What is a Grate?

Definition of a Grate in Construction

Grate normally describes a covering over the top of a manhole, catch basin or other assembly installed below grade. In most cases, a grate has openings in the top to allow water or air to pass through the grate and into or through the item being covered. Grate is also used to describe an open webbed steel, or synthetically produced surface, that is used as a wearing surface on stairs as the treads, walkways or platforms. The ability of the grating to allow water and moisture to pass through the surface accommodates the requirement to prevent slipping and ice buildup on horizontal surfaces. The term is also used to describe a negative action of two materials scrapping against each other. This term grating is normally not an action that is intended, and will eventually produce deterioration of the two materials that are grating together.