When it comes to garage door components, people do not always know what something is or what it’s called. Why would they? Garage doors have a wide range of parts and hardware, and it takes time to fully understand what they are and their purpose. To make things easier, we’re here to help educate you on the basics.
In this Garage Door Hardware Index, we lay out the basics of what you should know; especially if you’re in the market for a new door. So, let’s get to it.
First things first, there are two types of hardware for garage doors:
1. Door hardware – the parts contributing to the physical operation of the door
2. Decorative hardware – the parts that contribute to the overall look and aesthetic
1. Door Hardware
Definition: The tracks are the rails located on the walls or ceiling that allow the door to roll.
There are different types of tracks for different applications:
• Normal Headroom
– takes 12-15 inches for a door to make the curve and open
– fit for most houses but some homes do not allow enough headroom space
• Low Headroom
– uses a double track
– compatible with torsion springs (located in front or back)
– compatible with extension springs (must be located on the inside)
• High Lift Track
– goes up the wall a bit and curves back
– ideal for areas where you don’t want the door hanging in the middle of the room
• Vertical Lift Track
– goes straight up on the wall
– more frequently used for commercial applications
There are two size variations of tracks:
• 2 inch track – for standard size garage doors
• 3 inch track – for heavy duty garage doors
Definition: Rollers are wheels that are inserted into the hinges on the door to allow it to move along the track.
There are different type of rollers:
• Steel Rollers
– standard roller
– 7 to 10 ball bearings are needed (depending on door weight)
– requires some maintenance; needs to be lubricated
• Nylon Rollers
– has steel stem while the actual roller is nylon
– popular with lighter doors
– slightly quieter than steel when in operation
– requires no maintenance
• Nylon Rollers with Ball Bearings
– intended for heavier doors to make them quieter when in operation
Definition: Hinges connect garage door panels together while allowing sections to slightly curve along rounded portions of garage door track. Hinges are located on the interior side of the garage door.
There are 3 different kinds of hinges:
• Residential Hinges– 14 gauge
• Commercial Hinges– 10 gauge
• Quiet Hinges – steel hinges with nylon inserts designed to make movement quieter
Definition: Struts are horizontal bar(s) that go across the length of the door or door panels to stiffen each section and prevent bending or breaking while in use or against inclement weather. Struts are located on the interior side of the garage door.
The quantity of struts varies based on external factors and the level of additional protection needed:
• Most manufacturers build doors with a standard windload to withstand moderate winds.
• If you live in an especially windy area, you can increase the number of struts for a higher windload.
• The more struts that are added, the more windload stress the door can withstand.
Definition: Cables attach to the brackets on the bottom of the door and work simultaneously with the spring system to open and close the door. Cables are commonly referred to/described as “wires” by many homeowners.
Definition: Drums are round, metal wheel-looking parts that the cables wrap themselves around on a torsion spring door. Drums are located on either end of the garage door (more specifically, on the ends of the torsion shaft).
Definition: Pulleys are only used with extension spring garage doors. Pulleys connect the cable to the spring and allow for smooth door operation. Some maintenance is required as pulleys do need to be lubricated from time to time.
Definition: Springs are coils that compress and contract with mechanical energy, allowing the garage door to move up and down.
There are two main types of garage door springs:
• Extension Springs – used on smaller doors ranging in size up to approximately 9 ft. wide x 8 ft. high
• Torsion Springs – used on heavier doors, torsion springs offer options for increased cycle limit for a longer lifespan
2. Decorative Hardware
If you want to give your garage door some style, decorative hardware is the answer.
Hinges and Handles
• Fake hinges can be mounted on the exterior side of the door to give the appearance of a stylish swing door.
• Fake handles can also be mounted on the exterior surface of the door. While the handles serve no functional purpose, they add a stylish appearance to the garage door.
• An array of designs and options are available for both hinges and handles. Get creative with a combination of hinges and handles that showcases your style!
• Decorative windows can be inserted into a garage door for a unique look.
• Glass types range from plain glass to obscure glass.
• Inserts can be designed in different shapes and sizes.
• There are many styles of decorative windows providing endless possibilities for transforming your garage door.
Bottom line – quality matters. When it comes to selecting garage door hardware, you should always pay attention to the manufacturer of the products because different brands have various qualities of hardware. As a professional door and window company, Omaha Door & Window makes quality a top priority, and we’re more than familiar with the various options out there. Whether you’re looking to simply decorate your door or improve its functional lifespan, we’re here to help make sure you accomplish your goal with the best products the market has to offer.
If you are ever unsure about the best garage door hardware to use – just ask! Contact us today and talk through your options with one of our industry experts.