Mezzanine Flooring - what it is , how it works and how it could benefit your warehouse or business
A mezzanine floor is a smaller floor located between the main floors of a building. The floor may come out of one side of the building and only extend a certain way across, meaning that it doesn’t cover the full area of the building and therefore isn’t considered one of the main floors.
Plus, because a mezzanine floor does not extend across the whole area of the building, it means that the mezzanine floor and the floor below usually share the same ceiling.
What type of mezzanine floors exist?
Typically, a mezzanine floor will extend out of the internal walls of the building. However, in the case of industrial mezzanines (for example warehouse mezzanines), this aesthetic quality may not be required. This allows the operators of the building to construct a free-standing mezzanine floor which is held up by metal columns extending from the floor. There may then be a lift or set of stairs attached for access.
This allows a lot more freedom when it comes to constructing the right type of mezzanine floor which is suited to the needs of the warehouse. Expensive and complex construction work on the existing building is not required as the stand-alone mezzanine can be constructed to any size and simply assembled in the chosen location within the building.
Mezzanine floors which are supported from the ceiling also exist, although the lack of heavy-duty structural support in most ceilings means that it’s often cost prohibitive and simply far easier to create a floor supported by ground columns.
What are the benefits of a mezzanine floor?
The primary benefit of a mezzanine floor is to create a substantial amount of extra space without conducting any serious construction work on the building itself. A brand new floor of virtually any size can be integrated into the existing building or assembled as a free-standing unit in a very cost-effective manner.
When other options for increased space include expanding a building, moving to a new property or constructing a new main floor, it’s easy to see that mezzanine flooring is one of the most efficient ways to considerably expand the floor space of your warehouse or factory.
This type of flooring is also particularly useful if you have a very tall building with a large amount of vertical space. It allows you to make much more efficient use of the overall volume of the building without conducting any major changes to the floor below.
How can mezzanine floors be used?
There are a number of ways in which mezzanines can be used in industrial environments. These can involve smaller floors for a single use or very large floors which cover a wide surface area of the building and can be used for multiple purposes.
One of the most popular uses for mezzanine floors is as extra storage. Only a simple metal structure with a solid floor and sufficient load bearing is enough to create considerable extra storage space for boxes, packages, equipment and pallet racking.
With this type of use, it’s important to consider the access and exit points. Stairs may be enough to carry smaller objects out of the storage area, but heavy equipment or full pallets can require a lift or an access point where a fork lift on the floor below can move into position and bring down objects from the mezzanine above.
A mezzanine floor can include all of the features of a normal floor, including electrical sockets, internet sockets, heating and lights. With some extra construction work, this can allow you to create offices with highly professional interior environment.
A metal mezzanine structure can be created, followed by an office structure, decorated walls, carpets, doors, windows and a ceiling. This can create an office which is indistinguishable from any office on a main floor – except it’s located on a highly affordable and practical mezzanine.
If you want to increase your production lines with more equipment or staff, you can move them to a mezzanine floor which is above an existing operations floor. This gives you the freedom of more space without cramping any existing working areas. However, if very heavy machinery is being used, then considerations must be made to the load bearing abilities of the floor and also the logistics of getting the machinery up to the floor for installation. A Mezzanine floor can also be useful for adding additional racking and shelving in a warehouse or office.
What are the limitations on a mezzanine floor?
The ability to create a mezzanine is heavily dependent on the amount of vertical space available. The ceiling must be high enough to accompany two floors with adequate head room for staff and any equipment. Very tall buildings may even allow you to create multi-storey mezzanines.
Another key factor to consider is the support columns and how they may interact with the floor underneath. For example, machinery or equipment on the floor below may get in the way of where the support columns need to be. This may require some re-organisation of the floor below, although the mezzanine is always designed to provide minimal impact on the surrounding building.
However, if neither of these are a concern, then a mezzanine floor is comfortably one of the easiest, practical and cost-effective ways to increase floor space within any warehouse or industrial building.