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Just bought house. Previous owners did some bad renovations by themselves. I noticed lots of bugs coming in. Figured out the wooden kitchen/garage adjustable door threshold was screwed down all the way. Got down there to raise it and realized when they did kitchen tile, they mortared against the threshold, in it's tightened down position. The grout line is about 1/4 inch wide, all along the threshold.

Then they filled the adjustable screw head with grout so nobody could adjust it up and break the grout line/threshold connection. Except the screw closest to hinge, it doesn't have grout in it, and it's raised flush against the door bottom like it's supposed to be. Then the other three are all tightened down.

I don't know if you're supposed to tile flush to the threshold edge or grouting to the edge is better, if they did it wrong or not.

I tried scratching the screw head grout with a screwdriver and a dental tool but nothing came off. Any ideas for that, short of demolishing it to get it out?

Would using a dremel and thin cutting wheel break the grout cleanly along threshold? Or will it break up the 1/4 channel and I'll have to re-grout that part, hoping to match the color? I've never grouted before and don't really want to get into it. I'm terrible at painting and caulking so probably won't do well with grouting.

Or any other ideas? Thanks!

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    duckduckgo.com/… – jsotola Jul 24 '20 at 6:07
  • Dremels are for model makers. use an oscillating tool. or a grout scraper. – Jasen Jul 24 '20 at 6:16
  • Thanks jsotola for the terminology link. – Kirk Hings Jul 24 '20 at 6:48
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    Is the adjustable part plastic or wood? – Jack Jul 24 '20 at 15:33
  • It's wood. I've had them before at previous homes so I know how to work them, but this is definitely a "there i fixed it" version. – Kirk Hings Jul 24 '20 at 19:43
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So this is what happened. First I bought a handheld grout scraper, but it was way too wide; I wanted a thin cut if possible. Then I bought and used a 1/16" wide mason cutting wheel on my cheap harbor freight 4" angle grinder, you can see results in pics. It did the job, but the grout crumbled and collapsed. Finally, I used an old flathead screwdriver and hammer to chip grout from screws until I could raise the threshold.

Lessons Learned:

  • Good: Goal was to raise the threshold and stop bug traffic. Goal accomplished.
  • Bad: I should have started inside kitchen rather than outside in garage. I think I could have kept a straighter line and not damaged the threshold so much. I didn't realize the threshold damage until I moved inside.
  • Bad: I should have tried using a Dremel cutting wheel cutting wheel first. The wheel width would only been 1/64" thinner, and maybe the grout would still have collapsed, but I would have had better control with a Dremmel than the heavy angle grinder. Also in hindsight probably wiser to start with smallest cutting tool and move up if the situation allows.
  • Bad: I ended up trashing the threshold.
  • Good & Bad: My mistakes in this project force me to learn how to remove and reinstall a wood threshold and grouting. Acquiring new skills is never bad, but now I have to pay extra money and have two more chores to finish it.

Left half of whole picture

Right half of whole picture

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  • Well done! The only thing that beats learning from your mistakes is learning from others mistakes. Be sure to click the check-mark as soon as the system allows so that others know this is resolved. – FreeMan Oct 7 '20 at 14:27

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