How to replace a sliding door track

Written by ian kelly
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How to replace a sliding door track
Sliding door tracks are easy to replace. (glassed door image by Wolszczak from Fotolia.com)

Sliding doors are stylish, convenient and space saving. Unfortunately, door hardware takes a daily beating and is not that sturdy. Sliding door tracks become bent and rollers wear out. As a result, doors don't close all the way or they become stuck and difficult to operate. Once the cause of the problem has been identified, rollers can be cleaned, and bent or worn tracks can be replaced with relative ease.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Floor brush or vacuum cleaner
  • Phillips-head or a flat-head screwdriver
  • Measuring tape
  • Replacement door tracks
  • Replacement screws
  • Aerosol can of dry graphite lubricant
  • Pencil
  • Hacksaw
  • ½-inch brush
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Clean dry rag

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Grip the door on both sides. Lift until the floor rollers clear the track; pull the bottom of the door towards you. Remove by lowering it at an angle and sliding it out of the upper track. Repeat with the second door.

  2. 2

    Brush or vacuum the track to remove any dirt or loose objects; examine the entire length of the track closely. If there are signs of wear or if the track is bent, it needs to be replaced.

  3. 3

    Use either a Phillips-head or a flat-head screwdriver to remove the screws in both the upper and lower tracks. Have a helper hold the end of the upper track to stop it from buckling as you remove it. Measure the length and width of the tracks with a measuring tape.

  4. 4

    Take the lower track with you for comparison purposes and visit the nearest home improvement outlet. Purchase two replacement door tracks, either aluminium or plastic, of identical width and the same or slightly greater length. Buy replacement screws and an aerosol can of dry graphite lubricant while you're there.

  5. 5

    Hold a new track back to back against the old one; the holes should line up. If you have to trim the replacement track to fit, mark the ends with a pencil while holding it back to back against the old track. Repeat with the other track and cut both to size with a hacksaw.

  6. 6

    Screw both new tracks into place using replacement screws. Clean the lower door rollers with a 1/2-inch brush and some denatured alcohol. Spray graphite lubricant sparingly on both sides of each door roller and into the parallel slots of the upper and lower tracks. Wipe off any excess with a clean dry rag.

  7. 7

    Lift the doors one by one into the upper track at an angle as high as they will go; move the rollers onto the track by pushing the bottom of the door with your knee and lowering the doors into place. Test the sliding action of both doors.

Tips and warnings

  • Aluminium door tracks will outlast plastic.

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