Which Type of Paint Booth Should You Choose for Your Shop

Every shop has different needs, and therefore needs a custom finishing system that can keep up with their unique process. While there are many types of paint booths to consider, it’s important to first think about how it will be installed. When deciding between a pit or non-pit style, a shop must evaluate their building, budget, and goal.

The Difference Between Pit vs. Non-Pit Style Booths

What is a Pit Booth?

Pit booths are meant for higher production shops. These shops complete many paint jobs per day and need a booth that can keep up with demand. Pit booths are typically installed as a drive-thru to help these busy shops have a good production floor workflow.

Key Features of a Pit Booth

  • Downdraft Airflow: In a downdraft airflow booth, air flows down from the top of the cabin and helps to push any particles in the same direction. This carries the airborne particles into the floor filters.
  • Floor and Secondary Filters: Floor filters help to capture any airborne particles that are created during the painting process. If the booth is equipped with secondary filters, these act as another level of filtration defense before the leftover particles reach the exhaust and exit the booth.
  • Heating and Baking Capabilities: Pit booths have heating and baking capabilities, making them an appealing option to high production shops. This also means that the types of paint used in these booths must use slow drying chemicals to work with the heating cycle.

Non-Pit Booths

Non-pit booths are an excellent option for new shops or those that do not perform many paint jobs. They also tend to be a less expensive option, as there is less construction and installation cost than pit booths. However, these booths can take up valuable space and therefore require some thought when it comes to floor placement and production flow.

Key Features of a Non-Pit Booth

  • Semi or Cross Airflows: Pit booths only come in semi or cross airflows, which controls how the air moves within the cabin. This would also affect the filter placements, as some pit booths have wall filters, filters along the bottom of the cabin, or in the floor.
  • Installation Options: While non-pit booths are typically not a drive-thru style, there are still many installation options that can fit a shop’s needs. For example, non-pit booths can be elevated for a vehicle to drive up and into the cabin. This allows for an above-group pit to be placed underneath the booth.
  • Heat Alternatives: While many non-pit booths are also not heated, there are still options for shops that need to perform curing—just not on a large scale. IRT systems are a great option since they come in handheld models or large rail setups. Many AMU systems are also available to install at an additional cost.

3 Considerations When Choosing a Paint Booth

Understanding the key features and differences of a pit vs. non-pit style booth is the first step in choosing the best one for your shop. However, there are some logistical questions to answer first before making a decision. Consider your:

  • Building: If you own your building, it will be much easier to coordinate a pit booth construction, as concrete work is required. However, for those that rent their building, they must get approvals from their landlord. Some building owners do not want their concrete to be dug up, as it can be an expensive job.
  • Budget: Beyond the purchase of the paint booth equipment itself, shops must also consider the installation cost. As mentioned above, concrete work is quite expensive and will add a huge expense to the project. For shops working with a smaller budget, a non-pit may be the better option.
  • Goals: If your shop has the building and budget flexibility, the last thing to consider is goals. A shop with many cars coming in and out during the day and requiring paint jobs may want a pit booth to have a drive-thru process. Shops that only perform paint jobs sporadically throughout the month don’t have to splurge on an expensive setup.

Making the Right Decision for Your Shop

Regardless of how many paint jobs your shop completes, you should always want the best results possible—which does not always mean the most expensive equipment. It’s important to know there is not a one size fits all approach when it comes to paint booths. Every shop is different and may need a custom solution for their finishing process.

At Accudraft, we help shops across the United States upgrade their paint jobs by offering the industry’s best finishing systems. We work with every customer to create a setup that best fits their need and budget. Beyond installation, we also offer maintenance plans for all Accudraft and non-Accudraft booths. To inquire about installing a pit or non-pit style booth in your shop, contact us online.

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