Pallet rack decking is a key feature of most rack systems. In this post we'll dive in to some of the key features you need to analyze in order to understand the correct dimensions you need to order for your wire decking.

Why Use Wire Decking?

Unlike wood or metal decking, wire decking permits light, air and sprinkler penetration and allows a clear view of upper tiers while minimizing dust and debris accumulation. Wire decking is easy to install — simply drop in to place over beams. Standard wire decking works with beams that have 1-1/2" or 1-5/8" step.

Various Types of Wire Decking for Pallet Rack

Types of Wire Decking

There are three main types of wire decking: standard step, inverted flange and inside waterfall.

Standard step and inverted flange style wire decking utilize an outside waterfall. On a pallet rack beam with a standard step, the channel on the decking sits on the "step" of the beam. Because it requires a step, this type of wire decking can’t be used with structural or box beams. This is the most common type of wire decking.

On an inverted flange, the channel curves upward and sits on top of the beam without the need for a step. These work best with box beams or structural beams as they don't require the standard 1-5/8" wide step found on most pallet rack beams.

In both cases, the wire sits over the front of the beam providing additional safety and rigidity. From a safety standard point, any size or type of waterfall is better than none.

The inside waterfall style is best utilized for hand picking since it doesn't have the added safety benefits of an outside waterfall. It sits directly inside the step of your beam. This is aesthetically pleasing as it provides a surface that is flush with the height of the beam.


How to Determine the Type of Wire Decking You Need

  1. Determine the Length of Your Beams

First you need to determine the length of the beams. To do this, measure the inside edge of the beam connector where it would sit flush with the side of the upright frame. Note that you want to use the measurement that is similar to your desired pallet racking bay widths. Example: A 96” beam will have a measurement from the inside edges of the beam connectors that is generally within 1/16” or so of what the desired bay dimension is. You do not want to measure between the furthest outside edges of the beam connectors or the measurement will be too long. 

Once you understand how wide your pallet rack beams are, utilize the chart below to understand the depth and quantity of wire deck you need for each shelf level.

96” beams require Two (2) 46” wide wire decks
108” beams require Two (2) 52” wide wire decks
120” beams require Two(2) 58” wide wire decks
144” beams require Three (3) 46” wide wire decks

  2. Determine the Depth of Your Uprights

You now know how many wire decks you need per shelf level. The final step is to calculate the depth of the upright. To do that, you need to measure from the outside edge of one of the pallet rack upright posts to the outside of the other.

Standard sizes are 36"D, 42"D and 48"D. 

A quick note: If you are measuring your existing wire decking, it is not going to measure exactly 42"D x 46"W. Because the wire decking needs to sit on top of the beams, the depth will measure slightly more. So, if you have a 42"D upright, your wire decking will likely measure 42.5" or 43"D. Don't be alarmed, that's normal. 



In the end, you need two key measurements in order to determine the width and depth of your wire decking. The first measurement is the width of your pallet rack beams. The second is the depth of your pallet rack uprights. These will quickly point you to the proper wire decking you need to finish your pallet rack system.

Still not sure what you need? Talk to one of our Warehouse Consultants over the phone (616-246-8700) or via email ( 

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