What size room do I need for my digital x-ray system

Jun 24, 2022 9:47:53 AM / by Melissa Schwab

What size room do I need for my digital x-ray system? 

We get this question frequently from customers who are looking to add digital x-ray to their offices or from customers who are moving offices and want to make sure they have a room big enough to accommodate their system. The purpose of this article is to give you a bit of guidance on room size as you are planning your digital x-ray room.  While there are several variables that can impact the size of the room you will need for digital x-ray equipment, hopefully, this article will help answer some questions you may have as you are planning your digital x-ray room.  

Factors that impact room size requirements:
  • Type of x-ray equipment
  • Orientation of the room
  • Operator area
  • Patient access needs

Type of X-Ray Equipment

The first thing to account for when considering the required room size is the type of equipment you need or want. Different types of x-ray systems have different footprints for the equipment itself and will need different size rooms. An upright system with a non-tilting wall stand won’t require as much space as a full x-ray suite with a wall stand and a table.  A straight arm system will fit into a smaller size room than a full x-ray suite but you need to think about where you will store the mobile x-ray table. 

Orientation of the Room 

The orientation of the room can make a big difference in what size room you need. By orientation, I mean the location of any doors, windows and other features in the room that may limit how the equipment in the room can be laid out. Ideally, the room has no windows and only one door. Occasionally, rooms have built-in cabinets, sinks or access panels that limit how the equipment can be placed in the room if they are not removed during the build-out process. 

Operator Area

X-ray rooms need to have a designated operator area that is protected by lead shielding to protect the staff that is taking the x-rays of the patient.  You need a minimum of 7-9 square feet of space behind a leaded wall for someone to be able to stand. In this operator area, you need to have at least a 12” x 12” leaded window in the barrier wall and a place for a computer (i.e. counter space for a keyboard, computer mouse, and monitor).  

Patient Access Needs 

Depending on your practice, the types of images you will be taking, and the patient population you serve, you may want to take wheelchair accessibility into consideration when planning the size of your x-ray room. To accommodate wheelchair accessibility, this may increase the room size you will need for your system.  

General Guidance on Minimum Room Size

While I cannot give you a blanket answer on exactly what size room you need for your x-ray room without knowing the specifics of your space, I can give you a general idea of the size we typically see work for x-ray rooms for some of our more common x-ray systems. These room sizes are just a starting point. Please keep in mind that your room size requirement may be different depending on your unique space or desired layout. Depending on your unique space, you may need more or less space than what is described below.    

Upright X-ray System with a Wall Stand (Chiropractic System)

For an upright system with a non-tilting wall stand, these generally can fit into a space of 11’ x 10’, but 12’ x 10’ is even better. Adding a tilting wall stand requires an additional 2’ of wall space and will increase the size requirements of the room. Limiting the system to only 40 SID will decrease the size requirements of the room.    

Full X-Ray Suite 

A full x-ray suite requires a larger room. It needs space to accommodate both a wall stand and a table along with the x-ray tube and operator area. You’ll also want to think about patient access and having enough space to allow wheelchair access. Full x-ray suite systems are common in urgent care and may see a lot of lower extremity injuries and patients who need a wheelchair while their injuries are being assessed. We typically recommend a minimum of 12’ x 12’ for a full x-ray suite.

Straight Arm System

A straight arm system is more compact than a full x-ray suite but allows for both upright and table shots. In most straight arm systems, the arm expands to accommodate 40 and 72 SID and it also rotates to allow for a variety of images including upright and table shots. Most customers who purchase straight arm systems also purchase mobile x-ray tables. Mobile tables take up quite a bit of space within an x-ray room. Unless you have an alternative place to store the table when not in use, you should consider that space needed when planning your x-ray room. At a minimum, we usually recommend at least a 10’ x 10’ for a straight arm system. As mentioned previously, the information included in this article is meant to be just a general starting point as you are planning for a digital x-ray. Your particular project may require more or less space depending on a variety of factors. Our knowledgeable team at Maven Imaging is available to answer any questions you may have about your specific x-ray room needs. At Maven Imaging, we include an equipment room drawing as part of every x-ray installation to help advise you on the best room design, ensure your equipment will fit in your space, and help save you time and money throughout the project. If you have any questions or would like to speak with someone on our team about your x-ray project, please call us today at (800) 949- 8015 or email us at sales@magenimaging.com .


Melissa Schwab

Written by Melissa Schwab