Choosing the right grate and drainage system for your building project

As the website shows, a grate drainage system comes in many shapes and sizes. Even the construction and installation vary, depending on the location and purpose. More on this later.

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There are a variety of products to choose from—bathroom drains, door track subsill drains, driveway/heavy-duty drains, and external/commercial drains.

Regardless of the type, however, it is made only with one material—steel.

This is because steel is highly durable, resistant to corrosion, abrasion, and heat, and 100% recyclable. This makes it the most eco-friendly option because it doesn’t have a toxic coating, thus zero toxic runoff.

Moreover, steel is easier to work with and form into different shapes. If your building project requires a drainage system that follows the standard drawings of the Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD), it’s the best material to use.

How to choose the right channel drain based on weight

External and driveway drains, in particular, must support the maximum weight load they will be subjected to. That is, the channel drain must not buckle under the weight of heavy load or traffic.

The Revised Standards AS3996 classifies access covers and grates as:

– Class A at nominal wheel loading of 330kg

Extra-light duty, pedestrian areas, such as gardens and footways, and those accessible by cyclists only.

– Class B at nominal wheel loading of 2,670kg

Light duty, footways and light tractor paths, provide access to vehicles but not commercial vehicles

– Class C at nominal wheel loading of 5,000kg

Heavy-duty, used in shopping centres and areas accessible by slow-moving commercial vehicles

-Class D at nominal wheel loading of 8,000kg

Heavy-duty, road carriageways and areas where commercial vehicles pass through

Class E-G is for docks and aircraft pavements.

As you can see, different drainage channels require different gratings and styles. Thus the variety of grates you will find on the website

So there are differences. How do you choose the right drainage for a building project then?

Consider the weight load

This is the quickest way to narrow down your options between indoor and outdoor application. Take into account the location too and you’ll know what drainage system your project needs.

Environmental exposure

In areas with high airborne salinity, the drainage system used must be resistant to corrosion. Stainless steel grates are most effective in corrosive and harsh environments.

As for bathroom drains…

Traditional vs. linear

Traditional drainage requires 4-way grading to provide adequate drainage flow and a separate hob for the water flow.

Linear drainage, on the other hand, only requires half of the grading the traditional design needs and can be used both indoor and outdoor. It can be installed anywhere within the shower or bathroom area as well.

Waterproofing requirements

If the bathroom in question is for residential buildings, builders and designers must follow the Australian standards AS-3740 introduced in 2010.

The ‘Waterproofing of wet areas within residential buildings’ specifies strict waterproofing compliance to protect interior spaces from leaks. The requirements you must comply with will depend on the choice of surface and building substrate materials as both will influence the type of water-resistant membranes that will be applied.

Armed with this knowledge, going through the products featured on and choosing the appropriate one will be easier.