What is Pan Decking

Pan Decking Example

Metal pan deck was once a product but now is widely considered a slang term for metal floor decking. Pan decking is simply referring to the use of a corrugated metal pan used to form a slab of concrete. While it's a widely used term, there is no specific pan deck product and therefore it's not something sold. It's best thought of as a broad category.


Despite pan decking not being a specific product. It's something we still hear about very often. Why do we hear about it? It's a common slang term passed down over time.

That said, O'Donnell Metal Deck has been servicing pan decking projects via our multiple stock & manufacturing sites since our inception in 1996.

As a steel decking supplier, we see requests for pan decking frequently and most commonly we're able to recommend a suitable form deck or composite deck substitute that is readily available. Typically, we can replace the pan deck by presenting the EOR (engineer of record) deck that meets your concrete and span requirements after a simple conversation.

Metal Pan Decking FAQs:

What is pan deck used for?

Pan deck is used to form wet concrete to create a suspended slab. Pan deck is thought of as a category, but it is not a specific type of deck. Therefore you cannot buy pan deck alone, you can buy pan decking once you know the type, gauge, and finish required.

What is different between pan deck, form deck and composite deck?

They are one in the same. Pan deck is a broad category term for while form deck and composite deck are more specific types of metal deck. Learn what is composite deck and what is form deck on our other pages.

Types of Metal Pan Decking

Composite Pan Deck

Composite pan decks are distinguished by embossments. Pan decking with embossments is designed to grip the concrete slab once cured. From an engineering perspective, the embossments act as a shear connector as part of the concrete slab design. Learn about composite metal deck.

Pan Deck Forms

Steel Form deck is designed to serve as a permanent steel form for concrete floor slabs. Steel form decking or non-composite deck acts as a steel form for concrete until it cures. These steel pans provide lateral stability but do not engage with the slab. Learn about non-composite deck.

Gauges for Pan Decking

The (EOR) or Engineer of Record should be dictating the pan decking gauge requirement for the specific need of the job. Typically the EOR will specify which pan deck or type is required on the plans and the gauge will depend on the below factors:

  1. Load capacities and/Concrete slab capacities
  2. Span capabilities of the deck during or after construction
  3. Diaphragm shear values

Since pan deck is not a specific deck type, the gauge will vary by the composite deck or form deck profiles that were chosen.

Finishes for Pan Deck

The finish of the pan deck is most commonly galvanized to withstand corrosion and is the best surface for concrete to adhere to.

Since pan deck is not a specific deck type, the finish options will be dictated by which type of deck is ultimately specified.

Pan Deck Costs, Availability & Lead Times

What is the availability of pan decking?

  • Depending on the type of pan deck required, stock lengths in most finishes and gauges are available for immediate shipping or pick-up at one of our locations.

How long does it take to get pan deck?

  • deck exposed to ordinary atmospheric conditions does not need to be field painted for structural purposes. Oftentimes, painting galvanized deck is desired for aesthetic purposes. It’s important to note that proper steps are taken to ensure proper adhesion to galvanized coils if a primer is not applied at the factory. Various oils or chemicals used to prolong the life of the coil may impact paints ability to adhere properly.

How much does pan deck cost?

  • The cost of pan decking is dictated by many factors. Some of these include the type of metal pan deck, gauge, finish, size of project or quantity required. Additionally, the steel market or cost of raw materials is consistently changing. It's always recommended to work with a decking supplier to estimate accurate job costs.

Below are rough estimated pan decking costs:

Pan Deck Costs Gauges $/sq. ft.
22 $1.80 - $3.25
20 $2.50 - $5.00
18 $3.00 - $5.50
16 $4.00 - $7.00

Request a Pan Deck Quote:

We help customers who want peace of mind by ensuring your work is done right and exceeding expectations. Each quote is based on:

  • Type or Profile
  • Gauge
  • Finish
  • QTY
  • Length
  • Lead Time