Identifying the Right Replacement Roller for Your Patio Sliding Glass Door

Removing patio door rollers will require a friend’s help but it’s well worth the effort to identify the correct replacement the first time around!

Patio Door Roller Guide

Sliding glass doors are a feature that many people look for or go out of their way to have installed. It’s not hard to imagine why considering the view and natural lighting that they provide. Despite their benefits, there can be a few bumps in the road when it comes to maintaining them. The number one offender we encounter is when the rollers have worn out, turning the simple process of leaving and entering the home into a chore.

Luckily, replacement rollers that are suitable for many types of patio doors can be found on, among other hardware such as tracks, track covers, handles and locks. The tricky part is knowing which roller matches up to the originals. Many homeowners assume that a replacement can be located by determining the door manufacturer alone. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Most rollers are generic and are used by various door manufacturers. For this reason, it is vital to see the original roller assembly fully removed from the door frame.

SWISCO’s experts use various identifying characteristics to determine the best replacement option for your door. In addition to the number of wheels your roller uses to support the door, the presence of dimples, bumps, cut-outs and flared edges on the rollers housing will narrow down replacement options substantially. The way that the assembly installs in the door frame is also vital. None of these characteristics can be seen while the roller is installed, which is why the experts insist on seeing the assembly fully removed before recommending a replacement for any patio door roller.

Various Styles Of Sliding Glass Door Rollers

Once you have a clear image of the roller to submit to the experts, dimensions are needed to ensure that the recommended part will fit snugly inside the door frame. The key dimensions to confirm a replacement include the width and height of the roller’s outer housing, as well as the diameter of the wheel.

In addition to the diameter of the wheels, the material that they’re made of, steel or nylon, is also a factor. Many people will ask why the material of the wheels matter at all? Long-term, metal wheels are known to hold up better, but they can also cause the track to wear out faster, especially on heavy doors. Nylon wheels tend to be kinder to the track but may not last as long as their steel counterparts.

In some cases, a match may be available that doesn’t come with the same nylon or steel wheel as the one you’re replacing. In that case, SWISCO’s selection of roller and axle kits can often be used to replace the wheel on the new roller with one that is the same size and material as the original.


  • A little known fact for most homeowners is that sliding glass door rollers have inner and outer housings. It can be easy to remove what you think is the entire roller but the outer housing can be left inside the door frame.
    Disassembled Patio Glass Door Roller
    Disassembled Patio Glass Door Roller
    It’s important to make sure that the entire assembly is removed to avoid having to remove the door a second time.
  • If the new roller seems too high or low to reinstall the door properly, try using the adjustment screw to alter the height of the wheel to create the proper amount of clearance.
  • If you wind up with a broken handle on the door, check the rollers and track for debris or damage to prevent breaking the replacement handle due to resistance when opening and closing the door.
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