Frequently Asked Questions


The topics below cover a variety of questions relating to our products including ordering, pricing, and installation. We hope you find what you’re looking for. If not, please contact us.



What makes Iron Age grates different from the typical drain grate?
Humble and forgotten, the typical drain has long been overlooked as a design element. Most commercial drain grates are strictly utilitarian in style. Perpendicular lines and plastic are commonplace, and have come to be what’s expected in the marketplace. In many cases, the drain grates look like an afterthought, or even clash with the design.

Iron Age offers a wide range of pattern options that will complement your design efforts and the materials of the surrounding surfaces/landscape. Our grates are made with sculptural relief, in contrast to the perfectly flat surfaces of other grates. The unique designs and dimensional surfaces create visual interest, elevating the drain grate to an artistic focal point.

Our trench and catch basin grates are also engineered to fit the most widely used drain bodies on the market today, including ABT®, ACO®, MEA®, NDS® and Zurn®. (For a complete list of manufacturers and drain bodies, see “Made to Fit Your Drains” in our RESOURCES section.)

You can now search our products BY DRAIN SYSTEM

How do I know which Iron Age grates will fit the drain body I am using?
In the “Products” section of our website, you’ll see “Filter Products”. Once you’ve selected a product category (i.e. “Trench Grates”, “Catch Basin Grates” or “Skimmer Lids”), simply click on “By Drain System” and you’ll see a list of all of the drain bodies in that category that our grates are designed to fit.

Choose the manufacturer & drain body you are using, and you’ll be able to quickly and easily see exactly which of our grates will work for your project.

Are all Iron Age grates made from recycled/recyclable materials?
Our cast metal products contain a minimum of 80% recycled materials, and are all 100% recyclable, helping to earn your project LEED accreditation.

What materials and finishes are available?
Iron Age offers a variety of materials and finishes that each have their own unique properties. Some of the most common materials we work with are Bronze, Aluminum, Ductile Iron and Grey Iron. Finish options include Baked-On-Oil and Powder Coating. For details, see “Materials and Finish Options” in our RESOURCES section.

Sun Catch Basin in raw ductile iron (left), oxidation phase (middle), and Baked-On-Oil Finish (right)

Why are my cast iron grates turning orange?
Raw cast iron starts out grey in color, but upon contact with water, a bright orange oxide (a.k.a. “rust”) develops. For detailed information about the cast iron oxidation process, please see the “Materials and Finish Options” page under the “RESOURCES” tab.

What can I do if I don’t want orange grates—even temporarily?
We generally recommend letting our grates age naturally, but for those who wish to bypass the bright orange oxidation phase of raw iron, we offer an eco-friendly “Baked-On-Oil Finish”. For specifics, see the “Materials and Finish Options” page under the “RESOURCES” tab.

How do I find out the free drain area of the grate and how many gallons per minute it can handle?
When you visit the product page of the grate you are interested in, the free drain area (listed as a percentage) and gallons per minute will be found in that product’s  “Detailed Specifications.” If you don’t see “Free Drain Area” or “Gallons Per Minute (GPM)” listed, contact us and we will be happy to provide the information.

What is the load rating for traffic? Can cars drive over the grates?
The majority of our grates have not been rated for specific loads, but they have been designed at a minimum to withstand single-axle vehicles/residential traffic (Load Class B), regardless of material used. If your trench and catch basin grates need to be installed in an area with commercial traffic (Load Class C, D or E), we suggest casting in ductile iron, which has more flexibility and a higher strength-to-weight ratio.

If your project has requirements for specific loads, we can provide any classification or engineering calculations needed upon request. Contact us with the details.



Interlaken register cover with Baked-On-Oil Finish

What sets Iron Age register covers apart from typical architectural registers?
In a word, aesthetics. Typical architectural registers are fabricated metal, which means they are cut/welded from a flat plate or sheet, with no surface interest. Our register covers are cast metal. Casting allows us to create a three-dimensional, sculptural piece that is not otherwise possible to achieve.

Our cast metal register covers are also extremely durable—in fact, we guarantee them against breakage for life.

The louver can be opened or closed using a standard Phillips screwdriver as shown

Do the register covers come with louvered dampers?
Louvered dampers—the slatted devices just behind a register cover that can be adjusted to control the flow of air—are available on our website for all register cover sizes, however they are sold separately.

How do I attach the louvers?
Louvers can be “friction fit” to the lip on the underside of the register cover, then adhered with clear silicone for a more fixed attachment if desired. Louvers can also be pushed down into the duct, leaving room for the register cover to be placed on top without interfering with the movement of the louver. In that case, coarse-thread drywall screws are used to attach the louver to the sides of the opening in the floor, wall or ceiling. Click here for step-by-step installation instructions.


How to measure our register covers to ensure proper fit

What is the inside measurement vs. the outside measurement of the register covers?
The outside measurement is the outside dimensions of the register cover. The inside measurement is the dimension of the opening in your floor, wall or ceiling that the inside frame of the register cover will fit into. The inside measurements of our register covers correspond to standard duct sizes typically used in homes.

Are the register cover sizes listed on your website referring to the inside measurement or the outside measurement?
Our register cover sizing refers to the INSIDE measurement—the same dimension of the opening in your floor, wall or ceiling.

Can your register covers be screwed down?
All of our register covers have drill points on the underside that can be drilled out, allowing you to screw them down for a wall or ceiling mount.

How thick are your register covers?
The maximum flange thickness will typically extend 1/4″ above the surrounding surface. All register covers have a lip on the back that is approximately 1/4″ deep.

Standard Finishes (l to r): Baked-On-Oil, “Bronze”, “Silver” and “Black” powder coat

What are the material and finish options?
Our standard register covers are made from cast ductile iron with either a Baked-On-Oil or powder coat finish in Black, Bronze, or Silver. We can also make custom register covers in other metals (cast silicon bronze or cast aluminum) or finishes (see for an additional cost. Contact us for more details.


Carbochon 8″ trench grate re-purposed as register cover

Can I order custom sizes?
The short answer is yes. However, please understand that to cast a metal register cover in a custom size, a new pattern/mold will need to be created. Pattern charges range anywhere from $2,000 – $6,000, making custom casting an expensive proposition.

A more affordable option is to have us laser/water-jet cut your custom-size register cover from a flat metal sheet, however it will not have the sculptural relief of our cast register covers.

The third, and most cost-effective option is to re-purpose one of our drainage grates to accommodate a larger register opening. Contact us to discuss which option will work best for you.

How long will it take to receive my register cover(s)?
Your standard register cover(s) (and louvers if applicable) should leave our Redmond, Washington warehouse within 1-2 business days of placing your order. In the rare instance that a particular size, pattern or finish is not in stock, we will contact you within 24 hours to let you know when we expect to ship your order. Please allow an additional 4-6 weeks for custom materials (bronze or aluminum) or finishes.

Our standard delivery method is UPS Ground, but you can also choose Next Day, 2nd Day or 3-Day Air at checkout. Once your order has been processed, we will forward shipping & tracking information to the e-mail you provide.

Who do I contact to inquire about an existing order?
Call us at 877-418-3568, Mon-Fri 8am – 5pm P.S.T. or e-mail We’ll be happy to help!

Can I return the register cover(s) and/or louver(s) if I change my mind?
We will accept returns up to 30 days from the date of purchase. Returned register covers and louvers must be in the original condition and and original (or equivalent) packaging. Return shipping must be pre-paid in order for us to accept the merchandise.

What is your privacy policy?
We do not share any personal information or mailing addresses. No credit card information is stored on the web server.



Iron Age grates on the production line at Seattle-area foundry

Iron Age proudly designs and manufactures 100% of our products in the United States, and here are just a few of the reasons why:

  • gives us more control over processes, resulting in a higher quality product
  • supports economic opportunity here at home
  • offers greater ability to monitor production and resolve issues faster
  • provides more flexibility to adapt to last minute changes from our customers
  • allows for shorter lead times and faster shipping
  • reduces the overall carbon footprint as compared to international sourcing

Manufacturing in several different foundries across the country also provides the opportunity to earn your project LEED credits for local production. Contact us for more information.


What makes Iron Age grates ADA compliant?
All of our grates are designed to be ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant, which allows for “1/2-in. max. openings in the dominant direction of travel”. A good way to think about it is if you were to take a 1/2″ ball bearing and roll it over the entire surface of a grate, it would never fall through.

ADA compliant grates must also have a “coefficient of friction at .6 or better, wet and dry”. For our raw castings, the “as-cast” and Baked-On-Oil finish exceeds this criterion. If you wish to powder coat a grate that will be in the ground plane (we don’t recommend–see “Materials and Finish Options—Powder Coat” for details), please keep in mind that most colors will slightly lessen the slip resistance of the casting.

Oblio trench grates with 1/2″ openings on left; 1/4″ openings on right.

So that they don’t become a trip-hazard, ADA compliant grates can also only have a “1/4-in. max. vertical rise” (or a 1/2-in max. if rise-to-run ratio is 1:2).

How is that different than “Heel-Proof”?
A “Heel-Proof” design is different than ADA compliant in that it requires a smaller max. opening of only 1/4″. While that offers a more suitable surface for walking on in high-heeled shoes, “Heel-Proof” can quickly become “Drain-Proof”.

For customers who wish to specify “Heel-Proof” grates, please understand that 1/4″ holes are much more likely to clog than ADA compliant 1/2″ openings, and plan accordingly.


Custom oval tree grates in our Locust pattern

When a job requires a custom casting, think of Iron Age as your partners-in-design. We take the time to truly understand your needs and get to know the specifics of the project. Whether the job is big or small, we have the expertise, creativity and design know-how to create a one-of-a-kind solution.

See our “Custom” products section for inspiration and examples of our work, then contact us for your own custom consultation

I need a custom grate, but only one—can you make that for me?
We have the capability to make a completely custom pattern of anything you would like—including your own designs. With that said, however, because our grates are cast metal and not fabricated, the pattern charges for a new casting range in the thousands of dollars, often making small custom orders cost-prohibitive.

Many times we are able to work with our customers to find custom solutions that do not require creating a new pattern. Call us with your questions and we can advise you on the best course of action—not only from a cost and functionality standpoint, but also ensuring the aesthetics of your project are not being overlooked.

Oblio 5″ radiused trench in cast bronze.

Can you cast grates on a radius (circles and ovals)?
Iron Age can make any radius needed using either our standard size products, or a completely custom solution.

Circles only require one pattern that repeats to create an entire ring. Ovals have a changing radius, and therefore may require multiple patterns. If the circle or oval is large enough, however, they may not require any original pattern at all. Once the circle or oval gets to be a certain size, the radius change at any connection point is very slight, resulting in a hardly noticeable gap.

For more information about planning a custom project with radius grates, please see “Radius Considerations” in our RESOURCES section.



5 ft. sq. “Embedment”-style tree grate frame fabricated from raw mild steel


Radius, custom sizes and tree grates all require Iron Age custom frames. Frames are made from angle bar, and when bolted or “wet set” into the top edge of the drain hole, they act as a shelf or bearing surface for the grate to sit on. The steel edges of our frames also keep iron grates from directly touching their surrounding surfaces, helping mitigate rust staining.

Iron Age frames are all made-to-order, and can accommodate many types of installation scenarios. Frame types include “embedment” for use with new concrete; “stand-off” for use with a variety of paver options; and “retro” for use with existing slabs.

Take a look at the descriptions of our various frame types below, followed by installation instructions for our standard “E” (embedment) frames.

If you have questions, contact us. We can help you determine which frame type(s) will work best for your particular installation.


How much do Iron Age grates cost?
With so many different sizes and patterns, it is impossible to list pricing for every trench grate, but they range from $34 per lineal foot for our standard 3″ grates to $220 per lineal foot for our largest (and heaviest!) 36″ grate.

Catch Basin: They range from $32 for our small pipe grates to $105 for our standard 12″ Sq. grates, all the way to $500+ for our largest catch basin grates.

Tree Grates: The price really varies here, depending on size, thickness and weight. The range starts at $600, but for a complete quote with frames, it is best to contact your sales representative or use our Request a Quote form.

All pricing listed above is for raw cast iron grates—bronze and aluminum castings will cost more.  Call, email or use our Request a Quote form to give us your project details, and we’ll be happy to recommend the most appropriate materials, finishes and frame types, plus provide lead times and specific product pricing, including estimated shipping costs.

Are your “less decorative” grates also less expensive?
The price of our grates is based on the weight of the casting, not the intricacy of the design. For example, our 5″ Regular Joe trench grates are less decorative than some of our other 5″ patterns, but because they all weigh about 10 lbs. per casting, they all sell for the same price.

How do the costs of different materials compare to each other?
Ductile iron is more expensive than grey iron, bronze is roughly 3-4x more expensive than cast iron, and aluminum falls somewhere in-between the two. The choice of metal for your project is sometimes determined by price, but most often by intended use. Visit the “Materials & Finish Options” in our RESOURCES section for more information, or contact us to help you determine the best material for your project.

How do the costs of different finish options compare?
Pricing for our Baked-On-Oil and powder coat finishes are generally the same, ranging from $14 (per 3″ trench) on up, but please keep in mind that we have a $100 minimum charge for powder coating. “E-coat” plus powder coat


How do I place an order with Iron Age?
Visit our “Contact” page, and click on your location to find the Iron Age sales representative in your area. They will be able to consult with you on your project, provide you with a detailed quote and get your product ordered. If no contact information is listed for your area, contact us directly at (877) 418-3568 or, or use our “request a quote” form and we’ll get back to you with detailed information.

Do you have order minimums?
No order is too small. Whether you need one grate or hundreds, we are here for you—contact us!

I really like one of your designs, but it doesn’t look like you make it in the size I need. Can I order it in a different size?
Iron Age can make a grate in any size and pattern you request. Just keep in mind that our grates are cast, not fabricated, which means ordering one of our existing designs in a new size will require a new pattern. Pattern charges range anywhere from $2,000 – $6,000, which can make it cost-prohibitive for smaller projects. Contact us for more information.

What is your typical lead time?
It all depends on what you’re ordering. Smaller quantities of our standard trench and catch basin grates in raw cast iron are often in-stock and ready to ship the next day (10-14 days later if a Baked-On-Oil or powder coat finish is requested).

For items that are made to order (i.e. some trench and catch basin grates; all tree grates; all custom grates including radius; frames; site furnishings, etc.), lead times vary depending on quantities, materials and finishes requested, as well as complexity of project. Please let us know about your timeline requirements early in the order process, and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.

Can I order other manufacturer’s drain bodies through you?
We don’t sell the actual drain bodies—only the grates designed to fit them. To order drain bodies or for more information about them, please visit your local supply house or the following websites:

ABT® —

ACO™ —

Hayward® —

Hubbel® Power Systems —

Josam™ —

MEA® —

NDS® —

Pentair®/STA-RITE® —

Zurn® —


What information is needed to estimate shipping charges?
To provide you with the most accurate quote, we’ll need answers to the following questions:

  • Will we be shipping to a JOB SITE, RESIDENCE or other LIMITED ACCESS delivery address? This question can sometimes cause confusion–especially for customers who want us to deliver to their home-based business location. The easiest way to think about it is if we are delivering to a location NOT zoned as COMMERCIAL, the shipment will almost always be subject to “LIMITED ACCESS” accessorial charges by freight carriers or “RESIDENTIAL” surcharge by UPS. 
  • Will there be an accessible dock or forklift at the delivery address? If not, the freight company will charge an extra fee for providing a LIFTGATE.

Providing us with accurate delivery location information up front allows us to find you the best carrier and shipping rate for whatever special service you require.

How will I know when my Iron Age shipment is due to arrive?
Before your shipment leaves our warehouse, foundry or frame shop, it is important that we have the correct contact information for each phase of the delivery—name, phone number and email address of the “point person” for the order, plus the name and phone number for whoever will be accepting the delivery on-site.

  • Once your product ships, we will send either a freight carrier PRO number, or UPS tracking number via e-mail.
    • Entering the PRO number into the “tracking” section of the freight carrier’s website will give you an estimated arrival date.
    • The UPS tracking number will be sent as a hyperlink, taking you directly to their website for detailed information about the status of your shipment.
  • At least 24 hours before your product is due to arrive via freight carrier, the on-site delivery contact will receive a phone call from the freight carrier to set up a delivery appointment. It is important for that person to make sure there is someone available to receive and off-load the shipment during the delivery window. Please keep in mind that delivery drivers do not generally assist with off-loading and they won’t leave a shipment at the delivery location without there being someone on-site to sign for it.

Curvy complexity of radius frames necessitate fit-up prior to installation.

I need my frames ASAP—can you ship them before my grates?
Customers often request that we ship their frames before their grates are ready. While we can generally accommodate this request (additional shipping charges may apply), we have to make an exception in the case of radius frames and frames for new/custom products.

Iron Age custom frames are manufactured in partnership with a local fabrication shop here in Seattle. It is important to provide the cast radius trench or new/custom grates to the fabrication shop before the frames are shipped. That is the only way to ensure the grates fit perfectly in the frames. Once the fit is checked, we then ship both the grates and frames out to the customer at the same time for installation.


Iron Age Designs accepts payments made by Check, ACH, Wire Transfer and Credit Card (Credit Card payments not to exceed $5,000 per order). All orders are to be prepaid unless credit terms are established. Credit applications can be requested at A minimum 50% deposit payment is required on all orders that include (but not limited to):

  • items made of bronze or aluminum
  • anything with custom fabrication, finishes or patterns
  • large or non-stocked items

Iron Age, being a materials supplier with nexus in Arizona, Maryland, Washington and Washington DC, will collect sales tax on all orders being shipped to these locations unless a tax exemption certificate or reseller permit is provided. Iron Age cannot collect taxes on sales made to any other state, and it is the responsibility of the customer to pay all applicable taxes in other locations.

Your satisfaction with Iron Age products and service is always our goal. Under normal conditions, our products will perform their intended functions for many years. If any issues should arise, we take a problem-solving approach and are committed to ensuring a successful outcome.

Iron Age warrants its products to be free of defects in material and workmanship for one year from the invoice date. This warranty does not cover abnormal use/abuse of the product and is exclusive to products supplied by Iron Age. Any claims for labor costs or other expenses related to the replacement of the defective product will not be allowed by Iron Age. Iron Age’s responsibility is limited to replacing only products determined by Iron Age to be defective (pictures will be required). Extended warranties are available on a case by case basis.

All Iron Age grates 14” wide or less have been designed to withstand at a minimum single-axle vehicle/residential traffic when appropriately installed. Grates that have been rated for heavy vehicular loads/commercial traffic will be listed as Heavy-Duty. Any drawings that do not specify Heavy-Duty, or a specific load designation, should be considered Pedestrian-Rated. All grates spanning a distance greater than 14” are designed and listed as Pedestrian-Rated, unless otherwise noted. Pedestrian-rated grates can be used with reinforced frames to attain heavy-duty loads on a case-by-case basis. If you have questions regarding the load of our grates and how that applies to your specific application, we recommend that you call or email to discuss before specification or purchase. We can obtain engineer’s calculations or load tests for specific vehicular load conditions at an additional cost (see: Engineering Calculations).

Lead times quoted are based on the project load when the quote is requested and are subject to change. An updated lead time will be provided once your approved estimate has been received. Production of orders commences upon receipt of:

  1. Purchase order/signed Iron Age quote
  2. Approved drawings/submittals, as applicable
  3. Deposit as applicable based on terms of purchase agreed upon by Iron Age and the customer

Please keep in mind that quoted lead times are estimates only. While usually accurate, they are subject to change once an order is placed into production. Iron Age is not responsible for site or construction delays. Orders are shipped upon completion. If the contractor cannot receive an order when it is ready to ship, Iron Age will bill for stored materials and any applicable storage charges exceeding one week.

Engineering calculations, if required, occur only after submittal drawing approval for general dimension, installation, and appearance, at which point they serve to vet the system from a load designation standpoint. Manufacturing does not commence until approved calculations are received by Iron Age and shared with the customer. These calculations are, unless otherwise explicitly quoted, performed by independent firms with Washington State Licenses. Lead time for calculations will vary and are independent of the above-mentioned manufacturing lead times.

Installation/mounting hardware is not included unless specifically quoted/ordered. Frames are shipped with bolts to attach them to our grates, but do not include any additional hardware.

For stock items, our restocking fee is 25%. A return authorization must be obtained, shipping pre-paid and items received in re-sellable condition to accept the return. For made-to-order items, a 50% cancellation fee will apply if the order is cancelled before shipment. If the order is completed and shipped, 100% of the invoiced items will be billed for and considered due. Any deviation from this policy must be obtained in writing. Custom order deposits are non-refundable. Custom products, finishes, cut grates and custom frames are not refundable.


A Note About Freight
Iron Age Designs is a materials supplier only. Independent freight companies ship our freight. In effect, from the time the freight company loads our product on their truck until they deliver, and it is signed for in good order, it is their property. After signing, it is your property. Offloading is the responsibility of the customer. Due to the nature of our products, a forklift is usually required. Liftgate service is available on most orders. Please advise at the time of ordering if this is a requirement since extra charges will apply.

Iron Age products are inherently heavy. They are also made of solid and durable material. That said, damage can still occur between our warehouse and you, the customer. All shipments need to be inspected as soon as possible for any damaged or otherwise nonconforming items. Claims for missing or damaged freight must be made at the delivery time and must be logged officially with the freight carrier on their delivery paperwork.

Though we will always try our best to do right by our customers in the above circumstances, this method allows us to make claims promptly with our carriers. If the Bill of Lading and delivery receipt is signed by you as delivered complete and in good order, we will assume as much and expect payment in full per your payment terms.

Freight should be visually inspected upon delivery for any obvious visible damage to packaging or the product itself. If damage is visible, freight should either be 1) returned to the carrier (Delivery Not Allowed), or 2) accepted but noted on the freight carriers’ Bill of Lading (BOL) that the product was received in a damaged state. Pictures should be taken at that time, and Iron Age should be notified immediately with the order number, BOL number, and associated photographs and documentation.   If visibly damaged freight is accepted without comment (as “undamaged”), the customer is responsible for payment in full per your payment term. Any remedies will come separately and at the customer’s expense.

Freight should be counted and compared to the Packing Slip and BOL at the time of receipt. If the items or quantities on the Packing Slip/BOL are different than those in the shipment, this claim should be made immediately to the freight carrier and Iron Age for replacement as soon as possible.

IF YOU ARE RECEIVING FRAMES, they are shipped with bolts used to fasten the grates to the frames. These are typically boxed, and the box is taped to one of the frames sent.   Please locate these when inspecting freight, and if removing bolts from frames, label and store them in a safe place for use when you need them. As with claims for damage, claims for missing hardware will not be allowed for consideration after goods are signed for at delivery, and replacement costs, as well as associated shipping will apply.




Cast iron, cast bronze & cast aluminum shown in a raw (unfinished) state

Cast iron is extremely durable, low maintenance and definitely the most affordable option. A drawback for some is the “rusty” phase it goes through when first installed, but there are ways to sidestep that process if desired. (For more information, see “Cast Iron Oxidation” and “Baked-On-Oil Finish” below.)

Cast bronze is also very strong and durable and is the preferred choice for use near salt water or fountains. It does not rust, but is substantially more expensive than iron.

Cast aluminum is often requested if the look of stainless steel is desired, or if the project requires a lighter weight casting. Aluminum weathers to a dull pewter and is generally priced somewhere between bronze and iron.

For more detailed explanations of each material, see below, or contact us. We can help you determine the best material for your project.



Our Locust cast iron trench grates 2 weeks after installation (l) and 2 years after installation (r).

Why are my grates turning orange?
Raw cast iron starts out grey in color, but upon contact with water, a bright orange oxide develops. This loosely adhering layer (more commonly known as “rust”) easily washes or wears away, leaving behind a more tightly adhering oxide coating that actually protects the grate from further corrosion. What you end up with is a rich, chocolate brown patina, similar to any manhole cover in the street.

How long will my grates be orange?
Depending on the environment the grates are placed in, the oxidation process generally lasts anywhere from a few months to a year. Just keep in mind that the more traffic and weather the grates receive, the faster their transformation.

Will the grates rust away to nothing?
Cast iron has been used for hundreds of years in the manufacture of items that need to be exceptionally durable and resistant to corrosion. For example, the Navy has traditionally made ship anchors out of cast iron. Our grates, just like those anchors, will last for decades in a raw state.

What can I do if I don’t want orange grates—even temporarily?
We generally recommend letting our grates age naturally, but for those who wish to bypass the bright orange oxidation phase of raw iron, we offer an eco-friendly “Baked-On-Oil Finish” using recycled vegetable oil. For more information, see “FINISH — BAKED-ON-OIL” below.

Will rust stain the area surrounding the grates?
Rust should not stain the surrounding area if your grates are installed in a pre-formed drain body or in Iron Age custom frames. The drain bodies have plastic, metallic or polymer edges and our frames have steel edges—all of which prevent the iron grates from directly touching the surrounding surface. Therefore, as long as the drain is working properly, any rust particles will flow down the drain with the water.

Is rust a problem when using cast iron grates around a pool ?
Rust is not a problem as long as the grates are installed in a pre-formed drain body or custom steel frames and not touching the surrounding surfaces. Cast iron actually handles the pH balance in chlorinated pool water better than cast aluminum, which over time will turn to mush.


We use two different types of iron for our castings — Grey Iron and Ductile Iron.

Oblio 4x4 WO E

Oblio 4′ Sq. Tree Grate cast in Grey Iron

GREY IRON, ASTM Class 25, 30, 35b
This is the most widely used iron on the planet, and what we make the majority of our larger catch basin and tree grates from. Grey Iron is the most cost-effective option in terms of both strength and density, however it is too brittle to be used in thinner castings.

DUCTILE IRON, ASTM A53 6 Grade 65-45-12
Ductile Iron is Grey Iron with the addition of magnesium to the alloy. Adding magnesium causes the graphite to occur as spheroids rather than as individual flakes, giving Ductile Iron a much higher strength-to-weight ratio. The spherical graphite makes Ductile Iron more pliant and less brittle, giving it the ability to be cast in very thin sections without much risk of breakage.

How do I know which iron to specify?
Specify the load needed—not the alloy.




Interlaken 11″ Radius Trench Grate in cast silicon bronze, installed near a fountain

Bronze is very strong and durable, and lends itself well to the casting process. Bronze alloys are best for use near salt water or fountains. These alloys are very high in copper content, so they will weather much like copper over time.

In some areas of the world, the atmosphere itself will turn bronze alloys verdigris, especially if there is little to no foot traffic on them. When there is a fair amount of foot traffic, bronze will take on a highly burnished look. The bronze alloy (either nickel or silicon) will determine the color of the burnished highlight:

Gold in color when raw, before oxidation. Will age much like raw copper over time. The majority of our Bronze casting is done in Silicon Bronze.

Similar properties to Silicon Bronze, but more “white gold” in color when raw and not oxidized. Will age like raw copper over time, with lighter highlights.


Custom Interlaken trench grates in raw cast aluminum

Aluminum is a good option if you want the look of stainless steel, as stainless steel does not take well to the casting methods used for this type of work. Silver in color when raw, cast aluminum oxidizes white, then weathers to a dull pewter.

Castings made from aluminum have the strength of steel, but are very lightweight—an important consideration for large grates or bollards that need to be moved periodically after installation.

Another benefit is that aluminum is highly corrosion-resistant. Different types of surface treatment such as anodizing can further improve this property. It is particularly useful for applications where protection and conservation are required, but selecting the proper alloy is very important:

Cast Aluminum — 319 Alloy
Used for pedestrian applications where salt or treated (chlorinated) water is NOT a factor.

Cast Aluminum — 356 Alloy
Can be heat-treated to T6 hardness, which will help attain heavy load ratings up to H-20.

Cast Aluminum — 535 Alloy (“Almag”)
Can be used around pools, fountains, in salt water and other marine areas. We recommend application of a Clear Anodized finish for added protection.


Divisadero trench grate with Baked-On-Oil Finish

Baked-On-Oil Finish is a full-immersion application for iron castings which uses recycled cooking oil as the coating material. Its primary purpose is as an aesthetic treatment to mimic an aged, raw iron product. As the natural oil finish wears off, it provides a smooth, graceful transition from installation to final patina.

Castings with this finish are dry to the touch, and have a minimum coefficient of friction equal to or greater than that of any painted or powder coated product. There are no VOC’s or harmful chemicals associated with the product or the process.

Surface Preparation — Castings:
Castings are arrayed in single, distinct layers and sprayed with water for 100% coverage and allowed to dry. This process is repeated a minimum of five times or until the castings have a uniform orange rust color throughout.

Mercado tree grates dipped in recycled cooking oil and ready to be baked

Application — Oil:
The oil used is 100% recycled cooking oil, and is applied to 100% of the piece to be coated. The coating process is full immersion to ensure complete coverage.

Baking Process:
The oiled castings are baked at a minimum of 430 degrees Fahrenheit for a minimum of 90 minutes, or until oil is polymerized (i.e. dry to the touch).

All excess oil from application and baking process is captured for re-use.

Lead time:
Adding BOOF to your grates is a multi-step, labor-intensive process, and typically requires an additional 10-14 day lead time.


Formato Seating with powder coat finish

Powder coated surfaces are more resistant to chipping, scratching, fading and wearing than other finishes, such as paint. Powder coat is applied as a dry powder with a small electrostatic charge that holds the powder to the metal. It is then baked in an oven, which causes the powder to “melt” into a smooth, consistent coating. This process creates a durable finish, but it has its limitations. We’ve come up with a few basic guidelines to help you decide whether powder coating is right for your project:

If the product is steel or iron, and being installed in the GROUND plane (i.e. tree grate, trench grate, manhole cover, plaque, etc.):
Stick with RAW metal. Painting or powder coating is not recommended because any traffic (foot or otherwise) will eventually wear away the finish, and the rust process will begin in the areas where the finish has worn off. Also, keep in mind that most powder coat colors will lessen the slip resistance of the casting.

If the reason you want to powder coat your cast iron grates is that you don’t want to witness the rusty phase of their natural oxidation process, a better option is our Baked-On-Oil Finish (see above for details).

If the product is steel or iron and being installed in the VERTICAL plane:
POWDER COAT or galvanize* to prevent bleed. (Aluminum, Bronze and Stainless Steel can be used raw in the vertical plane, as these alloys typically will not bleed onto surrounding surfaces.) Our standard powder coat colors are from Cardinal® and Tiger Drylac®:

For additional color choices, please visit

*We recommend a galvanized finish for steel only. It can theoretically be used on cast iron, but it can be risky aesthetically, and unlike steel, galvanizing cast iron does not add to its longevity.

If a light color powder coat is specified:
We recommend “e-coat” full-immersion dip as a primer before a powder coat finish is applied. Here’s why: the lighter the color of powder coat, the higher the chance you will see rust bleeding. Because of that, it is extremely important to coat the cast iron or steel surface completely–especially in hard-to-reach areas that aren’t always accessible with a powder coat spray gun. “e-coating” immerses the object into a liquid, providing a more even and thorough distribution of the coating, and offering an extra layer of protection against rust bleeding.

Lead time:
Adding “e-coat” and/or powder coat to your grates typically requires an additional 10-14 day lead time.


Iron Age trench grates sized to fit plastic, polymer and concrete drain bodies by various manufacturers

Iron Age’s standard trench and catch basin grates are engineered to fit the most widely used drain bodies on the market today, giving our customers an easy, cost-effective way to transform their drainage from utilitarian to artistic focal point. Our grates can replace existing installations or be used as a decorative upgrade. If security is a concern, many of our grates can be bolted down to the drain bodies—contact us for more information.

You can now search our products BY DRAIN SYSTEM

Search for Iron Age Grates “By Drain System”

We’ve made it easy to find out which Iron Age grates will fit the drain body you are using. In the “Products” section of our website, you’ll see “Filter Products”.

Once you’ve selected a product category (i.e. “trench grates”, “catch basin grates” or “skimmer lids”), simply click on “By Drain System” and you’ll see a list of all the drain bodies in that category our grates are designed to fit.

Choose the manufacturer and drain body you are using, and you’ll be able to quickly and easily see exactly which of our grates will work for your project.

PLEASE NOTE: We don’t have every design available in a size to fit every drain body. Use our Product Filter and check the Detailed Specifications on each product page to ensure the grate you want is available to fit the drain body you will be installing.

Ordering Other Manufacturer’s Drain Bodies

Iron Age does not sell other manufacturer’s drain bodies—only the grates designed to fit them. To order drain bodies or for more information about them, please visit your local supply house or the following websites:

ABT® —

ACO™ —

Hayward® —

Hubbel® Power Systems —

Josam™ —

MEA® —

NDS® —

Pentair®/STA-RITE® —

Zurn® —


When you search our site for information about trench gratescatch basin grates, and tree gratesyou’ll now find 3-Part Specs along with our existing product data, cut sheets, and drawings.

Written in CSI’s 3-part format by a highly experienced CSI Fellow, our specification documents are complete with:

•  Technical data

•  ASTM Standards

•  Performance Features

•  Product Attributes

Simply edit the document to fit the needs of your specific project.

No need to fill out a form or provide contact information to gain access. After all, the primary goal of our website is to make your job as specifiers and decision-makers easier.

Iron Age’s 3-Part Specs are freely available for specifiers to view or download (as either a Word Doc or PDF) on both our individual product pages and the links below.

Download TRENCH GRATE 3-Part Spec Word Doc Format  |   PDF Format

Download DRAIN GRATE 3-Part Spec Word Doc Format   |   PDF Format

Download TREE GRATE 3-Part Specs Word Doc Format   |   PDF Format


Iron Age’s President, Mark Armstrong, walks you through the process of how to specify decorative trench grates. There are 9 questions you’ll need to consider to make sure you get the right grate and achieve the best possible outcome for your project, from both a functional and aesthetic standpoint. Having answers to all 9 questions upfront will also make the quoting process faster and more accurate. We want to make it easier for you to meet your budgetary goals and project timelines. So let’s get started!


In this video, we take you into the foundry for an in-depth explanation of the sand casting process and a start-to-finish look at how our grates are made.


If you have to cut your metal trench grates to achieve a specific run length, we can do it for you, but it is often better (i.e. more accurate and less expensive) to do it yourself on site. In this video, Iron Age’s President, Mark Armstrong, walks you through the equipment you’ll need plus step-by-step instruction.


Sparks fly (literally) in this how-to video where Iron Age’s President, Mark Armstrong, goes over the tools and techniques for cutting tree grate breakout rings.


We create designer metal castings that are not only beautiful but also engineered to fit readily available, pre-formed drain bodies from major manufacturers. This video shows how pairing our grates with these widely used systems gives you an easy, cost-effective way to transform your drainage from eyesore to decorative focal point.




Public and nonprofit agencies now have an easy way to procure cast metal grates and site furnishings.

Over 90,000 agencies nationwide are eligible to utilize NCPA’s cooperative purchasing contracts, including:

  • School Districts
  • Higher Ed
  • Cities
  • Counties
  • Local Government
  • State Agencies
  • Healthcare Organizations
  • Church/Religious
  • Nonprofit Corporations

NCPA works diligently to select vendors of the highest quality, performance and best value proposition. They offer a competitively bid “master” contract that can be used by public agencies at no cost, eliminating the need for a lengthy and costly RFP process.

Agencies interested in procuring Iron Age products through the NCPA contract can contact us directly. Those agencies who are not yet members of NCPA can register for free at



For replacement:

Remove your existing register to reveal and measure the opening dimensions.

The width and length of the opening must match the INSIDE dimension of the register cover you choose. (Remember, the sizing listed on all our register covers refers to their INSIDE frame dimension, so we’ve made it easy for you to choose the right size for your opening!)

how-to-measurePlease also take note of the OUTSIDE dimensions of the register cover you choose (found on downloadable spec sheets on each product page of our website). In situations where the opening is close to a wall or cabinet, you’ll need to make sure there is enough space around the opening to accommodate the overall size of the register cover.

For new installation:

Measure twice! Then cut your duct opening to match the width and length of the INSIDE dimensions of the register cover you choose. Remember to leave enough space around the opening to accommodate the OUTSIDE dimensions of the register too.


Step One:
Select a louver that is the same width and length as your opening.

Step Two:
Set the louver deep enough in the duct that the register cover can be placed on top without interfering with the movement of the louver.

Step Three:
Install the louvered damper by securing it with coarse-thread drywall screws to the perimeter of the opening.

Step Four:
Place the Iron Age register cover over the louver. All register covers have drill points on either end if screw down is needed.

Step Five:
Take a photo of your beautiful register cover in its new surroundings and send it to us at If we select your photo to use on our website, we’ll send you a register cover of your choice!


Take our course and earn 1.5 CEU from 25+ associations, including LA CES™ and AIA

Metals are ubiquitous in today’s hardscape and are used in a variety of applications. This course will go over the most common materials, their appropriate usage, and the various methods of manufacture. You will also learn more about the process of custom design with the aid of a manufacturer.

AIA CES and LA CES™ CEU can be delivered in-person or via webinar. Contact your local Iron Age representative to schedule a time that works for you.

The course is also available for AIA CES, LA CES™, and 25+ other state/association CEU online.

AIA approved course; qualifies for 1.50 LU/HSW.

LA CES™ approved course; qualifies for 1.50 PDH/HSW



Oblio 5″ radiused trench in cast bronze.

Iron Age can create custom cast trench grates in any design, on any radius you specify. Please keep in mind, however, that most custom work—such as grates on a radius—will require a new pattern for the casting which can run upwards of several thousand dollars.

To help you avoid pattern charges for your project, we’ve put together a list of our radius trench grates, organized by radius and width.  Take a look to see if we already have an existing pattern in our inventory that will work for you. If not, contact us and we will provide a quote for custom radius trench grates in your specified width, radius and arc length.

Iron Age Radius Trench Grates — Existing Sizes

10′ and underGreek Key 5″ Wide, 3′-2.5″ CLR 
10′ and underGreek Key 5″ Wide, 7′-0″ CLR 
10′ and underInterlaken 5″ Wide, 6′-0″ CLR 
10′ and underInterlaken 5″ Wide, 10′-0″ CLR 
10′ and underInterlaken 5″ Wide Heel Proof, 10′-3″ CLR 
10′ and underInterlaken 6″ Wide, 1′-9″ CLR 
10′ and underInterlaken 6″ Wide, 3′-2″ CLR 
10′ and underInterlaken 6″ Wide, 5′-7″ CLR 
10′ and underInterlaken 6″ Wide, 7′-0″ CLR 
10′ and underInterlaken 6″ Wide, 10′-4″ CLR 
10′ and underInterlaken 11″ Wide, 8-0″ CLR 
10′ and underInterlaken 12″ Wide, 9′-6″ CLR 
10′ and underLocust 6″ Wide, 4′-9″ CLR 
10′ and underLocust 8″ Wide, 6′-0″ CLR 
10′ and underLocust 12″ Wide, 5′-0″ CLR 
10′ and underLocust 12″ Wide Heel Proof, 5′-7″ CLR 
10′ and underOblio 5″ Wide, 4′-0″ CLR 
10′ and underOblio 5″ Wide, 4′-9″ CLR 
10′ and underOblio 5″ Wide, 7′-9″ CLR 
10′ and underOblio 9″ Wide Heel Proof, 5′-0″ CLR 
10′ and underOblio 12″ Wide, 3′-6″ CLR 
10′ and underQue 4″ Wide, 7′-4″ CLR 
10′ and underQue 8″ Wide, 7′-6″ CLR 
10′ and underQue 10″ Wide Heel Proof, Heavy-Duty, 9′-8″ CLR 
10′ and underRegular Joe 5″ Wide, 4′-3″ CLR 
10′ and underRegular Joe 5.38″ Wide Heel Proof, 9′-6″ CLR 
10′ and underRegular Joe 8″ Wide, 4′-10″ CLR 
10′ and underRegular Joe 12″ Wide, 9′-6″ CLR 
11′ – 20′Acanthus 9″ Wide, 17′-4″ CLR 
11′ – 20′Argo 5″ Wide, Heel Proof, 13′-9″ CLR 
11′ – 20′Argo 5″ Wide Heel Proof, 16′-11″ CLR 
11′ – 20′Argo 5.5″ Wide Heel Proof, 20′-0″ CLR 
11′ – 20′Argo 10″ Wide Heavy Duty, 13″-3″ CLR 
11′ – 20′Grid 12″ Wide, 12′-9′” CLR 
11′ – 20′Interlaken 5″ Wide, 13′-6.28″ CLR 
11′ – 20′Interlaken 5″ Wide, 18′-1″ CLR 
11′ – 20′Interlaken 5″ Wide Heel Proof, 13′-5″ CLR 
11′ – 20′Interlaken 12″ Wide, 15′-6″ CLR 
11′ – 20′Janis 5″ Wide, 13′-9″ CLR 
11′ – 20′Janis 5″ Wide, 20′-2″ CLR 
11′ – 20′Janis 12″ Wide, 16′-6″ CLR 
11′ – 20′Locust 5″ Wide, 13′-3″ CLR 
11′ – 20′Locust 6″ Wide, 16′-5″ CLR 
11′ – 20′Locust 6″ Wide, 20′-2″ CLR 
11′ – 20′Locust 12″ Wide, 13′-0″ CLR 
11′ – 20′Locust 12″ Wide, 20′-5″ CLR 
11′ – 20′Oblio 5″ Wide, 16′-6″ CLR 
11′ – 20′Oblio 5″ Wide, 20′-0″ CLR 
11′ – 20′Oblio 6″ Wide, 11′-3″ CLR 
11′ – 20′Oblio 9″ Wide, 11′-2.5″ CLR 
11′ – 20′Oblio 9″ Wide, 16′-0″ CLR 
11′ – 20′Oblio 12″ Wide, 13′-0″ CLR 
11′ – 20′Oblio 12″ Wide, 20′-0″ CLR 
11′ – 20′Oblio 25″ Wide, 14′-3″ CLR 
11′ – 20′Que 3″ Wide, 18′-0″ CLR 
11′ – 20′Que 5″ Wide Heel Proof, 12′-3″ CLR 
11′ – 20′Que 5″ Wide Heel Proof, 17′-7″ CLR 
11′ – 20′Regular Joe 5.38″ Wide Heel Proof, 12-1″ CLR 
11′ – 20′Regular Joe 5.38″ Wide Heel Proof, 15′-9″ CLR 
11′ – 20′Regular Joe 12″ Wide Heavy Duty, 16′-2″ CLR 
21′ – 30′Argo 5″ Wide Heel Proof, 22′-3″ CLR 
21′ – 30′Argo 5″ Wide Heel Proof, 27′-6″ CLR 
21′ – 30′Grid 12″ Wide, 25′-2″ CLR 
21′ – 30′Interlaken 5″ Wide, 30′-2.34″ CLR 
21′ – 30′Interlaken 12″ Wide, 30′-0″ CLR 
21′ – 30′Interlaken 12″ Wide Heel Proof, 30′-0″ CLR 
21′ – 30′Janis 5″ Wide, 23′-6″ CLR 
21′ – 30′Locust 5″ Wide, 25-2″ CLR 
21′ – 30′Locust 12″ Wide, 22′-0″ CLR 
21′ – 30′Oblio 5″ Wide, 27′-0″ CLR 
21′ – 30′Oblio 8″ Wide, 27′-10″ CLR 
21′ – 30′Oblio 9″ Wide, 25′-4″ CLR 
21′ – 30′Oblio 12″ Wide, 27′-0″ CLR 
21′ – 30′Regular Joe 5″ Wide , 25′-11″ CLR 
21′ – 30′Regular Joe 5.38″ Wide Heel Proof, 21′-10″ CLR 
21′ – 30′Tulie 12″ Wide, 23′-9″ CLR 
21′ – 30′Tulie 12″ Wide, 30′-0″ CLR 
31′ – 40′Grid 12″ Wide, 39′-0″ CLR 
31′ – 40′Interlaken 5″ Wide, 36′-2″ CLR 
31′ – 40′Interlaken 5″ Wide Heel Proof, 37′-3″ CLR 
31′ – 40′Que 12″ Wide Heel Proof, Heavy Duty, 37′-6″ CLR 
31′ – 40′Regular Joe 5.38″ Wide Heel Proof, 30′-6″ CLR 
31′ – 40′Regular Joe 5.38″ Wide Heel Proof, 35′-2″ CLR 
41′ – 50′Interlaken 5″ Wide, 47′-7″ CLR 
41′ – 50′Interlaken 8″ Wide, 48′-7.375″ CLR 
41′ – 50′Locust 5″ Wide, 50′-0″ CLR 
41′ – 50′Oblio 5″ Wide, 44′-0″ CLR 
41′ – 50′Oblio 5.5″ Wide Heel Proof, 44′-0″ CLR 
41′ – 50′Que 8″ Wide, 40′-6″ CLR 
41′ – 50′Que 12″ Wide Heel Proof, Heavy Duty, 49′-0″ CLR 
41′ – 50′Regular Joe 12″ Wide, Heel Proof, Heavy Duty, 44′-8″ CLR 
51′ – 60′Grid 12″ Wide, 53′-6″ CLR 
51′ – 60′Oblio 8″ Wide, 53′-10″ CLR 
51′ – 60′Oblio 9″ Wide Heel Proof, 54′-1″ CLR 
51′ – 60′Regular Joe 5.38″ Wide Heel Proof, 51′-0″ CLR 
51′ – 60′Regular Joe 5.38″ Wide Heel Proof, 54′-11″ CLR 
51′ – 60′Regular Joe 12″ Wide, 54′-0″ CLR 
61′ and overArgo 5″ Wide Heel Proof, 61′-1″ CLR 
61′ and overOblio 5″ Wide, 65′-8″ CLR 
61′ and overOblio 9″ Wide, 79-4″ CLR 

Radius Considerations and Calculations

Planning a radius trench project can be challenging. We can provide assistance with design, sizing, frame selection and layout concerns, but first we need to know (and you need to consider) the following:


Example of radius embedment frame

Radius Frames

Custom grates require frames. Frames are made from angle bar, and when bolted or “wet set” into the top edge of the drain hole, they act as a shelf or bearing surface for the grate to sit on.

Iron Age frames are all made to order, and can accommodate many types of installation scenarios, Frame types include “embedment” for use with new concrete; “stand-off” for use with a variety of paver options; and “retro” for use with existing slabs. Please take a look at the “Frame Types” below. If you have questions, see “Frames” in our “FAQ’s” under the RESOURCES tab, or contact us. We can help you determine which frame type(s) will work best for your particular installation.