Choosing A Swimming Pool Deck Drain


When faced with the prospect of selecting a channel drain for your swimming pool deck, your task can seem overwhelming. The selection process is a balancing act between deck design, functionality, aesthetics, safety and cost. It is important that the pool owner weigh the relative value that each of these features have to his project prior to designing the pool drain.

Budget Considerations

Is cost the overall driving factor for your pool drain selection?

Or are you considering a drain with a little something extra to act as a conversation piece?

Trench drain systems come in a wide variety of designs and cost ranges. Many are affordable while still being stylish, allowing you to make your pool deck your own.

TDS Mini Channel Grates Bronze Aluminum Decorative 3 inch

Functionality Considerations

How is the pool deck to be constructed?

Is the deck made of poured concrete, pavers, or tile?

All drains can be installed in a concrete deck construction, but not all drains work well with paver stones or tile.

Drainage systems that are designed with straight walls provide a linear surface that are great for laying paving stones against. If the drain body has legs or support structure that are too close to the top edge of the channel, abutment of pavers will be compromised.


Drain Capacity

How large is the project and how much water is the drain required to handle?

Is this an Olympic sized pool or a backyard sauna?

Long drains generally need to have a pre-sloped channel body if you plan to have only one drain outlet. The NDS Dura Slope trench drain is a great example of a pre-sloped system.

Neutral drain channels, like NDS Mini Channel, can be used in long or complex drain designs as long as they are designed with bottom outlets every 15 – 20 feet. Which requires a parallel plumbing design running beneath the deck drain.

Mini Channel Interlaken-Rain-Cathedral Group

Aesthetic and Safety Considerations

Decorative grates can bring an added touch of elegance to any pool deck. The selection of the grate will determine how much attention is brought to the drain and how safe the grates will be to pool goers. First “Rule of Thumb” is usually to make deck drain grates “barefoot friendly”.

  • Metal cast iron grating can not only rust and become unsightly, but also have a high heat capacity that can be hot to the touch during summer months. These systems are often used in driveway or patio applications.
  • Plastic, aluminum and bronze are a popular grating choice for trench drains in high foot traffic areas due to their versatility.
  • Grating color is another aesthetic that may come into play, when choosing a swimming pool deck drain.
Decorative POLYCAST Grates


An annual cleaning of your trench drain system is the best way to get the most out of your drainage application. Drainage systems are exposed to the elements and need the occasional maintenance to ensure proper water dispersement.

Trench Drain Systems is one of the largest distributors in the United States who are committed to providing you with quick solutions to all your surface water runoff problems. Our professional staff can assess your project requirements and quickly offer you competitive pricing and information regarding the products you need. Contact us for a free quote or for further information on drainage solutions visit or

Phone: 610-882-3630

Email: [email protected]

 Click here for a fast and free quote!

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