Strip Curtains Buyers' Guide

Strip curtains – also called strip doors and strip curtain doors – can be installed in your foodservice operation to help regulate temperatures between rooms, make your building more energy efficient, and prevent an area from being infiltrated by flying pests. Knowing how and where you'll use your strip curtain will help determine which model you need to purchase.

Choosing Your Strip Curtain

In order to purchase the right strip curtain to meet your needs, ask the following questions:

What overall size should my strip curtain be? Strip curtains should just touch the floor and extend horizontally beyond the opening 2 to 3 inches. Because your strip curtain needs to be the right height and width to work properly, you should know where it will be installed prior to purchasing one. A standard door size is 80 inches tall by 36 inches wide, but strip doors are available in a number of height and width combinations to accommodate the variety of commercial door sizes. The most common measurements are 36, 40, and 42 inches wide by 80 and 86 inches tall.

What kind of traffic will my strip curtain face? Strip curtains may be placed in light- or heavy-traffic areas. Heavy-traffic areas will usually encounter a noticeable amount of mobile equipment in addition to foot traffic; in the case of foodservice operations, that may mean dollies, heated cabinets, and other equipment mounted on casters. If your doorway will be used primarily by employees transporting mobile equipment and you do not install a strip curtain designed to endure heavy traffic, you will have to replace the strips more often.

What size strips do I need? The strips in a strip curtain door that should be installed in a foodservice operation are most commonly 6 or 8 inches wide. Thinner strips are recommended for entry points that are primarily used by employees who are on foot, since wider strips can be difficult and uncomfortable for a person to pass through but will pose no problems for equipment.

Are PVC strip curtains the best option? The majority of strip curtains are made out of PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, a synthetic plastic polymer. However, different types of PVC are suitable for different temperatures, ranging from -20 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. If your strip curtain will be used with a walk-in freezer, you will need to look for a model made from polar-grade PVC that can withstand freezing temperatures because this application requires the strip door to be installed on the interior of the unit.

How do I want to install my strip curtain? Strip doors are wall mounted above the entry and can be installed in a matter of minutes. However, the strip curtain you purchase may use a flat hardware system or a mounting bracket and tube. The flat hardware system will require the strips to be attached between two pieces, while the bracket-and-tube system is used with strips that are looped at the top, which makes it easier to replace old or damaged strips.