How a Sliding Screen Door Works

A dog looks out a sliding screen door.

A sliding screen door is a good way to decorate your home. This type of door can be installed on the patio, at the main entrance, on the terrace, or at any point inside the house. Below is some information on how a sliding screen door works.

Basic Information on Screen Doors

It is important to read some basic information on sliding screen doors. Usually, they are installed using spring-loaded rollers, with these parts preventing the door from being removed from the track. The rollers are installed at the bottom edge of the door and will slide on the installed sliding door tracks, set on the floor.

Homeowners can purchase the door as a complete set from a supply store and may choose from a variety of models. They are usually rectangular in shape and mitered at the corners to provide a secure fit. Most sliding screen doors are made of metal for greater durability.

There are also doors equipped with wooden frames, but these are less often used because of their more limited production. Although wood gives the door a more aesthetic look, this type has a shorter lifespan.


A sliding screen door is typically installed to protect the inner door from the elements which can cause damage from rain, wind, snow, and debris. Its structure provides additional protection from unauthorized entry. In addition, fitting the screen door with a lock will make it harder for burglars to enter the home.

How Sliding Doors Move

The top and bottom of the door frame are lined with either vinyl, wood, or metal tracks. When these tracks are fitted, they establish a structure in which the door can move along. The rollers can be installed at the bottom and top edges of the door, but they may be placed only at the bottom as well. This will depend on the design of the door. Doors on the patio are usually heavy and in most cases, they are fitted with rollers at the bottom. Some doors, however, can be hung from the top, especially when they are small and lightweight.

Adjusting Rollers

Rollers can be adjusted in order to make the sliding mechanism more efficient. To add to efficiency, plastic tracks can be installed at the base of the door as well. This keeps the door in perfect vertical alignment even when moving.


A sliding screen door can be made of one or two panels. When two pieces are installed, one is usually fixed and never moves while the other slides to provide entry or access to the interior or exterior of the house (or to the other side of the door if it is installed inside the house). Nevertheless, the two panels can be made to slide and provide two options of entry. The door can either be opened from the left or from the right.