Wood vs Steel – Which one is best for your trailer floor?

Nov 22, 2022 | Uncategorized

The following guide answers the popular question – Is wood or steel better for your trailer floor?

Wood and steel are two common materials used when making a trailer. In this article, we will share a few advantages and disadvantages of owning or purchasing a trailer with steel or wood. 

Wood Trailer Floors


Less slippery – The grain of wood flooring on a trailer makes it an ideal floor surface when wet. If you live or work in climates that are rainy or snowy, a wood trailer floor may be a more practical choice to avoid slipping.

While enclosed trailers are not exposed to the elements like dump trailers or auto trailers, when you walk in and out of an enclosed trailer with web boots, the grain of a wood floor will help keep the surface from being too slippery.

Although you should always use straps to secure heavy items inside or on a trailer, large heavy items are less likely to slide around on a wood floor. 

Quicker and more cost-effective repairs – Another advantage of wood trailer floors is that they can be repaired quicker and easier. 

More affordable – Because of the shorter lifespan of wood floors, the price point is typically more affordable.


Decay and terminate attacks  Wood is prone to decay over time. As wood starts to decay, it can also be at risk for termites. Keep the wood clean and dry to prevent decay over time. Thoroughly inspect your trailer floor over time to inspect for rot or termites.

Weathering  Wood will naturally weather over time as it’s exposed to sunlight, moisture, heat, and forces that wear down the surface of the wood such as large equipment and tools. For full details on how wood weathers, read this article.

Steel Trailer Floors


Long lasting – Although the cost of a steel trailer floor can be more expensive up front, it’s less likely to get damaged or need repair over time. It is built to last the toughest wear and tear from debris and materials sliding across it. 


Heavy – Steel floors on a trailer are heavy. A steel floor reduces the weight of the cargo you carry because of the added weight from the floor. 

Slippery – Steel trailer floors are more slippery than wood floors – but this can also be an advantage depending on the type of trailer and the purpose of the trailer. For example, dump trailers are meant to dump heavy items. Because the items typically slide down the trailer floor as it dumps, it is helpful that the trailer floor surface is slippery.

Prone to rust – Just as the wood floor is prone to weathering, steel is prone to rust over time. When your trailer isn’t being used, keep the trailer clean, and free of dirt and debris. When the trailer isn’t being used, store it in a dry place to keep moisture from building up and causing rust.