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Top Ten FAQ’s About Installing X-Ray Curtains for Medical Imaging Radiation Shielding

Posted by Mandy Bayman on

FAQs about installing x-ray curtains


Flexible leaded rubber x-ray curtains are an adaptable and easy solution for radiation protection in many medical imaging environments. X-ray curtains come in many colors, sizes and thickness to meet every application. These frequently asked questions will help you learn about radiation protection options and installation.

Are these curtains heavy? How much do the curtains weigh? 

The lightest curtains, such as the 0.25mm Pb used for dental x-ray shielding or small animal vets, weigh about 18 pounds for a 4 ft. x 7 ft. curtain.  The 0.5 mm Pb used in medical imaging facilities will weigh twice as much.  If you need 1/32” (0.75mm Pb), a 4 ft. x 7 ft. curtain will weigh 54 pounds. We have installed curtain systems equivalent to almost 1/8” lead (3mm Pb) for high energy hospital CT systems. We make these lead-lined curtains in almost any size and lead equivalent. The total weight of your system will be simple to estimate. 

Can I use my own curtain rod or track? 

Yes, you can. About 50% of our x-ray curtain customers do not purchase tracks from us. Some people already have tracks. Others purchase their own. Normally, the lightweight (0.25mm Pb) curtains can be hung on a sturdy traverse curtain rod. We do not sell these lightweight assemblies.

Our curtain tracks are made from heavy duty steel and should last the life of your building. Our standard tracks are rated to 800 pounds per eight foot section, and will support curtains up to 1.0 mm Pb or 1.5 mm Pb, depending on the length and width. Our extreme duty tracks will support almost anything and are rated up to 5,000 lbs per eight foot section.  

Is the track installed on my ceiling or against the wall? 

Ceiling installation is the most common method. We provide standard hardware for ceiling mounting with the tracks. When installing against the wall, most typically over a door frame or window, we recommend use of our heavy duty “L” brackets so the curtain track can be mounted four inches from the wall. 

The track installation requires some of the same skills as installing heavyweight curtain rods or ceiling fans. The most important factor is making sure you are mounting the track to a stud or joist. If you have a suspended ceiling, an installer experienced with these types of ceilings should be used as the tracks will need to be tied into the ceiling joists situated above the suspended ceiling using threaded rod extensions. 

xraycurtains.com xray curtains bracket ceiling mount

Ceiling mount bracket installation

xraycurtains.com xray curtain flush ceiling track
Direct ceiling mount

Can you do a custom ceiling track design? 

Yes, we offer customized layouts and designs, within limits.  We often design complete enclosures, “U” or “L” or even “S” shapes. Normally the curved sections have a two foot radius, which makes it easy for the curtains to travel around if they are pulled back. 

xraycurtains.com medical xray curtains

What if my measurements are off by a few inches on my custom track design? 

Don’t worry about this. We normally send standard track lengths for an install. So, if a drawing calls for a 53 inch track section, we will normally send a standard 72 inch section. The track can easily be cut to the exact length with a hacksaw or chopsaw. 

What if my ceiling is 10 feet high? 

You do not need 10 foot high curtains. Normally, if your curtains are 0.5mm Pb or less, it will only require curtains which are seven feet high. We recommend you mount the tracks at ceiling height, and use lightweight chains to suspend the curtains at seven foot height, just like standard hospital privacy curtains. 

xraycurtains.com ceiling tracks chain

Curtains suspended on a chain

How much room will the curtains take up when pulled back? 

The curtains will take up about 20% of the full curtain width. The compression is primarily limited by the width of the roller wheels in the track. For example, the roller wheels for an eight foot wide curtain will take up about 21 inches when the curtain is pulled back. The curtain can be gathered and pulled back further using a tie strap.    

What should I do if I do not like the appearance of the track? 

The best option to disguise the track is to use a valance, which can be made from the same fabric as the curtain.  Some other users will paint the silver colored track to match their office décor. We find less than 10% of customers want to change the track appearance or hide it. Most medical offices already have a number of other items attached to walls and ceilings with exposed mounting brackets and supports. 

I still have additional questions. How do I get instructions or more help? 

We send instructions with every track purchase. If you need more help or your questions answered, just call us at 832-519-8787. We do pick up the phone, and usually we are able to connect you with in-office installation help immediately. 

XrayCurtains.com has the widest selection of radiation shielding products in the world. Our online store provides a convenient method for customers throughout the world to order the exact quantities of custom orders they need for quick delivery direct from our warehouse. For more information, visit our website and learn about the many options available for flexible x-ray curtains.


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