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 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 or outside measurements?
    Our register cover sizing refers to the INSIDE measurement—the exact 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 [email protected]. 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 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

    There are many definitions of the term sustainability. Here at Iron Age, we like to think of it as doing business in a way that supports ecological, human, and economic health, both now and into the future.

    That’s why from the very beginning, Iron Age has been dedicated to crafting the highest quality, designer metal castings possible from some of the most natural, durable, and renewable materials on the planet.

    We proudly design and manufacture approximately 97% of our products in the United States, with locally sourced material where possible. This allows us to support economic opportunity here at home, and  provide value to our customers in the following ways:

    • Better control over processes, resulting in a higher-quality product
    • Greater ability to monitor production and resolve issues faster
    • More flexibility to adapt to last-minute changes
    • Shorter lead times and faster shipping
    • Reduces overall carbon footprint as compared to international sourcing
    • Manufacturing in several different foundries across the country 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”. An excellent 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”. The “as-cast” and Baked-On-Oil finish for our raw castings exceeds this criterion. If you wish to powder coat a grate 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 the 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 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 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. 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.

    We often 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 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.



    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.

    Example of concrete trench “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 steel 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


    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 for a recycler for there to be much worry about theft. With that said, if securing the grates to their frames is desired, we want to make it easy for you. That’s why we are the only manufacturer who ships all our tree grates with bolts at no extra charge.

    Upon request, we can also supply tamper-resistant screws for more valuable aluminum and bronze grates, especially for larger sizes or grates installed in locations with security concerns.


    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 is twice the price of standard powder coating. Contact us for a custom quote with pricing and lead times included.


    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 [email protected], 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 the complexity of the 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 manufacturers’ 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:




    Hubbel® Power Systems







    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 upfront 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 the 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.

    The curvy complexity of radius frames necessitates 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 [email protected]. 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.