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Making the Right Choice: Industrial Roller Shutters vs Industrial Sectional Doors

13th September 2023

Understanding Industrial Roller Shutter Doors

Industrial roller shutter doors are a popular choice for industrial, domestic and commercial applications. Comprised of horizontal slats, these doors are known for their:

  • Durability
  • Ease of maintenance
  • Superior level of security
  • Designed for frequent use as a roller shutter garage door

Industrial roller shutters are an ideal choice for areas that experience high foot traffic during operating hours yet need to be securely protected when not in use. When replacing an outdated door, accessibility concerns often come into play, with automated doors offering more convenience and security for those with disabilities or mobility impairments.

Materials and Durability

Industrial roller shutter doors, such as aluminium roller doors, are typically constructed of aluminium or steel slats, providing strength and durability. Some key features of roller shutter doors include:

Lightweight and durable construction, making them a popular choice for many applications

Double-skinned design with a thick foam insert and rubber weather stripping for insulation

Seals around the top and sides for added protection against the elements

Can be operated manually or automatically

Industrial roller shutter doors are available in different materials and designs to suit various needs.

Commercial Security Shutters – These shutters are a popular security solution for businesses of all sizes. Designed to protect commercial properties from theft, vandalism and any other form of criminal activity, these high-quality shutters improve the energy efficiency of the building, keep the building secure and are both a reliable and effective solution for businesses.

Internal Counter, Bar and Servery Shutters – Specifically designed for use in bars and serveries, internal bar shutters not only provide a level of protection against theft but can also be used to signal closing time at a bar, to not only keep your stock safe but to defer any customers approaching the bar.

Fire-Rated Shutters – An essential safety feature for buildings, fire-rated shutters are designed to prevent the spread of flames and are an effective means of protecting property and occupants in the event of a fire.

Security-Rated Shutters – A popular choice for business owners looking to enhance the security of their property, security-rated have been independently attack-tested and are Secured by Design, meaning they are the preferred specification of Insurance and the Police.

Understanding Sectional Doors

Industrial sectional doors have several advantages.

They are composed of several sections that are horizontally divided, allowing them to open vertically on a track

This design allows the doors to be tucked away against the ceiling, therefore optimising space

Sectional doors are regularly utilised in commercial and industrial structures, such as fire stations, retail stores and commercial garages

Industrial sectional doors provide excellent insulation and sealing, resulting in reduced energy bills due to a decreased amount of draughts and heat loss. Additionally, their thick and robust panels offer enhanced security, making it difficult for intruders to break in.

Construction and Insulation

A sectional door can be constructed from various materials, such as:

  • Galvanised steel
  • Aluminium
  • Timber
  • GRP (fibreglass)

Double-skinned insulated steel sectional doors provide excellent insulation, while the aesthetic appeal and warmth of timber sectional doors are undeniable. Aluminium sectional doors offer a contemporary aesthetic, and GRP sectional doors provide an aesthetically pleasing and cosy atmosphere.

Aesthetics and Personalisation

Sectional doors offer numerous panel designs, finishes, and window options, making them more customisable and aesthetically suited to suburban and residential environments. In contrast, roller doors are limited to a standard horizontal slat design.

Sectional doors offer a wide range of panel designs as well as an array of colour paint finishes, woodgrain, and metallic laminate finishes. The classic Georgian cassette design conveys a sense of prestige, while a more modern sectional door features straight lines that create a sleek, contemporary look.

Comparing Industrial Roller Shutter and Industrial Sectional Doors: Key Factors

Both industrial roller shutters and industrial sectional doors have their advantages and disadvantages, with size and space requirements being key factors in choosing the right door for your needs. When planning a roller shutter installation, it's important to bear in mind these doors have a maximum width of 5.2m and require additional headroom, while sectional doors can reach up to 8m in width and require extra internal space for installation.

Size and Space Requirements

As noted above, roller shutter doors have a maximum width of 5.2m, as specified by the manufacturer. They also necessitate additional headroom for installation, which may be a deciding factor for some business owners or homeowners.

On the other hand, sectional doors can reach a maximum width of 8m and require more internal space for installation. When comparing side room requirements, most standard roller doors require between 60 and 100mm on either side, while sectional doors typically need between 75 and 90mm on most doors and 125mm for very large doors up to 8 metres wide.

Insulation and Energy Efficiency

Sectional doors have better insulation due to their construction and rubber seals, making them more energy efficient than roller shutter doors. Roller doors feature interlinking slats that can lower the quoted U-value of the door, while sectional doors are equipped with thick foam-filled panels and rubber sealing around the top, sides, and bottom, offering a more dependable, quantifiable U-value.

When it comes to glazing options, shutters for doors can only accommodate a limited amount of small glazing cut-out sections in the individual curtain slats, providing minimal vision and light, while sectional garage doors can be fitted with single and double-glazed specification windows.

Security Considerations: Locks and Automation

Both roller shutter and sectional doors can be equipped with high-security locks and electric operators for added security. However, each door type has its own set of security features and potential vulnerabilities that should be considered when selecting the right door for your home or business.

In this section, we’ll explore the security considerations for both roller shutter doors and sectional doors, focusing on locks and automation.

Roller Shutter Door Security

Roller doors are generally secure but may have weak points that can be exploited by vandals or burglars. The roller door curtain may not have the necessary mechanisms at the top to keep the door secure and prevent forced opening from the bottom. To address this issue, it is essential to use a roller door curtain effectively, ensuring proper installation and maintenance.

Upgrading to double skin roller doors or adding automation can improve security, as they offer increased strength and protection against potential intruders.

Sectional Door Security

Sectional doors are secure due to their design and mechanisms, which provide greater lateral strength than a typical roller door. The primary security vulnerability associated with sectional doors is when they are equipped with a basic handle and locking system, as this allows easy and quiet access to an intruder if the lock is compromised.

Installing Euro cylinder locks or automating the manual door can further enhance the security of sectional doors.


In conclusion, both industrial roller shutters and industrial sectional doors have their own set of advantages and disadvantages, with factors such as size, space requirements, insulation, and security playing a crucial role in determining the right door for your business. Roller shutter doors are known for their durability and ease of maintenance, while sectional doors offer better insulation and a more customisable appearance that suits suburban and residential environments.

Ultimately, the decision between roller shutters and sectional doors depends on your specific needs and preferences. By considering the key factors discussed in this blog post, you can make an informed choice that will provide you with a secure, energy-efficient, and aesthetically pleasing solution.

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