Shopping for a garage door opener can at times be confusing especially if you are not a garage enthusiast. Choosing the best and befitting garage door opener is not an easy task. There are a lot of factors to consider!
The last time I was shopping for a garage door opener, I was conflicted! The wall mount vs ceiling mount garage door openers debate was continually in my head. Whether to install the popular ceiling mount garage door opener or go with the revered wall mount troubled me for some time.
I then dived to research the best option for me and finally found my gem.
If you are anything like me, you definitely have struggled with decision-making regarding garage door openers. But worry no more, here’s everything you need to know about wall mount vs ceiling mount openers.
Wall Mount vs Ceiling Mount Garage Door Openers: The Difference
The main difference between a wall mount and ceiling mount garage door opener is that wall mount openers use a torsion bar mechanism to open and close the garage door. The ceiling mount garage door opener uses several systems ranging from belts, chain drives to screw drives. Ceiling mount openers have a trail track that lifts and lowers the garage door.
Wall mount garage door openers are extremely quiet and are more practical in garages that are significantly tall or have irregularly shaped ceilings. Ceiling mount garage door openers are most common in US residences and are applicable in almost all types of garages.
Understanding Wall Mount Garage Door Openers
Before we compare wall mount garage door openers (often referred to as side-mount or jackshaft garage door openers) with ceiling mount openers (also called overhead garage door openers), let us first understand each type of opener.
When building your home garage, space is a paramount factor for consideration. Every garage owner craves more space. The classic ceiling mount garage door openers don’t allow for much space conservation, but the wall mount sure does give you that luxury.
A wall mount, also known as a side mount is a garage door opener fitted on the side ends of the garage door. It uses a pulley mechanism together with the torsion spring on the garage door to open the door. It is installed beside the door, therefore, saving you a lot of space on your ceiling.
Wall mount openers are appropriate for buildings with a ceiling height of 10 ft. or buildings with ‘cathedral’ ceilings. They are easy to install and strong enough to lift your residential garage door with ease.
A wall mount garage door opener works perfectly just like the ceiling mount options. It comes with the standard features common to all garage door openers. Most wall mount openers come with standard security features, smart integrations, and a battery backup option and work well with remote control.
Here’s a list of the top wall mount garage door openers.
Advantages of a wall mount garage door openers
Wall mount garage door openers have become a very popular option for garage owners. Here are some of the advantages of wall mount garage door openers and why most garage owners are going for this option.
- Space saving – this is the main advantage of wall mount garage door openers. These openers are installed beside the door, therefore, saving you a lot of ceiling space.
These openers are ideal for garage spaces with a height of 10 ft. They clear up the ceiling space which can then be allocated for extra storage. They also feature a sleek and beautiful design for your garage space.
- Quiet operations – wall mount garage door openers feature a pulley mechanism and torsion spring to open the door. These openers do not feature a belt or a chain. For this reason, they are extremely quiet while in operation. They produce very minimal operational noise and vibration and very ideal for garage spaces attached to the living space.
- Enhanced safety and security features – wall mount garage door openers are very secure openers with advanced security features. They feature modern technology that is next to impossible to breach. These openers also feature auto-reversing technology making them very safe and secure to use.
- Easy maintenance – wall mount garage door openers require very low maintenance. For starters, there are no chain or belt breakages. You don’t have to worry about replacing the belt or chain from time to time. Secondly, there is no chain or belt lubrication required. This makes the maintenance cost very low and the overall cost of ownership quite affordable.
- Easy access – wall mount garage door openers are installed beside the door. This makes their access quite simple. You do not have to climb on ladders just to access the garage door opener. This makes inspection and maintenance very easy.
Disadvantages of wall mount garage door openers
When talking about wall mount vs ceiling mount garage door openers, it’s only fair to look at both sides of the coin. Wall mount garage door openers are quite popular among garage owners. However, there are some disadvantages to owning a wall mount garage door opener. Here are some of the disadvantages of a wall mount garage door opener
- Quite expensive – wall mount garage door openers are quite costly compared to their counterpart option. A wall mount garage door opener will cost you about $100 more compared to a ceiling mount opener with similar specs. However, the maintenance and overall cost of ownership of wall mount openers is significantly lower than that of ceiling mount openers.
- Not ideal for extremely heavy doors – Wall mount garage door openers are not your go-to option for extremely large and heavy doors. They are only ideal for standard residential garage doors. They lack a belt or chain (important components for heavy lifting) and will therefore struggle to lift doors exceeding 850 lbs.
- Require special installation – wall mount garage door openers are mounted beside the garage door. They are connected directly to a wall switch that requires special installation. You might also experience some issues when the switch malfunctions or when replacing the switch.
Ceiling Mount Garage Door Openers
Ceiling mount garage door openers are the most common garage door openers. They are widely used all over the world for residential and commercial garage spaces.
They are mounted on the ceiling – giving them the popular name ceiling mount garage door openers. They feature a rail track and normally come in three drive types – belt drive, chain drive, and screw drive.
- Chain-drive models
These are some of the most common types in homes. They consist of a metal chain connected to the motor. The garage door is pulled up and down by the chain.
Chain drive garage door openers are very strong and reliable. Given enough motor power, these systems can easily lift the heaviest garage doors available. These systems are very durable and can easily last up to 15 years with proper maintenance.
The systems are however noisy and normally vibrate a lot while in operation. They also require frequent maintenance which might be pretty costly.
- Belt-drive models
Unlike chain drive systems; these systems use a steel-reinforced belt to pull the door open and lower the garage door. For this reason, such systems are very quiet and produce very minimal operational noise.
Belt drive systems also require very minimal maintenance. They are quite powerful provided you match them with the right motor power.
Belt-drive garage door openers are relatively more expensive than the chain drive options, but they are worth the price if you are looking for a combination of power and noise-free operation.
- Screw-drive models
These are the best garage door openers for extremely heavy garage doors. They consist of a threaded steel rod that rotates to create movement and drive the trolley carrying the garage door along the track.
Like belt-drive models, these openers are typically quieter than their chain-drive cousins. They also have fewer moving parts making them low-maintenance.
Advantages of ceiling mount garage door openers
Ceiling mount garage door openers have for decades been the most popular garage door opener for both commercial and residential use. Here are some of the advantages of ceiling mount garage door openers:
- Ideal for heavy lifting – ceiling mount garage door openers are very reliable for lifting heavy garage doors. They feature a belt, chain, or screw drive mechanism that is ideal for lifting doors of any weight and size. Screw drive garage door openers are the best for heavy garage doors, though belt and chain drive systems still get the work done.
- Durable – ceiling mount garage door openers are very durable and can easily last for over 15 years. With good garage door opener maintenance and lubrication, your opener can conveniently serve you for up to 18 years. The metal chain and steel-reinforced belt in these garage door openers guarantee you durability despite the heavy lifting involved.
- Affordable – these openers are very affordable garage door openers. They are relatively less costly than wall mount garage door openers. A ceiling mount garage door opener will save you approximately $100 compared to a wall mount with similar specs.
- Quiet operations – ceiling mount garage door openers, just like wall mount garage door openers, are extremely quiet while in operation. Manufacturers have introduced the soft start and stop technology that minimizes operational noise in garage door openers. Garage door openers now produce very minimal operational noise and vibration making them ideal for garage spaces attached to the living space.
Disadvantages of ceiling mount garage door openers
Ceiling mount garage door openers are great, but just like any other thing, they have some shortcomings. Here are some of the disadvantages of ceiling mount garage door openers:
- Require a lot of space – Ceiling mount garage door openers consume a lot of space on your ceiling. They deprive you of your ceiling space which could otherwise be allocated for extra storage.
- Require frequent maintenance – ceiling mount garage doors run on either a belt. Chain or screw-drive mechanism. They require a lot of maintenance and lubrication to keep them running. The cost of maintenance can drastically increase the overall cost of ownership.
- A little bit noisier – chain drive models of ceiling mount garage door openers are a little bit noisier compared to wall mount garage door openers. The presence of the chain and other moving parts generates some operational noise and vibration which might be a problem for you. However, manufacturers have incorporated a soft start and stop technology that minimizes operational noise.
What else to consider in deciding between wall mount vs overhead garage door openers
Other than mounting style, there are other factors to consider when purchasing your garage door opener. Here is what to look out for in your garage door opener alongside the mounting style.
- Smart integrations
Garage door openers have become smarter over the past few decades. The advancement of technology has brought some unique and exciting features.
Imagine opening your garage door through voice command. Well… You don’t have to imagine. Modern garage door openers have now incorporated smart integrations that allow you to connect your garage door opener to smart devices for virtual operations.
You can also connect your garage door opener with Amazon Alexa or Google Home and use voice commands to operate it.
Similarly, some garage door openers allow for integration with smart lights in your home so you can control them jointly.
- Battery backup
Garage door openers operate on the main power grid of your house. This means the opener will not work in case of a power outage.
Some openers now include a battery backup feature. You can continually operate your garage door during a power outage at your house or block.
The batteries in your garage door opener can last up to 24 hours, or an equivalent of 20 opening and closing cycles.
Getting a garage door opener with a battery backup should definitely be on your mind. Because let’s face it, it sucks when you have to deal with your garage door’s weight, especially for heavy doors.
- Safety and Security
Safety and security are paramount when shopping for a garage door opener. Most garage door openers have sensors that stop the garage door in case there is an object on the rails. This prevents the door from shutting on someone and causing accidents.
When it comes to security, there are garage doors that generate a unique code every time the remote is engaged. This prevents hacking or potential security breaches.
Some also have an automatic lock feature. This means that the garage door opener automatically locks itself after some period.
Suppose you forgot to close the garage door when leaving your home or at night; the auto-lock feature could be a lifesaver.
Frequently Asked Questions
Wall mount vs ceiling mount garage door openers has always been a heated up debate among garage owners and enthusiasts. Here are the frequently asked questions regarding the two options:
Q: What is the advantage of a wall mount garage door opener?
Wall mount garage door openers save you extra overhead space, incur low maintenance costs and produce very minimal operational noise. They are equally powerful for standard residential garage doors.
Q: What is the quietest type of garage door opener?
Belt drive and direct drive garage door openers are the quietest options in the market. These openers produce very minimal operational noise and vibration. Manufacturers have also over the past decade introduced a soft start and stop technology that minimizes operational noise.
Q: How much room do I need for a wall mount garage door opener?
Wall mount garage door openers require at least 10 inches on one side of the door for proper installation. For floor-to-ceiling distance, wall mount garage door openers are appropriate for garages with a height of 10 ft.
Q: How high should my garage door ceiling be?
The standard floor-to-ceiling height recommended for all garages is at least 7 ft. The recommended headroom for installation is between 15 inches to 18 inches.
Q: Which garage door opener is the most expensive? Wall Mount or overhead garage door openers
Wall mount garage door openers are a little bit expensive compared to ceiling mount garage door openers with similar features. A wall mount garage door opener will cost you about $100 more than a similar ceiling mount garage door opener.
Wall Mount Vs overhead garage door openers – which is the best opener for you?
Making a decision on wall mount vs ceiling mount garage door openers is not an easy task. The last time I was shopping for a garage door opener I took about two days just to decide which opener to purchase.
Both options have their merits and cons. Wall mount garage door openers are quiet, and powerful and do save you a lot of overhead space. They are however not very reliable for heavy doors and are quite expensive.
Ceiling mount garage door openers are strong, durable, and reliable. They can easily lift heavy residential and commercial use garage doors. They are very affordable and come with a lot of exciting features. Ceiling mount garage door openers however require frequent maintenance, raising their overall cost of ownership.
So, in wall mount vs overhead garage door openers, which one should you choose? The answer to this question largely depends on your budget, your structural design, maintenance expectations, and the desired garage door opener feature.
Ensure to consider all these factors to avoid buying a garage door opener that will barely serve you. Seek the services of a garage door professional and get a professional recommendation for the type of garage door opener to purchase.
Well… there you have it. Those are the pros and cons of both a wall mount and ceiling mount garage door opener. I hope I helped you draw clarity on this contentious issue and that you eventually find an opener that meets your exact specifications.