How to Add A Door Bottom to Insulate Your Home

Insulating the gaps around the entry doors of your home will save you money in energy costs. You can add felt insulation or a weatherseal under the door but the gap may be too tight. A better solution is to add a door bottom. Here's how to add a door bottom to insulate your home.

These are easy instructions but some types of insulation could require simple carpentry skills. Some door bottoms may only require sliding the insulation in place. Other door bottoms may require some type of fasteners and a hammer.

Look at the bottom of your door. In Fig 1, there is a small gap underneath which will allow heat to escape outside in the winter and allow heat to come inside in the summer. The heating and cooling system will work harder to maintain the temperature setting. This will result in wasted energy. You can save money by trapping heat indoors in the winter and trapping cooler air inside in the summer.

Even if the gap is not obvious, try putting your hand under the door when it is very cold outside. If you feel air coming through that is cooler than the air in your home then you should insulate. It is more difficult to test in the summer but blowing hot air with a hair dryer and feeling the warm air come through on the opposite side of the gap is a sign that insulation under the door is required.

Purchase a door bottom from any hardware store such as Lowes or Home Depot or even department stores like Target or Walmart. There are several types as shown in the resource below. In this example, we will use a plastic self-stick door bottom. Shown are examples in Fig 1 and Fig 2.

Cut the door bottom length to size with a scissor.

Remove the backing of the adhesive and attach the door bottom to the door so that it covers the gap and touches the door transition or floor.

Sometimes the adhesive may not be adequate. There may be a place mat that could separate the door bottom from the door over time. You may have to reinforce the adhesive with wire nails or tacks. Fig 3 is an example of a door bottom secured with small nails.

Fig Diagram of Door Bottom Nailed to Door

Fig 4. Hammering Small Nails into Door Bottom and Door

Hammer the door bottom with nails or tacks as shown in Fig 4. Space them about 2 inches apart. Fig 5 is an example of a door bottom held with tacks.

Open and close the door to test the door bottom to check if it doesn't come off. Hammer more tacks or wire nails if necessary to secure the door bottom.

You can add felt insulation at the transition under the door instead of adding protection at the bottom of the door that slides with the door. There are times when the door bottom can come off for some reason or another. The reason could be poor insulation or the door bottom could be touching the floor too tight.

Read the article titled, “How to Add Felt Insulation Under Door” in my HubPages.


Fig 1.  Gap Under Door
Fig 1. Gap Under Door | Source
Fig 2. A Door Bottom (in Yellow) with Self-Sticking Adhesive
Fig 2. A Door Bottom (in Yellow) with Self-Sticking Adhesive
Fig 3.  A Door Bottom with Self Adhesive Cut to Length
Fig 3. A Door Bottom with Self Adhesive Cut to Length | Source
Fig 4.  Hammering Small Nails into Door Bottom and Door
Fig 4. Hammering Small Nails into Door Bottom and Door | Source
Fig 5.  Door Bottom Secured with Tacks
Fig 5. Door Bottom Secured with Tacks | Source

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