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.

  • ABOUT OUR GRATES

    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 with that said, cast grey iron can certainly handle single-axle vehicles/residential traffic (Load Class A). 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 that is needed upon request. Contact us with the details.

  • ABOUT OUR REGISTERS

    Register_Questions_WhatIsDifference2

    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 are not attached to the register cover. Instead the louver is pushed down into the duct, leaving room for the register cover to be placed on top without interfering with the movement of the louver. 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

    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 http://www.cardinalpaint.com/powder/color-chart/) for an additional cost. Contact us for more details.

    Carbochon_as_Register

    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 info@ironagegrates.com. 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.

  • MADE IN THE USA

    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.

  • ADA COMPLIANT vs. HEEL-PROOF

    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 DESIGNS

    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, making small custom orders extremely 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 1/8″ gap.

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

  • FRAMES & INSTALLATION

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

    FRAMES

    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, thereby preventing 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 “Frame Types” below and if you have questions, contact us. We can help you determine which frame type(s) will work best for your particular installation.

    Example of concrete trench “frame”

    Can I build a “frame” from concrete?
    Sometimes it works to build a “frame” simply by creating a ledge out of the surrounding concrete itself. Initially, the concrete ledge provides an easy, cost-effective solution, but over time it can crumble, making it a less reliable alternative to the long-lasting durability of a metal frame.

    Why don’t you make frames from iron?
    Casting frames–particularly for our trench and tree grates—would be fraught with problems. Long, thin, rangy pieces do not cast well due to warp. Fabricated frames will almost always be the preferred method of manufacture.

    Can I use a major manufacturer’s drain body for a radius trench channel?
    Custom patterns will require a custom frame. Drain body manufacturers such as ABT®, ACO™, MEA® and NDS® do not make channels on a radius.

    Carbochon 5″ trench grate bolted down to secure grates against removal

    INSTALLATION

    Can Iron Age grates be secured in place?
    Yes, all the grates come with bolt holes or divots that can be drilled out, allowing you to secure them to the drain body or frame if needed.

    We recommend weighing the need for security vs. the convenience of easily removing the grate(s) for periodic drain maintenance—particularly in residential installations.

    Cast iron tree grates are heavy and not worth enough at a recycler for there to be much worry about theft. However, we do suggest tamper-resistant screws on more valuable aluminum and bronze grates, especially for larger sizes or grates installed in locations where there are security concerns.

     

  • PRICING

    How much do Iron Age grates cost?
    Trench:
    With so many different sizes and patterns, it is impossible to list pricing for every trench grate, but they range from $30 per lineal foot for our standard 3″ grates to $200 per lineal foot for our largest (and heaviest!) 36″ grate.

    Catch Basin: They range from less than $30 for our small pipe grates to $98 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 $500, 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 is twice the price of standard powder coating. Contact us for a custom quote with pricing and lead times included.

  • ORDERING

    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 info@ironagegrates.com, 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 makes 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®https://www.abtdrains.com/

    ACO™http://www.acodrain.us/

    Hayward®http://www.hayward-pool.com/shop/en/pools

    Hubbel® Power Systemshttp://www.hubbellpowersystems.com/drain-systems/polycast

    Josam™http://www.josam.com/catalog/JOS/pl=R/23500

    MEA®http://www.mea-group.com/en/drainage-systems

    NDS®https://www.ndspro.com/

    Pentair®/STA-RITE®https://www.pentairpool.com/en/products

    Zurn®http://www.zurn.com/products

  • SHIPPING

    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 it checked, we then ship both the grates and frames out to the customer at the same time for installation.