How To Choose The Best Type Of Pallet Rack Wire Decking For Your Needs

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Why spend more for premium pallets if the storage system can be improved with extra pallet rack wire decking? A lighter-duty pallet or a less expensive container might just be as effective with the necessary pallet rack wire decking.


While the beams in your pallet racking system are strong enough to support your pallets, having an extra horizontal decking support increases storage flexibility and also allows you to store palletized and non-palletized items.


Pallet rack decking come in various forms, such as solid wood, metal panels, or steel wire decking.

Of these, pallet rack wire decking is the most popular choice in the warehouse industry.


What Is Pallet Rack Wire Decking?

A pallet rack wire decking is made of welded steel mesh. Channel supports are welded under it and run across opposite beams to help distribute pallet weight to the beams. The wire deck rests on the beam and the channel supports.


Wire decking reduces the risk of falling materials or the fall of poorly positioned pallets.

It improves storage flexibility by allowing non-standard loads that would otherwise not fit in an open rack system.


Wire decking minimizes dirt and debris from accumulating – it is maintenance-free. The galvanized finish is corrosion resistant. No tools are needed for installation – simply drop the decking into place.


Wire decks are preferred over solid steel decks or flat wooden decks when it comes to fire regulation compliance. In case of an emergency, water from sprinklers easily flow through the mesh. Also, wire decking improves ventilation and lighting inside your warehouse improving efficiency and productivity.


Factors To Know First-Hand When Looking For Pallet Rack Wire Decking

Mesh Size

Are you storing full-size pallets, individual parts or stacked containers? Most decks use 2”x4” or 2.5”x4.5” grid size. Finer grid sizes are more suitable, however, for manually handled containers or for smaller items. If so, consider finer than standard grid or mesh size, e.g. 1”x2” or 1”x4”. This means that the top wires (those in contact with the stored material) are only an inch apart and are sufficiently small enough to handle small containers.



The steel channel supports welded to the bottom of wire decks provide strength – they supply the load bearing capacity. With a 3-channel support, small and mid-size decks can provide the standard 2500-lb capacity.


Unless designed to be so, wire decking is not meant to carry the full load of the products stored on it. Otherwise, wire decking can warp or collapse and pose a safety risk. Wire diameter, mesh size and channel thickness overall determine load bearing capacity of wire decking.



Presence of moisture and oxidation are primary concerns when choosing the surface finish for any wire decking.  For outdoor applications, the Electro-galvanized finish is recommended for great weather resistance. Powder-coated finish suffices for indoor and less harsh conditions.


Channel supports (Wire Decking)

Channel supports run across opposite beams to help distribute pallet weight to the beams. Step channel supports provide greater strength than flanged. For applications like in the food industry, debris buildup is a concern. Here, inverted channels are preferred. [See next Section for wire decking design variations.]


Waterfalls (Wire Decking)

Waterfall wire decks fix into place by cascading over the front and back of the beam. Waterfalls, as a standard, are designed to be at 1.5” width. However, if there is intent to put labels (barcodes, SKUs) on the beam, the waterfall size may be reduced to 1” or no waterfall. It is always safer to have a waterfall. Some prefer the rear waterfall up as a stopper to prevent materials from falling off while keeping the front waterfall down.


Types Of Pallet Rack Wire Decking And Common Uses

Wire deck design has several variations:


Standard/ Step – waterfall design falling over the top of the beam; has a standard U-Channel to fit common step beams


Flared Channel – waterfall wraps around the beam with flared flange at either end. The flared flange allows decks to be used with box or structural beams.


Inside Waterfall – Inside waterfall. Leaves beam face unobstructed for labels and barcodes


Inverted Channels – With upside down channel supports. Designed to prevent deposit of dirt and debris inside the channel. Commonly used in facilities that store food products and other sensitive materials.


Drop-in/ Flush – Straight wires are hidden and fit snuggly but without the waterfall feature that wraps around the rack beam. Designed for hand-stacked loads and order picking; fits inside load beams.


Up-turned Waterfall – With upturned waterfall decks the wires are bent upward to help secure your load. Built-in back stop to prevent product from being pushed too far.


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