Pallet Rack Decking Guide

On April 20, 2023

Pallet Rack Decking Design and Guide

Pallet rack decking is necessary if your warehouse contains hundreds of different products. It enhances the protection of your stack racks, which allows you to store containers of all shapes and sizes, not just palletized ones.

The best option for beefing up your racks is wire mesh, which can be made from wood, grates, and corrugated liners. Fire-resistant, lightweight, and strong, this material is an excellent choice. It can be a tedious process to line your pallet racks with wire mesh. Get all the information you need about wire decking so you can protect your products.

Pallet decking is a necessity for every warehouse

When it comes to storing your inventory, a simple stack rack may not be enough. There are usually two beams at the rear and front of these systems, but placing a pallet directly on them can pose a safety risk. If the weight isn’t evenly distributed between the beams, the pallet may fall between them.

Pallets made of wood may also snap if nothing is underneath them to support them. There is an increased risk of workplace injuries and inventory damage as a result. Workers could be injured if items fall from the shelf or tumble down.

If your facility is like most warehouses, you’ve probably taken on more inventory over the last few years. SKUs in warehouses continue to grow larger and larger. Due to uncertainty, warehouses and retailers will likely continue diversifying their inventories.

Your business will likely expand to include items and containers that don’t fit onto pallets. The cracks can also be filled with smaller items and containers. Your workers will be able to quickly access the items they need if you store your supplies and materials in parts bins and totes, ideally on a stack rack. Investing in different kinds of containers is necessary when taking on more products and materials. As well as making your warehouse more flexible, you need to make it more efficient.

Pallet rack decking will help you overcome these issues. Pallet rack accessories include decking. You can store additional productions and containers on the flat, even surface created by the material between the front and rear beams. Stack rack decking transforms stack racks into reliable shelving units, which can store virtually any item or container.

Decking Systems for Pallet Racks

Some types of decking materials work better than others, and there are lots of choices. In order to choose the right material for stack racks, you need to consider how you intend to use them, as well as your budget.

The cheapest option is usually 2 by 4 plywood. To create an even shelf space, arrange them over the beams. In spite of this, plywood is not very durable. There is a limit to how much weight wood can support. Materials such as fabric and plastic may work well if you need to store only lightweight items. Additionally, wood is extremely flammable. In an emergency, you may want to consider choosing more durable materials to protect your inventory.

To create more shelf space, you can also use metal pallet supports or crossbars, which resemble 2 x 4s. Like plywood, they extend across the beams, but without the added fire hazard. In addition to having better weight capacity, pallet supports are also more expensive.

If you store small, valuable items or supplies that can easily be lost, either option can result in cracks between the materials, putting your products at risk.

You can save even more money by finding used commercial racks online

Some industries also use metal grates. For a secure fit, the grates slide onto the stack rack. The most weight capacity is available with this approach, but the cost is usually the highest as well.

Instead of using expensive pallet rack decking, use wire decking if you need a material that is strong and doesn’t cost a fortune. With mesh, there is less space between the beams, so products won’t fall through. For a more secure fit, the metal is usually wrapped around the beam.

Wire decks for pallet racks have many advantages

Wire mesh decking has many advantages over other types of materials, including its high weight capacity and affordability:

Increased air flow:

Wire mesh helps your warehouse breathe. Air can pass through the small holes in the mesh, which will help you keep the interior the right temperature. Heat tends to build up inside storage facilities in the summer. Your ventilation system will need to replace the air inside your warehouse one to three times per hour by replacing the hot air with fresh air from the outdoors. Thick pieces of wood and metal will absorb the added heat while blocking the air, which makes it harder to cool your warehouse.

Fires are less likely to occur

Additionally, the metal wires are fire-resistant, so if there’s an emergency, you won’t have to worry as much about your inventory catching fire.

Drainage built into the structure:

There is also a porous component to the mesh. You won’t have to worry about water building up inside your containers or making a mess on the shelf since it drains quickly to the floor. Chemicals like solvents, cleaners, and gels are especially hazardous if your facility processes them or handles them.

Flexible storage system:

Various items and containers can be stored on wire decking. Additionally, items can be stored directly on the shelf. Furthermore, you will be able to accept new clients and items without worrying about whether they will fit on the rack in the future.

A safer environment:

It will be easier for you to set your containers on the shelf if there is mesh covering the entire space between the beams. As long as the container isn’t touching as many 2 x 4s as possible, your team won’t have to worry about positioning it correctly. It can be placed anywhere on the mesh and they can be on their way. Furthermore, packages and containers won’t fall on workers as a result of this arrangement.

Providing support for damaged pallets:

Your wooden or plastic pallets will also be reinforced by the mesh. For greater stability throughout your facility, the pallet weight will be evenly distributed across the mesh.

Installation is easy:

Installing wire mesh decking does not require much training. In most cases, tek screws are used to attach support bars to beams. All you need to do is drop them in and secure them with a screwdriver.

Wire decking for pallet racks comes in different types


Depending on your storage needs, you can choose from a variety of mesh types and styles. Among them are:

Flared channel deck:

During this process, the mesh wires are wrapped around the beam’s edge while the underneath support bars are flared out and rest on top of the beam.

Outside waterfall deck

This channel is similar to the flared channel, except that the underneath support bar is mounted inside the beam.Outside edges are still covered with mesh wires.

Inside waterfall deck

On the step of the beam, both the wire mesh and the underneath support bar rest.

Inverted channel deck

However, the underneath support beam is flipped over and not accessible from the top due to the mesh wrapping around the outer edges. The food and beverage industry tends to use this method most often.

Flush deck

For an even surface, the wire mesh is flush with the edge of the support beam, similar to the inside waterfall deck. On the step of the beam, both the wire mesh and the support bar rest.

Upturned deck

Before turning upward, the wire mesh extends to the edge of the beam. Using this method, you can create a backstop for products or containers that might slide to one side. By storing large items directly on the shelf, you can also use this style like a wire basket.

Pallet Rack Wire Decking: Choosing the Right Material

As you have a better understanding of these systems, it’s time to select a wire deck that suits your needs. Here is a guide to help you choose the right style:


You must make sure the wire mesh fits your chosen rack system if you already own stack racks or plan to purchase them. Pallet rack beams must first be measured for length. Once the rack is measured at the same height from one end to the other, measure from one end to the other. Take a measurement of the top of your beam. If you have a beam step, measure its width. There are usually no steps on box beams and structural beams. Depending on the length of your beams, you may need more than one wire deck per shelf.

There must be a match between the depth of the wire decking and the depth of the pallet rack frames. There are four common depths: 36 inches, 42 inches, 44 inches, and 48 inches.

Wire decking is commonly available in the following widths:

  • With beams of 4 ft, 8 ft, and 12 ft, 46′′ is used

  • With 9-ft beams, 52″ is used

  • With 10-foot beams, 58′′ is used

There is a weight limit

Make sure your containers and products are properly weighed on your decks. The weight capacity of most wire mesh decks is 2,500 pounds.

There is a uniform distribution of loads (UDLs) for wire decks, which means the weight is distributed evenly across the item or container. Loads that are within 2 inches of the front and rear load beams are considered to be under the UDL when they cover the majority of the deck surface.

If your products or containers do not fall under UDL, you will need to use a customized wire deck. Rather than being evenly distributed across the rack, this can be the result of weight being concentrated at a single point or multiple points.


You should only purchase used decking materials from a company with a proven track record in the supply chain and storage industry. To ensure that the wire mesh meets industry standards, spend some time cleaning and inspecting it.

Maintain your warehouse’s changes with an automated warehouse system once your decking system becomes operational. As items move through the supply chain, you can track their location instantly using the software. To maintain your warehouse’s efficiency, report any changes in worker productivity or transit times.

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