A balcony is a special place. A well-designed balcony offer a place of refuge – an assurance that your back is protected. Secondly, it offers a place for prospect – so you can see what lies ahead of you, without being seen yourself. When balconies are designed in this way they meet a basic human psychological need. They allow you to feel secure and safe (See Dosen and Otswald (2013) explanation regarding the theory of “prospect and refuge”).

A balcony is also a social place, at times. A place of laughter, warmth and entertainment. At other times, it’s your precious me-time space. A quiet, contemplative space, where you can read your book, listen to your favourite tunes and enjoy the weather.


No matter what mood you are in, when you are on your balcony, there are some things you just don’t want. Ugly, obtrusive drainage channels that spoil the beauty of your floors are a real mood-kill. Balcony drainage systems are especially worse when they don’t efficiently drain your floors after a big wet. Imagine being welcomed by a flood of water backed up on an ugly drain, when you open the balcony doors.

What you do want, is an efficient drainage system that is nearly invisible. How can you make sure your drainage system is efficient and discreet at the same time? Well, to make sure that your balcony drains well, it is important that the balcony floor slopes in the right direction. Balcony slope for drainage must take water away from doors and towards the balcony channel, drain and/or grate. Next, it must have the right slope or ‘fall’ toward the drains. The size of the drainage channel must be designed to hold enough water with respect to the floor area of the balcony.


Once the above design measures have been worked out, the next step is to choose your method of drainage and your drain cover style.  Should you go with a Point Drain, Linear grate or a Threshold Drain?

Linear grates are a highly functional product with an elegant visual appeal. Linear Grates are highly efficient as they can collect water along the length of the channel rather than at a singular point. Therefore, they don’t require that water be funneled towards them as is required with a point drain. If placed correctly, the floor slope need only be in one direction.

Sometimes linear grates are installed at the door threshold. This type of drain is deigned to span a balcony door line. This is usually done, when there is a need to eliminate a step from the internal space to the external balcony. These drains need to be specially designed to wick water away from the door sill and into the drain so as to protect all the internal floor coverings.


Paige Stainless have been manufacturing custom designed stainless steel grates for clients since 1993. We have demonstrated our commitment to quality in design and construction since our inception. Our specialty is custom fabrication, and our range of options for your balcony design include heelguard linear grates, tile insert linear grates and perforated pattern linear grates, custom made to your requirements including custom lengths and curved linear grates.


Choose Paige Stainless for all your drainage needs and beyond. We can custom design lobby entrance mats, linear pool grates, walkway grates for pontoons, custom shower grates and many other things. No matter what your design needs are, we have a solution for you!


Dosen, A. S., & Ostwald, M. J. (2013). Prospect and refuge theory: constructing a critical definition for architecture and design. The International Journal of Design in Society, 6(1), 9-24.