We have travertine tile floors throughout the downstairs of our house, and they’re great, but whoever installed them left the edges near the doors unfinished. Specifically near the sliding glass door, there was an uneven gap between the tile and threshold that dirt and dog hair were always getting into. One day while I was at a friend’s house, I noticed that all of her doors had oak thresholds. The color of the wood and the grain complimented the travertine very nicely, and it gave me an idea of what to do with our thresholds.
I measured the height of the sliding door’s metal track, the gap between the track and the edge of the travertine, and the width of the three doors, and went to Home Depot to browse the moulding section. I wanted something with a lower profile, and found this oak base shoe. Base shoe is typically installed along the bottom of baseboard with the wider side against the baseboard, but for my application it worked better to install it with the wider side against the floor. You could also use quarter round, but at 1/2″ x 3/4″ the base shoe fit my needs better.
Since the sliding glass door’s threshold was the longest, I started by cutting this piece. First, I cut it to length, and then I went back and cut a small angle off of one end to allow for part of the door frame. I did all of the cutting by hand with a coping saw, and I marked all of the cuts by fitting the piece and marking the board as I went, rather than measuring. With projects like this, I find this method to be more accurate. If you’re making simple cuts, you could of course use a mitre saw.
After the big piece was cut for the sliding door, I moved on to the pieces for the front door and the door leading out to the garage. Both of these doors are framed in wood trim, so I had to angle the ends differently to get a clean fit. Unfortunately I didn’t take any photos during the fitting and cutting stage, so you’ll have to use your imagination and look at the before and after photos to see how I did this.
Once the base shoe was cut to fit each door, I stained it and put a clear coat on it before installing it. Since red oak has a pinkish hue to it, I used Minwax Classic Gray stain. I applied two coats of stain, and wiped both off very quickly to keep it light. Then I applied 4 coats of General Finishes High Performance Top Coat in Flat.
Once the clear coat was dry, I used Liquid Nails Paneling and Moulding Construction Adhesive to install the trim. I had to use an adhesive for application because I was installing the trim directly against the travertine floor and metal threshold. There are also stronger adhesives available, but I chose this one because I don’t want to ruin the stone if I ever need to remove the trim. I applied the Liquid Nails to the edges that would be against the floor and the threshold according to directions and then installed the trim. The Liquid Nails takes a bit of time to cure, so I placed several heavy objects on top of the trim to keep it held in place.
I’m a firm believer that little details make all the difference and, this was a simple and very affordable way to create a finished look and make a big impact. I completed this project about a year ago, and it has held up very well. The tone of the wood has neutralized a bit, and blends really nicely with the color of the floor.
What do you think? Would you try this in your home? I would love to see the results if you do, so feel free to share in the comments below, or by tagging me on Instagram! Be sure to subscribe at the bottom of the page for notifications of new posts, and follow along on Instagram and Pinterest! Also, don’t forget to check out last week’s tutorial for making your own DIY Dip-Dye Throw Pillow, as well as the other tutorials on the blog. Cheers!