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What Is Pan Decking? [Definition, Cost, & Alternatives]
Paul Rubio

By: Paul Rubio on November 20th, 2020

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What Is Pan Decking? [Definition, Cost, & Alternatives]

Metal Deck

Pan decking is a term that we get inquiries for on a weekly basis, but it hasn’t been manufactured for over 50 years. So why then do we keep getting calls for pan decking if it isn’t available?

It’s just one of those trade names that has stuck around. The term pan decking simply means metal floor decking. has been stocking and selling metal roof and floor decking for over 30 years. As a steel decking supplier, when we get a request for pan decking, we immediately have recommended alternate types of metal decking for concrete that’s readily available. So it made sense for us to write this article to help you solve the problem that being asked for pan decking creates.

If you’re bidding on a job where you have a request for pan decking, then we want to make sure you understand what pan decking is, how much pan decking costs, and help you find some alternatives.

In order to help you with your metal decking job, this article will cover:

  • What Is Pan Decking?
  • How Much Does Pan Decking Cost?
  • Current Pan Decking Alternates

What Is Pan Decking?

Pan decking is a corrugated sheet metal designed to have structural concrete poured over top it. It’s a stay in place form that will support the concrete while it cures. Pan decking is no longer available. Nowadays, it’s a generic term for metal floor decking.

Types of Pan Decking

Pan Decking For Concrete

Pan decking refers to the corrugations of the metal decking that make it ready to receive concrete. Metal pan decking was used from the 1940s up until the 1960s but isn’t manufactured anymore. Instead, when you hear this term it simply means that you want either a composite metal floor deck or steel form decking.

Pan-Decking For Carports

There is another type of steel pan decking that exists, but if you’re reading this article it’s likely not what you’re interested in. There’s a metal building company that manufactures metal roofing products designed for carports and self-storage facilities. They piggybacked off of the popularity of the old term “Pan Decking” and have named one of their products “Pan-Deck”.

How Much Does Pan Decking Cost?

If you find pan decking for sale it will cost you $2.50 to $5.00 per square foot. There is such a large range of pricing because there are many factors that will affect the price of pan decking such as:

  • Type Of Metal Decking
  • Gauge
  • Finish
  • Size Of Job
  • Market Conditions

We will not discuss these factors here as there’s an entire article that you can check out if you have further interest.

How Much Does Metal Deck Cost (Rates, Factors, & Fees)

Here are some ballpark pan decking costs:

Gauge Deck Weight (psf) Price Per Square Foot
22 1.9 $2.50 - $3.25
20 2.3 $2.75 - $3.75
18 2.9 $3.25 - $4.25
16 3.5 $4.00 - $5.00

Alternates For Pan Decking

When you have a job that has pan decking in the metal decking specifications, it’s pretty simple to find a modern-day alternative. You will need either a steel form decking or a composite metal floor deck.

Composite Floor Deck

Composite floor decking systems consist of concrete and metal decking that’s bonded together. It’s the most popular type of metal floor decking because it increases the strength of the floor, without adding any extra weight to the structure.

There are three basic types of composite floor decking. They go by different names depending upon your region, but the main identifying factor is the depth of the panel. Composite floor decking is normally either 1.5”, 2”, or 3” in depth.

If you would like a deeper dive into composite floor decks we recommend:

What is Composite Floor Decking & How Does it Work?


W3-36 FormLok


W3-36 FormLok is a three-inch deep composite floor decking. It’s 36” wide and the sidelaps have a male leg and a female leg. This is the strongest of the three types and can span the furthest between supports. There are embossments that are located along the sides of the flutes that are required for a composite floor deck system.


W2-36 FormLok

w2-36-formlok-dimW2-36 FormLok is a two-inch deep composite floor decking. It’s 36” wide and the sidelaps have a male leg and a female leg. The sidelaps can be connected with a button punch tool, Punchlok tool, stitch screw, or seam weld. Two-inch floor decking is not as strong as three-inch floor deck, but is stronger than 1.5” decking.


B-36 FormLok

HSB-36-SSB-36 FormLok is a 1.5” deep composite floor decking. It’s 36” wide and the sidelaps have a male leg and a female leg. 1.5” deep floor decking is not as strong as two-inch or three-inch floor decking.




Form Decking

Form decking is a stay-in-place form that will support the weight of the wet concrete as it cures. It will not increase the overall strength of the floor system.

Similar to composite floor decking, each type has a different name. The main identifying factor is the depth of the panel. Steel form decking does not have three typical sizes, but has a range of sizes that vary from 1/2” to 1.5” in depth.

If you would like a deeper dive into steel form decks we recommend:

What Is Form Decking? Types & Uses Of Steel Form Deck


1 5/16” Deep Vercor

1-516-deep-vercor-dimDeep Vercor is 1 5/16” deep and does not have the embossments on the flutes of the decking. This is why it’s considered a form and not a composite floor deck. It’s 36” wide and the sidelaps are nestable. Deep Vercor is stronger than Shallow Vercor which means that it can span further between supports.


9/16” Shallow Vercor

916-shallow-vercor-dimShallow Vercor is 9/16” deep. It’s 36” wide and the sidelaps are also nestable. Shallow Vercor will span less of a distance between supports when compared to Deep Vercor.




What To Do If Your Job Specifies Pan Decking?

If you have a job specifying pan decking, your first step would be to determine whether you need a composite floor deck or a form decking. Next, determine the depth of the panel, gauge, and finish. Once you have that information, then we suggest contacting your local metal decking supplier.

If you need help trying to figure out how to determine what type of metal decking is needed or where to look within your set of plans, we can help you. Check out:

What Are Metal Decking Specifications?

If you’re not used to metal decking specifications, it can be confusing to determine the correct metal decking product. We can help you navigate the metal decking specifications.

Our sales reps have many years of experience selling metal decking and can assist you with your next steel decking job. We have an extensive selection of form decking and floor decking, gauges, and sheet lengths. Fill out our quick and simple online quote request form for metal deck pricing and availability.

If you would like to learn more about metal decking, view our Metal Decking Learning Center or YouTube channel.

Visit the metal deck learning center today!

Visit the metal deck learning channel today!


About Paul Rubio

Paul Rubio is the Vice President and one of the owners of Western States Metal Roofing. He has been in the metal roofing industry for 25 years. WSMR is a manufacturer of metal roofing, wall panels, and metal siding. We have colors and finishes that nobody else has with nearly 100 different colors in stock. Our selection of color options and finishes is likely the largest in the industry.