Guide to Garage Door Tracks

When you’re getting prepared to purchase your new garage door, you’ll need to know the the various garage door track options offered. Whether you’re replacing an existing garage door, building a new house, or renovating a rental property, you’ll need to know which tracks will work best for your specific application. This is an important decision that will serve your new garage doors for years to come. Continue reading to learn the different track options available in 2022.

There are nearly limitless options for types of new overhead garage doors, but there are a limited amount of options for garage door track systems. The key factors to determine when choosing the best tracks for your doors are as follows:

  • Headroom: the space between your garage door opening and the ceiling or structure above
  • Sideroom: the space on either side your garage door
  • Your garage door top section height

Understanding Headroom

Overhead garage doors are divided into sections that are hinged together when installed. While opening, they rise on vertical tracks, pass through a curved track section and then travel along the horizontal garage door rails until the door clears the opening, where the garage door will remain until it’s closed. The space above the door is the headroom for the garage door, garage door wheels, and other components. Your headroom will need to be large enough to contain:

  • The curved portion of track, which connects the vertical and horizontal track sections
  • Torsion springs or extension springs to counterbalance the weight of the garage door
  • The motor for your garage door opener system (unless using a side-mount jackshaft opener system)

Most Common Garage Door Tracks

Overhead garage door track options are frequently described by the size (or radius) of the curved track or by the the amount of low headroom in which the garage door must fit. There are a total of five (5) basic garage door track options, with the first two being the common used in residential installation.

Standard Radius Track

standard radius garage door track system

The most popular standard radius track is 12″, which means 12″ of headroom is required to accommodate the curvature of the track with moving components. Other standard radius options include 15″ radius, 20″radius, and 32″ radius. The larger the radius, the larger the headroom required in order to accomodate the curve of the track.

Low Headroom Track

low headroom garage door track

This is a common track option that uses less headroom space than any standard garage door track. It’s also referred to as “dual-track” because of the second horizontal track used in this system. The second track is installed above the garage door horizontal section attached to the curve from the vertical track. It’s used to move only the top section of your garage door, allowing your operator is easily move the top section enough that the remaining sections will travel smoothly on the lower track.

High-Lift Track

While technically a variation of standard radius tracks, hi-lift tracks are most often used in applications where the ceiling is much higher than in a typical home. Hi-lift tracks utilize a standard radius curve but uses more vertical track than horizontal track to allow the garage door to move out of the opening.

Vertical Lift Track

vertical lift garage door track

Vertical lift tracks are a variation of hi-lift tracks, and are most commonly found in commercial applications. In this particular configuration, only the vertical track is used, allowing the garage door to move up and out from the wall far enough to accomodate the opener system.

Roof Pitch Track

roof pitch garage door track

In this system, the garage door tracks follow the pitch of the roof or mounting structure. Given the specific roof pitch, a standard radius curved track section is custom cut to allow the angled horizontal track to follow the structure exactly, maximizing headroom and sideroom in your garage.

Garage Door Track Repair

If your existing garage door tracks are bent, misaligned, or broken, repair may be the route you’d like to go. We can also determine the various options available for your specific garage doors if you’re thinking of upgrading your garage door track system. Want to learn more about which garage door track option is best for you? Give our award-winning team a call today to learn more. (770) 235-8189

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