Installing Driveway Grates & Drains In Your Home

Driveway drainage is essential to any home drainage system. Because driveways are typically a long flat surface of concrete stretching from your home to the road, water runoff that flows overland will naturally flow down the path of least resistance–your driveway. 

a car sitting in the driveway

We’ve already covered installing a stormwater drainage system in your backyard and taught you how to install a shower drain. Now it’s time to teach you everything you need to install a driveway drain in your home. Keep reading to find out what you need for your home driveway grates and drains to kick-start your DIY driveway drainage project, featuring our high-quality off-the-shelf drain systems and fabricated building supplies and construction materials from Steel Builders. 

With a comprehensive range of galvanised, stainless steel and aluminium drainage solutions for various internal and external applications, we’re the ideal supplier for grate and drainage products, drainage channels and trench drains. 

The Importance of Driveway Drainage

Water causes erosion, the natural breakdown of materials by natural forces such as wind or water. Too much water, and your driveway won’t last very long. 

Driveways that don’t drain properly can cause severe structural damage to your property. While a little bit of water here and there is unlikely to cause problems, too much water, especially water that pools around your property or driveway, can wear away materials, especially concrete slabs. 

Improper drainage can lead to excess surface water on your driveway, resulting in discolouration, cracks and an overall worse-looking driveway. Moreover, the increase in water can displace soil and debris, ruining your garden and driveway. 

If you notice any of these problems, it’s time to review your driveway drainage system for issues.

What is a Driveway Drain?

Driveway or trench drains direct water away from specific locations or towards stormwater outlets. Trench drains are made up of two parts, a preformed channel that directs the water and a top grating that captures the water. These drains are installed in an excavated trench and are set in concrete to prevent further movement.

Driveway trench drains can be pre-sloped or neutral, depending on your requirements. 

Another critical aspect is how much weight they can handle without warping or breaking. The load class, as determined by Australian Standards (AS3996-2019) of your driveway drain, is graded from A to G, though only classes A, B and C are used in residential applications, with the rest installed in commercial and public projects.

Load Class Ratings For Driveway Drains

  1. Strictly for pedestrians; not suitable for vehicles (Max Load: 330kg)
  2. Vehicles accessing the driveway at low speed (Max Load: 2,670kg)
  3. Areas with slow-moving traffic (Max Load: 5,000kg)
  4. Motorway and Freeway shoulders, warehouses and loading docks (Max Load: 8,000kg)
  5. Suitable for heavy vehicles, freeways and motorways (Max Load: 13,700kg)
  6. Docks, wharves and airport service and taxiways (Max Load: 20,000kg)
  7. Heavy-duty vehicles (30,000kg)

Driveway Drainage Solutions

Whatever your drainage requirements are, our quality driveway grates and drains will provide a stylish and durable solution made from the highest quality materials. Backed by the workmanship that ensures your project has that perfect finish, Steel Builders offers a range of stainless steel, aluminium and galvanised steel grates and drains in various styles to suit your project requirements.

If you need help selecting your grate or drain, check out our grates and drains configurator to help you find suitable solutions from our range that best suit your requirements.

Stainless Steel Grates and Drains

Our grates are made from 316 stainless steel, making them suitable for outdoor use. You can customise your stainless steel grate in either Heelguard or a traditional line pattern.

Grates are sold open-ended to allow for modular installation, with end caps, outlets and joiners sold separately as part of the drainage system.

Heelguard Stainless Steel Driveway Grate

Only need a grate without the box drain? Our Heelguard stainless steel grates are available in two sizes: 78mm x 1000mm (75SHEEL) and 100mm x 1000mm (100SHEEL).

Linear Pattern Stainless Steel Driveway Drain & Grate

Using our U-shaped joiners, you can join as many lengths of our stainless steel linear pattern drains as you need enabling you to run these stylish grates across multiple metres of the driveway.

Slot Stainless Steel Driveway Drain & Grate

Our high-quality 316 stainless steel slot drain is the solution if you want a non-intrusive finish for your driveway or on your veranda or patio. Available in two lengths with an open-ended modular design, you can make the drain as long as you like using our joiners, end pieces and clip-on outlets. 

Aluminium Grates and Drains

Aluminium is an alternative material to our stainless steel and galvanised steel drains and grates. Lightweight and just as durable, these grates and drains use an anodised aluminium base and top for areas where you want that clean steel finish but are working to a budget.

Aluminium Box Grates

Our aluminium box grates are available in two styles - slotted and tile insert - with two lengths (1000mm and 2000mm) and three widths (25mm, 40mm, and 80mm) available.

Hybrid Aluminium & Stainless Steel Box Grates

Our hybrid box grates combine a stainless steel grate on top with an anodised aluminium base for a high-quality finish with extra durability underground.

Using our joiners, end caps and outlets, you can make up any length of drain you want and choose your outlet configuration on-site.

Galvanised Steel Box Grates

Our galvanised steel box grates are Australian designed and made to our specifications, with durable galvanised steel, making them suitable for most domestic and commercial traffic. 

Heelguard Box Grates

Our Galvanised Steel Heelguard Box Grate drains are pet and pedestrian-friendly and can reduce the amount of large debris going into your drain.


Traditional Box Grates

Like our Heelguard design, Galvanised Steel Traditional Box Grates feature an open mesh top to allow faster water flow where pedestrian traffic might not be such an issue.

Maxi Heelguard Box Grates

Our Maxi Heelguard Range is our medium-duty heelguard pattern, with larger 10mmx10mm bars compared to our standard heelguard pattern, at a more affordable price.

Installing Channel Drain in Existing Concrete

A driveway drain should be installed with the driveway. However, if additional drainage is required, you may need to install your channel drain into an existing concrete section of your driveway.

To ensure your driveway drain is installed correctly, here are a few things to consider:

  • Your trench must be wider than your drain to allow for concrete backfill.
  • Choose a suitable bedding material for your drain–concrete, gravel, or sand.
  • Consider whether your channel drain requires a slope to keep water moving. 
  • Channel drains must be level with the concrete to avoid creating a trip hazard.

High-Quality Grates and Drains From Steel Builders.

Get started on your DIY driveway drainage with driveway trench drain installation using high-quality building supplies and materials from Steel Builders. And with next-day dispatch across the Sydney metropolitan area, you’ll have your grates and drains at your doorstep in no time. And if you live or work nearby, select FREE pick-up from our St Mary’s or Belmore warehouse for structural steel supplies within 24 hours.