Does the Top Pattern of a Grate Matter?

23 August 2022
 Categories: Construction & Contractors, Blog


Grates are necessary if you have drains. The grates act as a type of sifter, separating liquid that needs to flow into the drain from solid material that needs to stay out of the drain. These grates can have different patterns and looks, from fairly standard and generic types to custom grates. Do the differences in the patterns matter?

The Purpose of the Grate

The purpose of the grate can influence what type of pattern the top has. Something meant to let large amounts of water flow into a drain will have more openings than something meant to simply separate water from, say, random twigs being washed to a grate in a storm.  Grates that prevent hair from flowing into a shower drain may have smaller openings, for example.

How Common Solid Debris Might Be

Grates need to stop solid items from falling into the drain, but they also need to be able to keep allowing liquid to drain if something solid blocks part of the grate. So, you need to have an idea of how much solid debris might hit the grate. For example, a grate placed outside can be covered in dirt, leaves, and litter, so you'd want the top of the grate to have many holes for drainage. That way, if part of the grate were covered with debris, water could still drain through. If you are placing a grate somewhere where solid debris isn't that much of an issue, a grate pattern that had fewer holes for drainage might be okay, such as in a shower stall.

Projected Cleaning Need and Frequency

Drain grates should be cleaned, but some will need more cleaning than others. A shower drain grate, for example, should be fine if you clean it with your weekly regular shower-stall cleaning, but a grate on a trench drain near a food processing area has to be cleaned much more frequently because of the potential for bacterial growth, odours, and pest attraction. The grates that need to be cleaned more frequently should have a pattern that is easier to clean completely. For example, a grate pattern where there are divots and steps between each opening will be more likely to trap bits of food debris that are harder to wipe away and that will require more time spent cleaning.

The builder who is working on your home can let you know if their company has heard good or bad things about certain grate types. The company will also have its own experiences to lean on, which helps you find the best grate patterns for your construction project. For more information on custom grates, contact a company near you.