new door, you may wonder if you should choose a door saddle or threshold.
Although they both serve the same basic function, there are some important differences between the two that you should know before making your decision.
The main differences between a door saddle and a threshold are material, maintenance, price and installation process.
It will be much easier to make the final decision once you go through our detailed comparison guide and descriptions of both products.
What is a door saddle?
A door saddle is a piece of trim that can conceal the juncture between a door and a floor.
It is made of wood or metal, and its purpose is to provide a finished look with the adjacent flooring material.
Door saddles are usually installed in homes where the doors have been replaced at some point.
The primary use of door saddles is to conceal gaps that may be present in the flooring near a door.
In older homes, these gaps are common because the original floors have not been replaced with newer materials like laminate or tile when doors have been replaced.
These gaps can create an unsightly and messy look if left unfilled.
In addition to concealing gaps in the flooring, a door saddle can protect your floors from damage caused by heavy doors.
Since a door saddle provides added support for the top of a door, it helps keep them from slamming into floors and causing dents that are difficult to repair.
It also helps prevent scratches on your floors from heavy kicks as well.
Typically, wood saddles are attached with nails, but metal door saddles often use screws.
This is because wood can expand and contract based on humidity levels in the home, which results in gaps appearing or disappearing over time.
When metal saddles are used, there is less opportunity for gaps to appear because metal does not expand as much as wood does.
Whether you choose a wood or metal saddle for your home, it is essential to ensure that the saddle size matches your door’s dimensions.
Sometimes, you will need to cut down a larger trim to fit properly around your door and hide any gaps from view.
While this may be more difficult than simply installing a pre-made saddle, it is better if you have an irregular door size.
Another important step when installing a saddle is to caulk the joint between the saddle and your flooring material.
This will ensure no cracks or gaps in the installation, which could lead to damage over time.
It will also help prevent water from getting into the gap, which can cause mold and mildew to grow on your floors and your saddle.
Overall, a door saddle is a great way to conceal unsightly gaps near doors while providing extra protection for your floors from heavy doors and kicks.
Adding a door saddle is an excellent option if you need to replace the trim around your door or want to improve its appearance.
What is a threshold?
A threshold is a part of the door consisting of a narrow horizontal piece of wood or stone lying across the bottom edge (the sill) of the doorframe and, in turn, supported by an upright member called a jamb.
Thresholds seal gaps between doors and rooms, preventing drafts that would otherwise enter the room through them and preventing pests from entering any room through those spaces.
A typical doorway has at least two types of thresholds: one on the exterior and one inside (which is often called a transom).
The outer door threshold, which may be made of several overlapping strips or pieces of wood or stone, serves both a functional and a decorative purpose; it acts as a seal against air drafts from entering under the door and keeps out insects and small animals, adding to the insulating quality of buildings.
The inner door threshold is used primarily for decoration, often made of more attractive materials than the outer one.
In some cases, the interior threshold can be ornamental and functional; for example, older homes may have thresholds made of marble or other stone that is highly polished and artistic in its appearance.
A doorway design usually calls for both thresholds to be built at the same height so that there are no gaps larger than necessary between them.
For example, if an exterior door has a sill (which is part of the outside wall) set higher than the interior floor level (because of steps leading up to it), then the inner threshold would need to be thickened so that it met the door frame without leaving any spaces underneath.
If this were not done, then the lower threshold would have to be recessed into the floor enough to allow for the difference in height between it and the sill; this would make the doorway less attractive and destroy some of its insulating ability.
When installing a threshold, it is essential to remember that the doorway must not be too wide.
A threshold needs to be installed to function correctly so that there are no cracks between it and the doorframe on either side of the door.
This means ensuring that it is both level and fully sunken into place to prevent gaps from forming around its edges.
If this were not done in older buildings, cold air would enter under doors during colder weather; likewise, pests could also get inside if there were any spaces along the edge of thresholds through which they could crawl.
While functional considerations such as sealing drafts and preventing pest invasions play an essential role in choosing a threshold material, aesthetics also come into play.
In many older homes, materials such as wood and stone were used for thresholds because of their durability and decorative appearance, which enhanced the home’s overall look.
In more contemporary decorating schemes, however, more simple materials such as metal or even plastic may be used to create a threshold; in this case, their primary purpose is to keep drafts out rather than serve as an aesthetic accent piece for the home.
Thresholds are not often found in modern homes and are being replaced with rubber weather bar extension strips which are easier and cheaper to install.
What are the differences between a door saddle and a threshold?
While their roles may be similar, it is safe to say that a door saddle and a threshold are not identical.
Let’s take a look at the most striking distinctions between them.
While the most common material choices for a threshold are wood and metal, a door saddle can be made of many different materials, including wood and metals (including steel, brass and aluminum) as well as concrete or stone.
The difference in the materials used is quite important and affects how the door saddle functions.
For example, a wooden threshold will expand or contract more with changes in temperature, which is especially important if you live in an area with dramatic shifts in weather patterns.
A metal threshold is less likely to change shape after installation.
For many people concerned about security, a door saddle can provide some peace of mind if made from sturdy materials like steel or concrete.
Many homeowners also choose to install stone thresholds for aesthetic reasons as well as for their durability over time.
Regular maintenance will surely prolong the door saddle’s lifespan and threshold.
However, some weather stripping may be necessary to increase the threshold’s durability to insulate it.
Generally speaking, a door saddle is a more expensive option than a threshold.
However, this will largely depend upon the model and the material you choose, as both saddles and thresholds come in cheaper varieties.
When it comes to installation, a traditional threshold can be a bit more challenging to install than a door saddle since the threshold is made to be placed directly under the door.
Thresholds are typically a solid piece of wood with a raised lip on one side.
Since they’re meant to be installed at the exact height of the door bottom, an uneven subfloor can make it challenging to fit precisely right underneath the door.
Door saddles are slightly more forgiving in this scenario since they can accommodate minor irregularities in flooring and can even angle up or down if necessary.
Door saddle vs. threshold: Are they the same?
While we cannot say the differences between a door saddle and a threshold are drastic, they still cannot be considered the same.
A door saddle comes in more material options and is a slightly more expensive option that can also be a bit easier to install than a traditional threshold.
It is necessary to maintain both regularly, but a threshold may require some weather stripping, which can also be an added cost.
That being said, there are still pros and cons to each type of product.
The door saddle may be right for you if you want something durable with great aesthetics.
A traditional threshold might be better if you want something less expensive.