Benefits of Wire Decking for Pallet Racks

The incorporation of wire mesh decking into pallet racks expands the functionalities of the racking system. Wire decking offers a more robust and durable substitute for wooden boards placed between beams. Moreover, its mesh structure enhances airflow, which is vital for preserving temperature and moisture-sensitive items. Discover how the integration of pallet rack wire decking can significantly enhance a storage space.

Wire Decking for Pallet Racks

What Is Wire Decking for Pallet Racks?

Wire mesh decking features a resilient metal with an open-weave design. Depending on the specific model, these decking pieces either slot in between or lay over the support beams of the pallet rack. While the decking isn’t designed to bear the full weight of the pallets, it aids in distributing weight across the support beams, thereby enhancing the safety of storage.

The wire decks serve to catch any items that may fall from the pallets, thus preventing product loss or spills onto the floor. Without the mesh decking, there’s a risk of losing items if they fall from a pallet onto another pallet below or onto the ground.

Uses for Pallet Rack Wire Decking

Wire mesh decking is widely utilized across various industries, including food, retail, and warehousing. However, its applicability extends to any sector employing pallet racks, enhancing their functionality. By offering improved support and allowing light and air filtration between the beams, wire decking proves invaluable.

In the food industry, wire decking serves to maintain product sanitation. Its woven design facilitates ample airflow while preventing the growth of bacteria from spills. Additionally, these surfaces resist dust accumulation and deter pests from accessing the palletized containers’ contents.

Although most retail facilities differ from warehouses, certain establishments like outlet stores may utilize pallet racks within customer-accessible areas. A prominent example is furniture giant Ikea, which introduced wire decking to its pallet racks as part of a strategy to reduce wood pallet usage. Transitioning to lighter corrugated pallets necessitated additional support provided by wire decking, thereby promoting sustainability and ensuring pallet safety.

Warehouses and manufacturing facilities also benefit from wire mesh decking for enhanced safety measures. Notably, it reinforces support beneath pallets while mitigating the risk of fire propagation due to its nonflammable construction.

Safety Tips for Wire Decking

Wire mesh decking presents numerous advantages, contingent upon its safe utilization. The weight capacity and type of decking are pivotal factors determining the level of support these metal components offer to the pallets above them. Neglecting these safety considerations could result in significant harm to individuals and products alike.

When employing wire decking, it is imperative to ensure that the type of mesh aligns with the load it is intended to support. Avoid using wire decking to haphazardly uphold any fully loaded pallet. Instead, match the load capacity of the wire mesh decking to that of the pallet, and refrain from relying solely on the decking for support unless the pallet is lightweight or empty. Properly position pallets to generate a uniformly distributed load, ensuring that products cover the decking entirely, from front to back and side to side. For instance, rack beams designed to withstand 5,000 pounds should utilize a pair of 2,500-pound-capacity decks to adequately bear the requisite load.

Under no circumstances should individuals be permitted to stand or walk on wire decking within the facility. Regardless of the deck’s capacity, its design is tailored for static loads, not the dynamic pressure exerted by a person. The Rack Manufacturers Institute cautions against the potential tripping hazards posed by decking and the risks of tipping or slippage should someone stand on it or unevenly stack pallets upon it.

Furthermore, selecting the appropriate type of wire decking for the load and application, in addition to considering weight capacity, is crucial for safe usage. Pallet rack decking options are available to match the specific type of beams utilized in the racking system. While universal solutions may exist, they may not adequately fulfill the particular requirements of a facility.

Different Types of Wire Decking

Wire mesh decking comes in various forms, with the primary distinctions revolving around whether the decking fits over the edges of the beams or within the beam steps—referred to as drop-in or waterfall configurations. Additionally, variances exist in the forms of the support channels within the decking—either flared or step. These combinations yield the multitude of wire decking options currently available, with certain styles even offering inverted alternatives for added versatility. Pallet rack decking options encompass:

Flush Drop-In Decking

Flush decking, as implied by its name, aligns seamlessly with the surface of the beams, dropping into place and receiving support from the base of step beams. This type of decking is best suited for rack systems requiring access to the front of the beams. It facilitates clean scanning of barcodes affixed to the beams without obstruction from wires, enhancing operational efficiency. Additionally, flush decking enhances worker safety by eliminating edges that could potentially cause injury or equipment snagging, making it ideal for facilities where manual product picking is common. Its drop-in installation feature allows for easy fitting between the top parts of step beams without the need for tools.

Overhanging Waterfall Wire Mesh Decking

Waterfall wire mesh decking derives its name from the overhang created by the mesh extending beyond the edge of the support beams. This type of decking sits atop the beams, accommodating both box beams and step beams. Variations include inside waterfall decking, with the lip positioned on the edge of the deck while its side rests on the base of a step beam, and inverted waterfall decking, which features an upward-facing lip to contain rolling goods. Popular for its versatility across different beam types, waterfall mesh decking is a convenient option unless covering the front of the rack with the edge of the waterfall deck poses issues.

Step Channel Decking

Step channel decking features a U-shaped support channel for the deck, with its ends resting on the bottom portion of a step beam at either end. Compatible with both waterfall and drop-in decks, this channel design is suitable for rack systems utilizing step beams.

Flared Channel Decking

Flared decking incorporates support channels with flared ends, enabling universal compatibility with box or step beams. However, it is not compatible with drop-in decking due to its design, which ensures the stability of the channel ends under a waterfall lip. The flared end rests on top of the beams in the front and back, providing stability.

Inverted Channel Decking

Inverted channel decking, available in standard and flared forms, features channels with an inverted U-shape, preventing the accumulation of dust and debris. This design is particularly advantageous for facilities storing edible products, ensuring compliance with regulatory standards. Universally applicable, depending on other options, it pairs with drop-in and step channels for step beams and with waterfall and flared channels for box beams.

Advantages of Wire Decking Over Wood and Other Substitutes

When choosing decking for racks, avoid using wooden boards or alternative substitutes. These options are inefficient, costlier, require more installation time, and heighten the risk of pathogen contamination and fire spread. Don’t compromise worker safety and pallet content security by opting for the wrong decking material.

Durability Wire mesh decking boasts a sturdy, enduring construction. Unlike wood, which is prone to warping and splintering, wire decking maintains its integrity without such wear. Opting for galvanized decking diminishes the likelihood of forklifts or pallets causing damage.

Since wire decking outlasts wooden planks, it represents a long-term investment in supporting pallets and their loads. Investing in wire decking ensures proper warehouse equipment that withstands heavy usage over many years.

No Cutting Required

Unlike wood, wire decking doesn’t require cutting to size and can fit seamlessly between step beams or over box beams. Each decking piece fits standardized rack sizes precisely, eliminating the need for adjustments. Additionally, unlike wood, wire decking utilizes a lip system on waterfall decking to secure it in place, preventing potential slipping or ill-fitting.

Why waste time cutting wood to fit when wire decking comes pre-sized for perfect alignment with rack beams?

Easy Installation

Pre-made wire decking sizes facilitate effortless installation onto racks without the need for tools. The lips on waterfall decking ensure secure placement and prevent beam separation. While drop-in decking easily slips into place, it’s recommended to secure them to beams or tie beams together to prevent decking displacement over time.

Enhanced Safety

Wire decks offer superior safety compared to wooden alternatives in various aspects—preventing product contamination, reducing fire hazards, and securing goods more effectively.

Solid wooden planks create a surface that increases the risk of product contamination from dirt, bacteria, or pests due to their lack of gaps. In food storage scenarios, this contamination risk could lead to significant product loss. Moreover, wooden planks accelerate fire spread and impede water flow from sprinkler systems during fire emergencies.

Furthermore, wire mesh decking provides better rack stability compared to wooden planks, reducing the risk of load loss due to slipping or displacement.


The long-term costs of cutting, installing, and replacing wooden boards far outweigh those of wire decking designed to fit racks precisely. Once installed, wire decking requires minimal maintenance, significantly reducing lifetime costs compared to wood.

Comparing prices between wooden boards and wire decking reveals similar upfront costs. However, considering the time and effort required for wood board fitting and regular replacement, wire decks prove much more economical.


Wire decking surpasses wood in strength, with various weight capacities starting at 2,500 pounds for uniformly distributed loads. It’s crucial to ensure the weight supported by decking does not exceed rack capacities. Unlike wood, wire decking retains its strength even when wet or aged, ensuring long-term reliability.

Improved Lighting

Mesh decking allows light to pass through, unlike solid wood boards that block overhead light. This preserves illumination in the area, enhancing visibility for workers and reducing trip hazards.


What is wire decking for pallet racks?

Wire mesh decking is a type of decking made from durable metal with an open-weave design. It’s specifically designed to fit between or over the support beams of pallet racks, providing support for stored items while allowing airflow.

What are the primary uses of pallet rack wire decking?

Wire mesh decking is utilized across various industries, including food, retail, and warehousing. It enhances the functionality of pallet racks by offering improved support, airflow, and light filtration between beams.

How does wire decking compare to wooden boards typically used in pallet racks?

Wire decking offers several advantages over wooden boards. It’s more durable, resistant to wear, and doesn’t require cutting to size. Additionally, wire decking enhances safety by reducing the risk of product contamination, fire spread, and load loss.

What are the different types of wire decking available for pallet racks?

Wire mesh decking comes in various configurations, including drop-in flush decking, waterfall decking, step channel decking, flared channel decking, and inverted channel decking. Each type offers unique benefits and is suited for specific rack setups.

How can I ensure the safe use of wire decking in my facility?

It’s crucial to consider factors such as weight capacity, proper installation, and compatibility with rack beams when using wire decking. Always match the decking load capacity to that of the pallets and avoid relying solely on decking for support. Additionally, never allow individuals to stand or walk on wire decking, as it’s designed for static loads.

Is wire decking cost-effective compared to wooden boards?

While wire decking may have a similar upfront cost to wooden boards, it offers long-term cost savings due to its durability and minimal maintenance requirements. When considering the time and effort required for cutting, installing, and replacing wooden boards, wire decking proves to be a more economical option in the long run.

What are the safety benefits of wire decking over wooden alternatives?

Wire decking provides enhanced safety by preventing product contamination, reducing fire hazards, and securing goods more effectively. Its open-weave design allows for better airflow, reducing the risk of dust accumulation and pest infestation commonly associated with solid wooden planks. Additionally, wire decking offers better rack stability, reducing the likelihood of load loss due to slipping or displacement.


Wire mesh decking revolutionizes pallet rack systems with its durability, enhanced safety features, and cost-effectiveness compared to traditional wooden boards. Its versatility across industries, including food storage and retail, makes it an essential investment for businesses aiming to optimize storage space and ensure product safety. Wire decking’s ability to reduce the risk of contamination, fire spread, and load loss while offering improved airflow makes it a superior choice for warehouse and retail environments.