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What is a Floor Plate?

By Heather Phillips
Updated May 17, 2024
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The term floor plate refers to at least two different objects when it is used in manufacturing and industry. Most commonly, the term is often used to describe patterned, slip-resistant metal sheets utilized in various industrial settings as non-slip flooring. In addition, however, a brass metal receptacle set flush with a floor can also be referred to as a brass floor plate.

Desirable qualities for this include corrosion resistance, skid and slip resistance, and the ability to retard fire. In some industries, floor plate must also be non-conductive. In such a case, a material other than metal, such as resin, is used to make the surface of the floor. When metal is used, various kinds — like stainless steel, carbon steel, aluminum, and other alloys — can be used.

In addition to its general use in industrial locations, floor plate can be employed in other settings. In the US, one of these can be in the construction of Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant ramps. Other places it can be used include on floating docks, on non-skid metal walkways and platforms, and as stair treads — particularly in public and commercial business settings.

A special kind of floor plate is typically used in the construction of optical turnstiles when they are placed in existing buildings. Optical turnstiles often rely on infrared sensors to count people walking through a lane or passageway. These sensors are usually wired into bollards — upright post-like structures — between which people walk. The wiring needs to connect between the bollards, and this is generally accomplished, in new construction, by routing it through the floor. Instead of drilling a floor out, however, in an existing building, a floor plate, which has a cable routing tray built into it, may be used.

Brass floor plates are often used in gyms to hold posts for volleyball nets. A small cylindrical tube is set into a gym floor to receive the post. When it is not in use, a brass cover slides over the hole. This keeps the gym floor smooth so that other sports can be played in the same space.

Another type of brass floor plate can be used for electrical and data receptacles. Often, these can be found in residential settings, where they may be desirable for many reasons. One such reason is their utility as a place to plug in computer equipment under a desk, where it would be difficult to access a wall-mounted receptacle.

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