Screen door roller replacement

Screen door roller replacement is often what you need to make your door glide smoothly again but you need to know which ones to buy. Not so easy when the rollers are often hidden from view and many times you have to pull the whole screen door frame apart to find them

Door rollers break down into at least 2 categories. Mitered screen doors, by far the most popular and Notched screen doors.

Mitered screen doors have vertical and horizontal rials with 45 degree joints held together with a friction fit corner. They have rollers that are attached to the corners that hold the door together. They can also have rollers that are removeable from the corners or they can have rollers that are completely seperate from the corners.

Notched screen doors have no corners at all. They typically use screws to hold the horizontal and vertical frame rails together. The rollers in these doors fit into the top and bottom of the vertical rails

Between mitered and notched screen doors, notched doors typically have the both the least reliable and most expensive rollers. In a notched door, the roller sits in a tiny space and has to avoid the screws that hold the frame together. 

Rollers for mitered screen doors

In a mitered screen door there is a friction fit corner holding the vertical and horizontal rails together. The corner often has a pivot point that a roller assembly attaches to. Rollers can be permanently attached or can be removed.

Some rollers are riveted to the corner as a one piece assembly so when the roller breaks the whole screen door frame has to come apart to replace the roller

Other rollers clip onto a pivot point on the corner and can be removed without taking the whole frame apart

Rollers that are part of the corner

Usually the corners for these types are stamped out of one piece of aluminum. The roller is permanently riveted onto the corner and the only way to replace the roller is to take apart the whole frame and pull out and replace the corner roller assemblies.

Some corners are made to hold the roller housing but they still allow you to replace the wheel itself without taking apart the frame. 

The roller has a height adjusting screw that threads into the corner and is adjusted by inserting a screwdriver into the edge of the screen door

Rollers that attach to the corner

This style of corner has a pivot pin or a nub that sticks out or a hook that allows the screen door roller to be connected and disconnected without having to take the whole frame apart.

There is also a spring on the roller assembly the pushes against the frame and acts like a shock absorber to help the screen door glide smoothly.

These rollers have horizontal height adjusting screws that go right through the corners and are accessed by sticking a screwdriver into the edges of the screen door

Rollers that are not attached to the corner

Still other rollers are completely seperate from the corner and are screwed into the frame just ahead of the corner. 

These rollers mostly have vertical height adjusting screws that stick out of the horizontal rails of the screen so they can be adjusted by a screwdriver

Rollers for notched screen doors

There are far less different types of rollers for notched screen doors. Most of them do not work very well. When they are new, things are fine but the moment you remove the screen door everything falls apart

Newer plastic roller housings are friction fit. Over time from the opening and closing of the door the friction fit becomes loose. Then there is nothing to hold the door up off the bottom track

The door starts to scrape on the track and jams and even if you replace the rollers they do not fit tightly in the rails. The same problem quickly repeats itself.