Guide to... Warehouse Decking


There are a number of types of warehouse decking that can be used in a warehouse shelving or pallet racking structure. The decking is primarily used for the storage of small parts, loose goods or where there are varying sizes of pallets or stillages. The decks come in all shapes and sizes, from standard timber decks to notched steel variations, and therefore it's important to understand the various types of decking and the products that they are suitable for. Our latest guide is built to walk you through your options. Read on to find out more...

Timber decking


Timber decks can be supplied in two options: open or close boarded. The decks are highly resilient, making them suitable for heavy duty applications but are also suitable for the storage of smaller pallets.


The decks are made out of a number of wooden slats which are screwed into the battens. They can be made to any size, and they work to enhance the overall safety of the racking system by eliminating the risk of pallets falling through the beam. They can also be used to support stillages or under sized pallets, providing additional support to prevent stock from falling through the racking.


If pallets are being stored on the decks then you must ensure the pallet also sits over the beams to avoid point loads. If the environment becomes wet e.g. if the decking is installed on a multi-tier picking zone with sprinkler systems, and the sprinklers were to trigger in the event of a fire then the decking would no longer be as strong and could suffer from a potential collapse. This is of course a rare scenario, but one that should be considered none the less. Overall, timber decking is a highly versatile product and a popular choice for many.

Warehouse decking for racking systems
Warehouse decking mounted on pallet racking

What product type(s) is timber decking best suited for?

Timber decking is primarily suited for the storage of small parts, loose goods or where there are various sizes of pallets or stillages needing to be stored.


Timber decking for warehouse racking

Chipboard decking


Chipboard decking is made by gluing together wood particles with an adhesive under heat and pressure, creating a board with a relatively smooth surface. It is available in a number of densities: normal, medium and high-density, and it is typically used for loads with a maximum weight of 1000kgs.


They can be used in small parts and picking systems, long span shelving and carpet shelving systems. The decks can be made to any size, and when installed sit flush with the front face of the beam.


Chipboard decking is not suitable for damp environments or for storing products that contain liquid or where food products are stored or manufactured. They are not flame resistant and over time they can sag and become fragile. However, they offer a much cheaper alternative to closed boarded timber and metal decking solutions, and for specific product types this would be your go-to choice.

Chipboard decking - carpet racking
Chipboard decking

What is chipboard decking used for?

Chipboard decking is best suited for long span shelving and carpet shelving systems. It is typically used for lighter loads of up to 1,000kgs, however it is not suitable for the storage of liquids, foods or damp environments in general.

Chipboard decking - pallet racking

Notched steel decking


Notched steel decks are galvanised steel panels that slot directly on to shelving and pallet racking beams. They are generally used to store handball loads on pallet racking structures when pallets are not available. Each shelf is supplied as a series of lift out panels to enable cleaning when required. They are easily fitted, more durable than chipboard decking and are suitable for both indoor and outdoor use as they are rustproof.


The decks come in a choice of sizes to fit various shelving units and are easily replaced if one happens to get damaged. They are infinitely more solid and durable than normal chipboard decking, making them the preferred choice as a heavy-duty solution. However, you should be aware that because of this the decks can be quite expensive - a key fact to keep in mind.

Notched steel decking
Steel notched decking - underside

What are notched steel decks?

Steel decks are galvanised steel panels that come in two different sizes: 225mm and 300mm variations. They slot directly on to shelving and pallet racking beams and are primarily used for the storage of small parts.

Steel notched decking

Mesh decking


Wire mesh decks offer an excellent solution when smaller items need to be stored on pallet racking. The mesh deck is placed on the beams, acting as a shelf to store boxes, totes and other smaller items. They are commonly used as a safety measure to prevent pallets or the products stored on them from falling through the racking structure. 


The decks are available in various thicknesses and dimensions, and they also prevent dirt and debris from accumulating on the shelves due to the holes found in the mesh. They offer a durable solution for all types of warehouse environment. Most wire mesh decking has a U-shaped channel support, also known as struts to support the load. The wire mesh extends across the top and down the front of the beam to provide further support, making the product a more desirable choice for customers. 


It's worth remembering that mesh decking is a more expensive option than timber decking due to the materials used to manufacture the product, and the sizing is also less flexible. However, it is a great choice for multi-tier systems and mezzanine floors, especially when fire safety is concerned. This is due to the nature of the materials used to manufacture the decking, meaning that in the event of a fire the decking would maintain its integrity if a sprinkler system was to go off. 

Mesh decking
Mesh decking for pallet racking

What is mesh decking used for?

Mesh decking is typically used to store small parts and handball loads on pallet racking structures when standard pallets are not available. This makes the decking perfect for use on a multi-tier system or on a mezzanine floor.

Wire mesh decking

So there you have it, our guide to warehouse decking systems. If you want to find out more about warehouse decking systems then take a look at our dedicated warehouse decking product page. We also offer a free warehouse appraisal and space planning service and we would be more than happy to help you to optimise your warehouse operation. Get in touch to find out more. Until next time.


Post by Adam Bissmire-Mullen

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