Sliding Door Vinyl Sill Replacement

Written by adam raphael
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Sliding Door Vinyl Sill Replacement
Learn how to replace the vinyl sill on a sliding door. (pliers image by Jakub Cejpek from

Vinyl sills have a lot of advantages: they do not need to be painted, are very durable and are easily maintained. But even vinyl can become damaged, worn out and rotten over time, especially if exposed to extreme conditions. Whatever the reason for the damage, you may want to learn how to replace the vinyl sill of your sliding door. Moreover, if you want to replace an old sill made of another material with a vinyl one, the installation process is the same.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers or wrench
  • Nails

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  1. 1

    Measure the old vinyl sill of your sliding door with a tape measure. Measure both thickness and the length.

  2. 2

    Remove both the sliding panel and the fixed panel of your door. First, remove the outside panel, usually the fixed one. Remove the sill cap at the bottom of the door, in the track of the panel. Use a screwdriver to pop the sill cap out. Check all the sides of the jamb. Check both sides and the top to look for the screws that hold the panel in its place. Remove all of them with a screwdriver, and carefully remove the fixed panel by pulling it gently from the jamb frame. If the panel gets stuck in some part of its frame, use a screwdriver to set it loose. After the fixed panel is out, removing the sliding panel is much easier. Simply lift the panel to get it out of the bottom track and move it away.

  3. 3

    Remove the nails from the old vinyl sill, using a wrench or pliers. After you remove every nail, remove the sill very carefully.

  4. 4

    Cut the new sill with a saw in the exact length needed. Use a fine sandpaper to perfect the edges of the cut.

  5. 5

    Put the sill in its place, checking that it's in the correct position. Nail it in a few places along its length, using a hammer. After the first nail, you may want to check the position again. If the placement isn't correct, move it a bit as needed and then proceed with the nails.

  6. 6

    Put the panels of your sliding doors back it their place, following the instructions from step 2 in reverse.

Tips and warnings

  • You may want to remove the old sill before buying a new one, so you can have a better reference.
  • Be careful and gentle when removing the door panels from their frame to avoid breaking them and hurting yourself.

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