Exploring  Various Shelving Options for Pallet Racks


Decks—the ones I am speaking about—have, unfortunately, nothing to do with skateboards but all with warehouses. They are used in pallet racking and put on the beams to create a stable flat surface—a shelf, if you will. It allows for both pallet and hand-stacked storage that can also be used for bulk shelving.

Pallet racks in a warehousePhoto by Ruchindra Gunasekara on Unsplash

Choosing the right deck or shelf

Whether you are a warehouse manager, a pallet rack supplier, or a property developer, you will be happy to know that there are various decks to choose from. However, making the right choice depends heavily on your needs. Here, we give an overview of the most important things to consider. 


A. Safety

The decks must be stable and provide an even surface to reduce the risk of accidents, such as goods falling through the gaps or pallets slipping off the racks. This helps to prevent injuries to workers and damage to goods.

B. Air circulation

Shelves with an open mesh design allow for better air circulation within the pallet racking system. This reduces dust buildup and improves overall cleanliness. This is an issue to consider when storing sensitive goods or materials.

C. Visibility

Shelves with an open mesh design allow for better visibility of products stored on pallets, making it easier for workers to locate specific items and improve overall efficiency in the warehouse. For example, looking through the decks might be an advantage when using a reach truck in combination with high racking.

D. Fire safety

In the event of a fire, the degree of flammability of the material of the shelves themselves is an important safety issue. In addition, the material’s permeability must be considered, as an open mesh can allow sprinkler systems to effectively reach the products stored on pallets, helping to reduce the risk of damage or loss.

E. Cost effective

Depending on the world market prices, wood or metal can be cheaper. When it comes to cost, it is important to consider the purchase price and the durability, which provides cost-saving over time.

These five issues are essential when buying shelving.

There are various products on the market to consider, including wire mesh decking, wooden shelves, and gratings.

Wooden shelves

Wood is a strong and durable material, so a shelf made of wood will likely be long-lasting and withstand regular use. It's not only often a cheaper alternative (depending on the price of wood), but it can also add warmth and character to a space, making a mesh deck made of wood an attractive choice for many different needs.

Wooden shelves are usually made of durable and sturdy wood (e.g., plywood). They are designed to be able to support heavy loads. Wooden warehouse shelves can store various items, from small parts and tools to larger products and equipment.

Since wood is a natural material, it can be easily customized to fit your specific design preferences. You can stain or paint it to match the color scheme of your warehouse. They can be easily modified or replaced as the storage needs of the warehouse change over time.

But be aware: Wood is a highly flammable material; therefore, there are several different regulations your sprinkler system must fulfill to be classified as approved. Increasingly, insurance companies demand the replacement of wooden shelves because of fire safety.


Gratings are a type of metal material consisting of closely spaced parallel bars or slats. They are commonly used in industrial and commercial settings for flooring, walkways, stair treads, and shelving.

Gratings are typically constructed with a welded design for additional strength and durability. The spacing between the bars or slats can also be customized to provide the appropriate level of slip resistance for the intended use.

They are the safest choice for shelving, can handle any heavy-duty load, and are perfect for point loads. Furthermore, they allow air circulation and visibility (depending on the space between the bars).

Overall, gratings are a versatile and durable material that can provide a safe and reliable shelving solution. But unfortunately, this comes with the most expensive price tag of all the shelving products discussed.


Wire mesh decks

A wire deck is constructed of wire mesh with channel supports welded to the bottom for support.

Mesh decks have several advantages over solid decking materials like wood or metal. They allow for better inventory visibility and easier access to products stored on pallets. Workers can see the products on each bay and determine the best way to reach them. These decks are also ideal for tall pallet racking systems. These decks' added safety and security can prevent misplaced or loose items from falling off.

Mesh decks also allow for better air circulation, which can help reduce dust buildup and improve the overall cleanliness of the warehouse. This is especially the case when there's no omega profile, but flat support bars are used in the design of the mesh deck.

Adding a wire mesh deck to your pallet racking system is a great way to enhance the safety of your products. It also provides better water access for sprinkler systems, lessening the damage caused by fire.

Additionally, mesh decks are lightweight, durable, and easy to install, making them a popular choice for many warehouse and distribution center operators. They are also more cost-effective than solid decking materials that can be used in various pallet racking systems.

Some manufacturers are using flat support bars combined with loading scenarios, making them a cheaper alternative for gratings in some cases.

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Of course, as we do not produce wooden shelves or gratings, I am a huge fan of mesh decks. In general, depending on whether safety, air circulation, visibility, fire safety, or cost-effectiveness is your primary goal, some great choices are available for shelving your pallet racking. So, while skating through your warehouse, you know you made the right choice.