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Posted by Stephanie on February 6, 2023

All pallet rack configurations that you can use in your warehouse will require some basic components, which include everything from horizontal and diagonal bracing to the wire deck. The wire deck in your pallet rack system is where you place items and equipment that are stored in your facility. The thickness and strength of the wire determine the deck’s weight capacity.

While standard wire decking is usable, waterfall wire decking offers tangible benefits that aren’t available with other types. The wire deck is the physical area where pallets and products are placed. When you hear the term waterfall wire decking, this refers to the design of the mesh deck, which has “waterfall” edges. When used correctly in a warehouse setting, this type of decking should enhance the safety of your personnel. In this guide, you’ll discover the advantages of installing waterfall wire decking in your warehouse.

What are the Advantages of Waterfall Wire Decking?

Wire decking is an integral component for all pallet rack configurations. This product consists of a wire mesh panel that has channels welded below to deliver additional stability and capacity. It provides the pallet racking system with a level surface between support beams where products and pallets can be stored before and after transport.

To make sure that warehouses and similar facilities meet safety standards and local fire codes, many cities will require durable wire decking instead of wood decking. If ever a fire develops in your warehouse, the grid-like nature of the decking allows water from the sprinkler system to drop to the lower levels and put out the primary source for the fire.

While it’s possible to adhere to building codes with flat or corrugated panels that are positioned between pallet racks, it’s considerably easier to meet code requirements with wire decking. This decking also provides versatility and stability for your pallet rack solution. There isn’t any limit to what can be stored on this decking. Whether you require flat storage space or sanitary storage space, wire decking supports all types of products.

Keep in mind that pallet supports differ from wire decks. Along with needing to be screwed in, pallet supports will lie between the pallet rack beams to deliver extra support to the bay’s structure. In comparison, wire decks offer a flat storage surface and cover all of the space located between the beams.

Waterfall wire decking is preferable to general wire decking because of the inclusion of a waterfall mesh design at the edges of the deck. By using this design, the mesh will hang down on the sides of the deck to keep pallets or products that are stored on the pallet rack from falling off.

wire mesh decking

Types of Wire Decking

There are four basic types of wire decking that you can install in your warehouse, which include:

  • Double waterfall
  • Up-turned waterfall
  • Inside waterfall
  • Flat flush

The double waterfall design uses a down-turned edge on one or more sides of the wire deck. These edges are made to hook over the back and front pallet rack beams for a more secure fit. One clear advantage of the double waterfall design is that it can be fully secured without requiring any extra screws or bolts. It’s also the safest option in the event of a beam breaking.

The up-turned waterfall design includes one down-turned edge and a single up-turned edge. Just like the double waterfall design, this configuration provides added stability while also reducing any shifting. The inclusion of an up-turned edge ensures that products don’t fall from the back of your pallet rack system.

Inside waterfall decks are designed in a manner where the the end wire will come into contact with the innermost portion of the step beam. These decks aren’t meant to hang over this beam, which is why they don’t provide as much security as traditional waterfall wire decking.

The main advantage of this option is that the beam face will be clear for easy barcode labeling. It’s best used on lower levels where hand-stacking takes place. You’ll need to use screws to keep this type of decking secure.

Another option available to you is the flat flush design, which involves the wire decking sitting on the beam steps. The primary issue with this design is that the decks aren’t that stable. They only come into contact with the beam through the channels.

Channel Supports

The four types of channel supports at your disposal include:

  • U-channel
  • Flare channel
  • Inverted U-channel
  • Inverted flare channel

These supports are designed to strengthen your wire decks and make sure that they are situated securely on the beams of your pallet rack system. Decks differ from each other based on the shape of their channel supports.

Wire decks that consist of U-channel supports provide double support since the beam has multiple points of contact. The decking rests on the beam, while the channels sit along the beam step-downs. This design offers more stability and a higher weight capacity.

A flared channel support is placed on the beam without steps. These supports provide a lower amount of stability when compared to U-channels. However, they are considered a universal fit with structural beams, box beams, and step beams. This versatility makes the design more convenient than other solutions.

The inverted U-channel support is essentially an upside-down version of the standard U-channel design. If you use regular U-channels, dirt and debris will accumulate over time. This issue isn’t present with inverted U-channels, which is why they are ideal when storing food or other hygiene-dependent items.

An inverted flare-channel support offers the same sanitary advantages as inverted U-channels. However, they also provide a universal fit. These are the most popular channel supports for food handling purposes since they require less cleaning.

Keep in mind that the capacity and stability limits of your wire deck depend on your channel supports and wire density. If a wire deck has more wires, it will be more stable.

wire mesh decking supports

Wire Deck Styles

Before you purchase wire decks for your warehouse, there are four styles that you should consider, which include:

  • Standard/step waterfall wire decks
  • Inverted flange wire decks
  • Flush flat wire decks
  • Flush waterfall wire decks

Standard wire decks are outfitted with a waterfall mesh design and are placed on pallet rack beam steps. The support channels rest on the steps, while the waterfall wraps around the highest point of the beam.

Inverted flange wire decks are among the most commonly used versions. This style is effective since the flange along the end of the channels allows the deck to fit on box or step pallet rack beams. Since the channels are inverted, debris is unable to accumulate in the support channel.

Flush flat wire decks have a flat surface that is flush with the highest point of the rack beams. These decks don’t contain a waterfall and are most suitable in instances when you want your storage facility to have a clean and sleek appearance.

Flush waterfall wire decks are practically the same as flush flat wire decks. The primary difference is that this design includes a waterfall that hangs directly over the top of the nearby beams. The waterfalls with these decks sit on the beam steps. If you install flush waterfall wire decks in your facility, you’ll benefit from higher edge capacity as a result of less bowing and safer hand loading since there aren’t any harsh edges.

The Versatility of Waterfall Wire Decking

Wire decking offers ample versatility since it can be used with any channel shape and numerous styles. As mentioned before, nearly every item can be stored on wire decking without creating problems. Make sure, however, that you adhere to the weight capacity for your wire decking of choice.

Even though all wire decking designs are durable and long-lasting, waterfall wire decking provides you with a design that will minimize damage and loss of the items you’re storing. The inclusion of waterfall edges means that your clients and personnel will be protected from falling objects. The strength of the wires makes it easy to store heavier items without worrying about the material breaking or buckling.

waterfall wire decking versatility

Why Choose QMH?

Whether you’ve just opened a new warehouse or need to update your pallet racking system, we can help you choose the best solutions for your warehouse and will facilitate any warehousing project you’d like to start. We have ample experience in handling compliance concerns, which gives us the ability to make sure your entire project is completed without experiencing costly delays. If you have any wire decking inquiries or would like to find out more about our material handling and storage solutions, contact us today!

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The QMH mission is to serve and/or create a world where people and products are handled the right way. Our customer service philosophy is simple: We strive to be the best for everyone who walks through our door. We’re passionate about providing our customers with the greatest value for their money.

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With over 32 years of experience in material handling, QMH is committed to providing end-to-end solutions for companies with distribution, logistic and warehousing needs. From permit approval management to full-service execution from the ground up, QMH delivers unique solutions providing distinct value in record time.