Name that Grate! A Replacement Grate Guide

Replacement Grates
Grate Profiles
Not all grates are made the same as seen above. Drainage grates come in many styles shapes and materials.

We are often asked to help customers find replacement grates for their systems. If you find yourself in this situation, below are some ways that you can get the information you need that will help us to identify the grate. Keep in mind, you don’t need to have answers for every category but the more information you can provide, the easier it is to identify the grates/system.

Grate Material
It helps to know what the existing grate is made of. Some of the typical materials include galvanized steel, ductile iron, plastic, stainless steel, bronze, aluminum, cast iron, or fiberglass.

Maker’s Mark
Make note of any distinguishing marks or logos on the grates and/or trench channels. Any numbers or letters can be surprisingly helpful.

ULMA Stainless Steel Perforated Grate - IP100KCA
Check the front and back of the grates for any marks, numbers or logos.

What application is the grate being used in? Is it for a driveway, kennel, highway, brewery, pool… etc.?
The reason you’re replacing grates could provide the opportunity for us to help you find a better option.

Weighted Decision
What is the heaviest traffic/weight that will cross the grates? We have had people say that it’s only going to be cars and pickups crossing their drainage, but it only takes one delivery truck to break down your system. Replacing the system then involves jackhammers and excavators. Better to plan ahead than to have costly repairs later.

Extreme Conditions
What are you sending down the drain? It helps determine what material the grates should be made of. We’ll recommend different options that can hold up to extreme temperatures, chemicals or other conditions such as coastal salt water.

A customer provided this diagram with the grate dimensions. It was extremely helpful in determining an adequate replacement to an obsolete system.

Measuring the grates
Measuring the grates seems easy enough but something as simple as the height or width of a grate can be misconstrued depending upon the area of the grate being measured. Grates come in many different sizes, shapes and profiles.

Each measurement is important in determining whether the new grates will sit in the channel properly. To make sure everyone is on the same page with each dimension, a simple diagram can be used with reference points.

Helpful grate measurements include:
• Width – Top of grate
it’s helpful to know if the grate covers the sides of the drain

Measuring a drainage grate
Taking a picture similar to this can also be helpful when identifying a replacement grate.

• Width – Underside (from flange to flange) *
not all grates will have flanges

• Height of the grate and/or flange

• Length of the grate

Measuring a Drainage Channel
If the channel is already in the ground, you can put the tape measure across the top with and without the grate.

Helpful drainage channel measurements include:

  • Width – Top of channel (outside dimension)
  • Width – Inside dimension of the channel (where grate rests)
  • Height of chair or ledge that the grate sits on

Not everyone is adept at reading a tape measure so an alternative would be to take a picture of the channel with a tape measure in the shot. A picture really is worth a thousand words and the more you can provide, the better. You can take a shot with the tape measure across the channel if it’s already installed with and without the grate in place.

Feel free to contact us for one-on-one assistance if you have any questions. 


Trench Drain Systems is a national distributor and manufacturer of linear drainage products. You can shop for replacement grates on this site or if you’re looking for a complete system, you can shop To speak directly to a sales professional, contact them at 610-882-3630 or email Do you need a quote for a project? Click here for a fast and free quote!