How Do I Choose the Best Drain Grate?

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  • Written By: Solomon Branch
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 09 August 2019
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Choosing the best drain grate means finding one that is durable and fits your drain properly. The grate needs to have enough space between the openings to filter debris and let water through at the same time. Additionally, you need to consider what you want the drain to look like and how much you are willing to spend, as some more durable grates can cost more.

Drain grates are made from a variety of materials, including aluminum, cast iron, and stainless steel. Other materials include bronze and plastic, primarily in the form of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Aluminum grates are easy to maintain, lightweight, durable and don’t corrode easily, which means they work well if you are installing the drain outside. A drain grate made of stainless steel is also durable and non-corrosive, and it can offer a stylish look to a drain. Typically, a stainless steel drain grate is more expensive than an aluminum one.

Plastic drain gates are readily available, but they are not as durable as aluminum or stainless steel. If you are going to be covering storm drains or those that are not subject to foot traffic or other possible pressure, PVC or another heavy-duty plastic might be a viable option. They are usually relatively inexpensive when compared to other types of drains.


If you want a particularly elegant look to your drain grate, cast iron grates are available. They are durable and give drains a classic, antique look. Bronze grates offer a similar appeal. Both cast iron and bronze grates are suited for outdoor or indoor use. They can both give an antique feel to a drain, which can look nice in a garden or around a tree, as well as in a bathroom or kitchen.

Several types of stores carry drain grates, including hardware stores, big-box stores, and various specialty stores that provide. Manufacturers of a particular material, such as cast iron, might also carry sell drain grates. If you want to purchase an actual antique drain grate, estate sales and antique stores are good places to look. Many options are available online as well, both for antiques and newer models.

For special types of drain grates, such as those that go under the ground or in large pipes, you might need to check with a plumbing supply company. Usually, those types of grates need to be installed by a professional, particularly if they are underground. The same is true for other specialized drains, such as those found in pools.


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