If you’re trying to prevent noise from escaping or entering a room, you’ll want to soundproof the main points of entry first. Usually, that means securing the gap at the bottom of the door by installing a door sweep. The same principle applies to garage doors, though instead of a door sweep, you’ll need to get your hands on the best garage door bottom and threshold seals.
Luckily, that’s something I can help you with. But before we go too far into it, we should consider the differences between these two distinct types of products.
On the one hand, you have door bottom seals, which you attach to the bottom of the door. As far as I can tell, there are two types of door bottom seals: the ones that come with metal channel tracks and those that are nailed directly into the door.
On the other hand, there are threshold seals that you glue to the floor underneath the garage door. They tend to be used for smaller gaps, while door bottom seals can handle larger ones. You could also use both types of seals together.
Still, because these are two different kinds of products, I wanted to review several items for each category. After I share my thoughts on them, I’ll answer some of the questions you might have about seals in general. But first, let’s take a look at some of the best garage door bottom seals.
Reviews of the Best Garage Door Bottom Seals
While looking for the best garage door bottom seals on the market, I mainly wanted to showcase the different kinds of products that can fall into this category. So here are some of the most interesting examples I’ve found.
1. M-D Building Products 16 FT Black Rubber Garage Door Bottom Seal
If you’re in the market for a garage seal, M-D Building Products is always a reliable choice. The company makes all sorts of garage weatherstripping products, but let’s start with the kind that needs to be nailed directly into the door. Since we have other seals to go through, I’ll only talk about this one example. But if you end up preferring it over the others, you’ll have no trouble finding similar seals.
Now, this 16-foot roll of rubber comes with all the nails you’ll need to install it. However, you won’t be able to use them unless you have a wooden garage door. If you have a steel one, you could get around this obstacle by attaching the seal with galvanized screws.
The EPDM synthetic rubber will retain its flexibility no matter which tools you decide to use. According to the manufacturer, it’ll even keep its shape in temperatures ranging from -40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Even if the 16-foot roll is a bit too long for your door, you can easily trim off the excess. You’ll just have to do so before installing the seal. Still, if you don’t want to, the same company also sells 9-foot packs.
Both lengths otherwise have the same dimensions. The flat side of the seal is 1.37 inches wide, which is about how thick your door will need to be. With the flap, which will block the gap on the outside, the total width of the strip will be exactly 2 inches.
» M-D 16 FT Garage Door Bottom on Amazon «
2. M-D Building Products 9 FT Universal Aluminum and Rubber Garage Door Bottom Seal
The next M-D Building Products seal I wanted to highlight is one that requires a metal piece and a rubber strip. Although these kinds of products are usually sold separately, this kit includes both parts. That makes it ideal for people who are installing a garage door bottom seal for the very first time. Best of all, it should work on both steel and wooden garage doors.
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The aluminum metal tracks will be sturdy enough to stay attached to your door for years to come. What’s more, the metal is soft enough to cut through with a circular saw, allowing you to fit it against your door perfectly. As long as your door is up to 9 feet wide, you should have no issues.
The vinyl seal insert should slide right into the channels once you have installed them. It’ll also be 9 feet long, but you won’t need to trim it to fit your door. Instead, you should simply tuck the ends into the bubble created by the seal.
That should keep the seal functional even if the material shrinks in low temperatures. Still, the manufacturer claims that won’t happen unless temperatures reach below 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
» M-D 9 FT Universal Aluminum & Rubber Garage Door Bottom «
3. Universal T-End 20 FT Garage Door Bottom Seal Weather Strip
Now, if you already have a metal channel installed on your door, you’ll just need to buy the rubber part of the product I’ve just mentioned. It usually comes in a roll and is relatively flat, except for the T-shaped ends that will slide into the metal channels.
According to the company, this gray rubber seal is about 3.21 inches wide. However, some users report it being just under 3 inches wide, which may present a problem if your garage door is thicker than 2 inches. The product is also 20 feet long, so it’ll fit a door of any width.
If yours is on the smaller side, you can easily cut the rubber with a utility knife or regular scissors. But remember: don’t trim these kinds of seals down to the exact measurements of the door!
You’ll need a few inches of excess material on both sides once you feed the seal into the channels. Even though this material should withstand temperatures between -40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, those additional inches will make it even more flexible and less prone to shifting.
» Universal T-End 20 FT Garage Door Bottom Seal «
4. BOWSEN Weatherproof Rubber Garage Door Bottom Seal
When I was looking for products to review, I knew I wanted to show you different seal styles. BOWSEN gave me just what I was looking for — T-style seals with a twist!
The company calls the design of its seals a U+O shape, but don’t let that confuse you. We’re talking about the same kind of seal as the previous one on my list — with the addition of a cylindrical roll on one side of the synthetic rubber strip.
The strip is about 4 inches wide, with a half-inch thick ring in the center. On the opposite side of the rubber, there are shallow ridges along the length of the material. That side will come into contact with the floor once you install the seal. Meanwhile, the T-style ends on the sides of the strip come in quarter-inch and 5/16-inch sizes, so make sure to measure the metal channels you already have before buying one of these seals.
Of course, if you love the idea of a U+O seal, but you don’t already have a metal double-channel track, BOWSEN also sells complete garage door weatherstripping kits. With or without the metal part, the seal comes in three lengths — 10, 16, and 20 feet.
» BOWSEN Weatherproof Garage Door Seal on Amazon «
5. P-Bulb Bottom Seal for Overhead Door Models
The fifth door bottom seal I wanted to mention is another one that uses a metal sliding track. However, instead of having two T-style ends, this weatherstripping seal has a P-shaped edge.
Naturally, it uses a single-channel track, which isn’t included in the purchase, so you’ll have to make sure you have a suitable metal part before you get this kind of seal. It’ll have to be able to fit the P-bulb edge, which has a 0.195-inch diameter. Generally, this kind of seal would be particularly suitable for overhead 180, 280, and 390 series garage doors.
The seal comes in two lengths — 9 and 16 feet — though the rolls you receive will be 4 inches longer to allow you to tuck in the ends. As always, though, you can trim these kinds of products as much as you’d like, as long as you keep a few extra inches on both sides.
The rest of the seal is already folded into a 1.5-inch diameter cylinder, which may look a bit flat when you take it out of the box. Still, it shouldn’t take much to correct the shape.
» P-Bulb Bottom Seal for Overhead Door Models «
Reviews of the Best Threshold Seals
Now that we’ve seen the best door bottom seals on offer, let’s check out some thresholds. As I have mentioned, these can be used together with some of the ones I’ve already reviewed or as stand-alone seals. But choosing the exact product or combination will depend entirely on the design of your garage door.
1. VAT Industries Universal Weatherstripping Seal for Garage Door Threshold
The Vat Industries threshold seal is just about the most basic model you can expect to find. It has an asymmetrical profile, which means that its 3.31-inch width has both a shallow and a thicker edge.
The side that will stay under the garage door is only 0.13 inches thick. Conversely, the edge that will remain on the inside of the garage is about 0.69 inches thick. So, if the gap under your door is any larger, you’ll need to compensate with a bottom seal. The product also comes in a 20-foot long roll, so it should cover most garage door sizes.
As I have mentioned, this is pretty much the most standard kind of threshold seal you can find. The black EPDM rubber is completely smooth on top, but the ridges on the bottom should help the product adhere to the garage door. However, unlike some of the other products I’ll mention, it doesn’t come with a tube of sealant.
» VAT Universal Garage Door Threshold Seal «
2. Papillon Universal Garage Door Threshold Seal
Next up, we have a slightly more interesting design from Papillon. Once again, the rubber seal has a vaguely asymmetrical profile, though it’s certainly less pronounced than the previous one we saw. It’s about half an inch thick at its thickest point, and 3.5 inches wide in total. The thinner, non-ridged side goes under the door while the textured side remains on the inside of the garage.
Naturally, the seal is made of black synthetic rubber, though it also has a stylish yellow line running down the center of the seal. It comes in two lengths — 10 and 20 feet. However, the purchase doesn’t include any kind of sealant or adhesive.
Lastly, it should be noted that both threshold seals I’ve mentioned so far are meant to be used in conjunction with a door bottom seal. Two rubber products should be a much better defense against dust, debris, moisture, and pests than one.
» Papillon Universal Garage Door Threshold Seal «
3. M-D Building Products Gray 10 FT Garage Door Threshold Kit
If you’d rather have a softer color on the threshold of your garage, I suggest purchasing this gray vinyl seal. Like the others, it has an asymmetric profile with a pronounced ridge in the middle that’s about half an inch thick. The strip is about 4 inches wide, which means that you should be able to use it under 2-inch thick doors.
Like the previous threshold seal on my list, this one has ribbing on the thicker side. However, that texture doesn’t seem to serve any purpose, not even to help your tires gain traction. After all, the seal certainly isn’t thick enough to notice when walking or driving over it.
As always, there are grooves on the bottom side of the strip to help the sealant fuse it with the ground. And unlike the previous products I’ve mentioned, this one comes with a tube of silicone adhesive. You should have just enough sealant to install the 10-foot long seal.
» M-D Gray 10 FT Garage Door Threshold Kit «
4. Garadry High Garage Door Threshold Seal Kit
Lastly, I wanted to mention one threshold seal with a symmetrical profile. This Garadry seal is about 4.33 inches wide, with tapered sides and a 0.75-inch thick rise in the center. The black vinyl has two yellow lines running along that ridge,but there’s no texture on the top side of the strip. It does have grooves on the bottom side, though.
Since this seal has a symmetrical profile, it doesn’t really matter how you install it, as long as the ridge is just on the inside of the garage when the door is closed. However, if it still can’t reach the door, the company also has 1- and 2-inch models.
They all come in six sizes, ranging from 8.3 feet to 20.3 feet, and they’re as easy to trim as any of the other products I’ve talked about. Better still, they come with enough adhesive.
» Garadry High Garage Door Threshold Seal Kit «
Features to Look for When Shopping for the Best Garage Door Seals
Ultimately, the main purpose of these products is to close the gap between the bottom of the door and the floor. However, as similar as they may be, choosing one that will get the job done isn’t as simple as you might think. So let’s talk about some of the things you should pay attention to when shopping for the best garage door bottom and threshold seals.
As you have seen, both threshold and door bottom seals come in certain standard sizes. The shortest among them were 8 feet long, while the longer ones were closer to 20 feet. Naturally, you’ll need to measure your door before placing your order.
When in doubt, go for a product that’s longer than necessary, especially if you want to get a U-shaped seal. You’ll need about three or four inches of excess rubber on both sides of the door after you feed the seal into the metal channels. And if you need to install new metal channels as well, you’ll be able to shorten that part with a circular saw.
But what if you want to get a threshold seal or the kind of door bottom seal you’d need to nail straight into the door? Well, in that case, there’s no need to get a product that’s a foot longer than your door. Still, a few additional inches would allow you to leave some extra material on the inside of the garage.
Most garage seals are thin enough to cut through with a pair of scissors or a utility knife. However, they should also be thick enough to effectively seal your garage door.
For that to happen, you’ll need to measure the space between the floor and the bottom of the door. When shopping for seals, you should immediately exclude the ones that aren’t at least as thick as that gap.
The threshold seals I’ve reviewed are at least half an inch thick, though Garadry also makes 2-inch thick ones. But you don’t have to go to that extreme. Most U-shaped seals that are at least 4 inches wide should be able to close that gap, as long as it’s about an inch tall. Remember, those seals need to be able to flatten out slightly when the door closes, so they shouldn’t just barely brush against the floor.
Still, if your door hangs more than an inch above the ground and you don’t want to buy a new one, you’ll have to think outside the box. Fortunately, as I have mentioned throughout my reviews, you can always combine a threshold seal and a door bottom one. But if you want the result to be aesthetically pleasing, you’ll want to use products of a similar color and material.
You might have noticed that most of the products on my list are made of regular synthetic rubber. That material could have a bit of an odor, but it would dissipate soon after you take the seal out of the box. Vinyl doesn’t tend to have much of a scent — I’ve said as much in my article about MLV.
Now, the seal needs to be able to withstand extreme weather conditions. Fortunately, vinyl and rubber don’t crack or change their shape in high or low temperatures. However, if the manufacturer doesn’t mention the temperature range of their products in their description, you could use their warranty to establish quality.
According to some people, vinyl may be slightly less durable than rubber, often lasting no longer than six years or so. That said, can you expect more from a garage door seal? You’ll either be driving over it or putting the full weight of your garage door on it. No matter which material you end up choosing, it will deteriorate over time.
Lastly, before you decide on the kind of seal you want to look for, consider the application method. Your choices may vary depending on the material your door is made of, whether you already have metal tracks on the bottom, and several other factors.
So, to begin with, check if your garage door already has the metal part on the bottom. If so, see if you’re working with a single or a double-channel track. You’ll need to get a P-bulb seal if it’s the former and a regular T-end seal for the latter.
Alternately, if you want to install one of these seals but don’t have a metal track, you’ll need to buy one of those as well. Also, you should have a drill ready to drive in the screws you’ll get with the weatherstripping kit.
On the other hand, there are door bottom seals that are supposed to be nailed right into the door. Obviously, the nails you receive with the kit would only work on wooden doors. If you want to apply that kind of seal on steel doors, I suggest using screws.
Lastly, if you wish to get a threshold seal, you can get one with or without a tube of adhesive. If you get one without, you’ll have to purchase a caulking kit separately. Still, you can expect the installation process to be much simpler than it is for door bottom seals.
How to Install a Garage Door Bottom Seal
Having just said that installing a door bottom seal can be a bit tricky, I’d like to take a moment to explain what the process might look like.
Well Begun Is Half Done
The first thing you’ll need to do is prepare the door for the new seal. That might entail getting rid of the old one or installing new metal tracks.
If you only have to take off the old seal, you’ll just need a utility knife. After you cut away the excess rubber, it will be easier to slide what’s left of the seal out of the tracks.
If you want to reuse those tracks, you’ll need to clean and lubricate them with WD-40. Trust me — the new seal won’t budge past the first couple of inches unless the tracks are slick. Alternatively, if you want to use a new metal part, you’ll need to measure the door first. Then, just cut the aluminum and screw it on.
Attach the Seal
Once the tracks are sufficiently lubricated, you’ll be able to slide the T-ends (or P-bulb) into them without a problem. However, if your door is especially wide, you might need a helper. They could drag the seal down the channels while you push it in. That way, you wouldn’t have to run back and forth to do both.
After you have the seal all the way in, make sure to fold the ends back into the U-shaped seal. And that’s it — the whole project can be completed within a minute or two.
On the other hand, if you’re using just the rubber bottom seal, you’ll need to find a comfortable position and nail or screw it in. Remember, the flap should point outward!
How to Properly Install a Threshold Seal
As I explained in my guide to sealing a garage door, installing a threshold seal is fairly straightforward.
First, make sure that the area directly under the garage door is clean — otherwise, the adhesive won’t work that well. After you finish cleaning, stand inside the garage and close the door. From there, you can:
- Push the thin part of the seal under the door.
- Trim off the excess so that the seal fits perfectly.
- Draw a line on the floor to mark where the inside edge of the seal should be.
- Open the door, reposition the seal against the line you made, and mark the outer edge of the seal.
- Apply two continuous beads of sealant just inside the two lines you drew, then make a zigzag within the lines.
- Plop the threshold seal on top of the adhesive, shifting it into place, and allow it to set.
And that’s all it takes to install a new threshold seal. When you want to remove it and install a new one, cut it away and scrape off the adhesive.
Seal the Deal!
When you decide to soundproof your garage, the door will be your biggest obstacle. After all, it lets in most of the air and sound you’re trying to keep out. However, as soon as you seal it properly, you should hear a significant difference in the noise levels.
On top of that, threshold and door bottom seals are particularly useful for deflecting rainfall and different kinds of debris. Moreover, they’re the ideal protection against bugs, rodents, snakes, and any other pests that might want to move in.
But these seals can only do so much — even if you layer them as I have suggested several times. To further fortify your garage door, you’ll also need to install side and top seals. That should round out your defense against moisture and noise, as well as make your garage more energy-efficient. So, after you close the door bottom gap, make sure the sides of your door are properly sealed as well!