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Fiberglass Decking and Deck Grating for Wet Environments

Posted by Fibergrate Marketing on Dec 21, 2023 9:30:00 AM

Fiberglass Decking and Deck Grating for Wet Environments

Wet environments demand strict attention to safety and durability for flooring surfaces. Fiberglass decking and deck grating, specifically fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) products, offer robust solutions. This quick guide covers their definition, benefits, installation, maintenance, and safety compliance as well as real-world applications.

fiberglass decking

PHOTO 1: Fibergrate fiberglass reinforced plastic deck grating at a dock

Why Safety and Durability in Wet Environments Matters and How Fiberglass Decking Can Help

In wet conditions, safety is critical because, as OSHA reports, slips, falls, and trips account for 15% of workplace deaths annually. Wet surfaces exacerbate these risks and accelerate traditional materials' deterioration. 

Using fiberglass grating for decking (particularly FRP grating) in these projects presents four main benefits:

  • Corrosion resistance: FRP products resist corrosion and are ideal for marine and industrial use.
  • Low maintenance: There is minimal upkeep, even under heavy traffic or chemical exposure. Often all that is required is high-pressure rinsing with water.
  • Efficient drainage: FRP grating helps move water out of areas where it is a safety hazard or may be damaging to the area.

Common Applications for Fiberglass Decking in Wet Environments

  • Marine Environments: FRP us used in dock walkways, vessel decks, and offshore platforms.
  • Commercial and Industrial Facilities: FRP is ideal for chemical plants, water treatment facilities, and even recreational projects.

Understanding Deck Grating for Drainage and Safety

Deck grating is a perforated, slip-resistant surface designed for wet areas. It allows water, debris, and air to pass through, maintaining a dryer, safer walking surface. While both FRP decking and FRP deck grating may be found in the same spaces, their purposes are different. While decking provides stability and a smooth and attractive walking surface, deck grating offers:

  • Efficient water drainage: Prevents standing water, reducing accidents and grating wear
  • Slip resistance: Provides a reliable grip in moist areas, minimizing slip risks
  • Reduced maintenance: Limits exposure to standing water, prolonging grating life
  • Resistance to corrosion and chemicals: Ideal for areas exposed to moisture, saltwater, and chemicals

Easy Installation: One of the Biggest Benefits of Choosing Fiberglass Decking and Deck Grating

Like any other building material, working with fiberglass reinforced plastic decking and deck grating requires a degree of knowledge and skill. That said, for most products, FRP grating is an inexpensive product in terms of installation time, equipment, and costs. 

The installation process typically involves surface preparation, cutting and fitting the panels, and securing them in place—all of which can be done with ordinary hand tools. Proper installation is essential for long-term performance, so for more details, review our detailed guide to FRP fabrication.

Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic Deck and Grating Maintenance Tips for Longevity and Safety

Here are two ways to ensure the longevity and safety of fiberglass decking and deck grating:

  • Cleaning and Debris Removal: 
    • Regularly clean the surfaces to remove dirt, algae, and debris which can make surfaces slippery. 
    • Use a high-pressure washer or a stiff brush with a mild detergent. 
    • For deck grating, ensure that drainage slots remain clear.
  • Inspections and Repairs: 
    • Conduct routine inspections to identify any damage or wear. 
    • Replace damaged panels promptly to maintain slip resistance and safety. 
    • Regular inspections prevent accidents and extend the life of your FRP materials.

FRP Decking and Grating Cost Considerations for Installation and Maintenance

When evaluating the cost considerations for fiberglass reinforced plastic decking and deck grating compared to other materials in a wet area project, these two costs, in particular, may tip the scales in favor of FRP, depending on the specifics of your project:

  • Installation: Compared to steel and wood, FRP decking and grating materials may be more cost-effective to install because they are lightweight and require only basic tools, significantly lowering labor costs compared to traditional materials.
  • Maintenance: FRP’s low maintenance requirements reduce long-term costs. Minimal upkeep and fewer replacements can mean significant savings over time.

Comparing Fiberglass with Traditional Materials (Wood and Steel)

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Initial expense is not the only factor. Traditional materials like wood and steel require frequent maintenance and replacements, leading to higher lifetime costs. With FRP decking and grating, their low maintenance, durability, and longevity can make them quite cost-effective in the long run.
  • Environmental Considerations: Fiberglass is eco-friendly due to its resistance to moisture and chemicals, reducing the need for toxic treatments. It also doesn’t leach harmful chemicals or metals into the environment, promoting sustainability. 


FRP deckingPHOTO 2: Fibergrate slip resistant FRP decking in use at a marina

Decking and Grating Safety Regulations and Standards

With any construction project, it is important to know and follow the applicable building, safety, and other relevant codes. While this can be a tedious task, one of the benefits of choosing Fibergrate fiberglass reinforced plastic decking and grating products is that they generally meet or exceed OSHA and strict building code requirements for safety and design. 

Fibergrate materials have also earned and continue to maintain several certifications related to quality and safety, so while you should practice due diligence to ensure the products and installation approaches you choose to maintain strict safety and building code compliance, know that many Fibergrate products present viable options where safety regulations and standards apply.

We invite you to explore the Fibergrate range of FRP decking and deck grating options to ensure safety and durability in your wet environment projects. Investing in these materials is an investment in safety, cost savings, and environmental responsibility, so we stand ready to help you make an informed decision.

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Topics: FRP, Benefits, Molded Grating, Pultruded Grating, FRP Decking

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