This article provides a detailed look at.
Read further to answer questions like:
- What is a mezzanine floor?
- Types of mezzanine floors
- Mezzanine floor design
- Uses for mezzanine floors
- And much more …
Chapter One: What is a Mezzanine Floor?
A mezzanine floor is a middle floor that is installed between the ceiling and the ground floor to provide extra space for storage, assembly operations, or office space. The normal design for a mezzanine floor is 25% of the flooring of a building or smaller. A mezzanine floor is well planned, designed, and positioned to serve a specific and clearly defined purpose.
Though the primary purpose for mezzanine flooring is to provide extra storage space, they are also used for manufacturing, distribution, office space, and the expansion of retail space. Mezzanine level flooring utilizes the otherwise unused space below the ceiling and above the floor. providing extra, affordable space with minimal investment.
Chapter Two: Types of Mezzanine Floors
Mezzanine flooring creates increased potential and maximizes unused inaccessible space. Since they are easy to install and customize, they can be placed in any facility or structure. A significant benefit of mezzanine flooring is how it can be configured, shaped, and engineered to fit the unique and specific needs of a production or storage operation.
The quality and usage of a mezzanine depends on its flooring type. Choosing the correct flooring ensures the mezzanine will be ready to use and that it will fulfill its purpose. Mezzanine manufacturers provide a list of the best flooring for the conditions and environment where the mezzanine will be used.
Types of Mezzanine Floors
Bar grating is a common form of mezzanine flooring due to its strength and reliability. Flooring made with bar grating allows light and air to pass through as well as the spray from sprinkler systems. Bar grating floors are made of aluminum and coil, carbon, or stainless steel bars that are edged, straightened, punched, and cut to the required length, a process that helps in eliminating waste during production. Bar grating is maintenance free and slip resistant.
Wood Mezzanine Flooring
Wood mezzanine flooring is easy to install and has an excellent appearance with enhanced durability and longevity. The attraction of wood mezzanine flooring is its beauty, warmth, and elegance that adds value to a building. Its aesthetic appeal and ability to be easily cleaned make it great for offices or extra retail space. Wood flooring is less expensive and can support shelves or racks.
Steel Diamond Plate Mezzanine Flooring
Diamond or checked plate steel is exceptionally safe, durable, and strong, making it capable of withstanding constant traffic. The diamond patterned plates are slip and skid resistant. Steel diamond plate mezzanine flooring is made of 12 gauge steel that is installed directly over a steel frame. Its strength and endurance make diamond steel plating ideal for large, heavy storage racks or equipment storage.
The supports for steel diamond plate flooring are tube or H beams that are secured to the existing concrete floor with a top plate affixed to the main bearer beam. In some cases, the mezzanine is attached to existing steel beams or the walls of the building.
Concrete Mezzanine Flooring
If your plan is to have a permanent, immovable mezzanine, concrete is the best and strongest option, especially for humid, moist, and wet environments. In addition to its durability and longevity, concrete can support forklift traffic and heavy loads.
Concrete flooring is normally used in manufacturing environments where potentially combustible or volatile materials are being handled due to its ability to serve as a protective barrier. The energy demands of concrete are lower because of its thermal mass.
The support for concrete flooring is provided by a galvanized corrugated steel frame or deck over which concrete is poured at a thickness of four to five inches.
Particle Board Mezzanine Flooring
Particle board is made of timber fibers that are bonded with a resin compound with a 38 mm density. It is moisture and slip resistant with excellent load strength. Particle board is used much like wood because of its appearance and can be found in mezzanine decks for office space, retail, and warehousing. A major benefit of particle board is its cost effectiveness, which drastically differentiates it from other forms of mezzanine flooring.
Laminated Panel Mezzanine Flooring
Laminated panel mezzanine flooring has a plywood structure substrate with a textured high density polyethylene (HDPE) face. The resulting combination produces a mezzanine flooring that has superior wear and durability for industrial settings. It is ideal for environments where there is constant and continuous wheel or foot traffic due to its abrasion resistance because of its thick poly laminate finish that disperses weight evenly.
The moisture barrier of laminated panel mezzanine flooring makes it impervious to chemicals; this allows it to be installed inside or outside in any type of manufacturing conditions.
Resin Composite Mezzanine Flooring
Resin composite is a long lasting mezzanine flooring material that is able to hold up to the abuse of pallet jacks, carts, dollies, and other heavy traffic. It comes in half inch to one inch thicknesses and will outperform other wood like materials regardless of the atmospheric conditions. Resin composite can be worked much like wood and can be cut to fit the dimensions of the mezzanine floor.
Chapter Three: Mezzanine Floor Design
Whenever a business wants to expand its floor space and has a large area below the ceiling, they can consider the installation of a mezzanine floor. Warehouses, distribution centers, manufacturing facilities, and repair operations can use mezzanines as additional floor space for storing or completing work.
The uses and adaptations of mezzanine floors are only limited by the imagination. The many styles and varieties can be added to any type of building and are not required to be attached to the walls or ceiling but can be completely freestanding.
Mezzanine Floor Design
Freestanding Mezzanine Flooring
A freestanding mezzanine floor is supported by structural columns and offers the flexibility of possible expansion if more area is needed. At heights of 40 feet or higher, freestanding mezzanine floors have enough space underneath them for the installation of lighting, electrical conduits, sprinkler systems, and air conditioning duct work.
The installation of a mezzanine floor doubles the work area since the area under the mezzanine can continue to be used as it was prior to the placement of the mezzanine floor. Regardless of the existing structures and columns in the building, mezzanine flooring can be utilized as it can be configured to fit around columns and other permanent structures.
Rack Supported Mezzanine Flooring
Rack or shelving supported mezzanine floors are fully or partially supported by shelving or racks. The closely spaced shelving that supports the mezzanine floor has a load capacity that exceeds other mezzanine structural designs. One use for rack supported mezzanine flooring is extra shelving or storage of parts, machinery, and other materials. In certain cases, the additional floor space provides a path for conveying systems. The exceptional strength of rack supported mezzanine flooring provides an opportunity for the use of pallet racks and pallet storage.
Full Mat Mezzanine Flooring
Full mat mezzanine flooring is a combination of a catwalk and freestanding floor mezzanine. They are exceptionally versatile and adaptable. Full mat mezzanine flooring offers the benefits of a catwalk, freestanding floor mezzanine, and shelf or rack supported floor mezzanine. Due to their flexibility, they are one of the more popular forms of mezzanine flooring.
The floor of a full mat mezzanine is completely open space for bulk storage, office space, employee changing areas, and vending machines. They are normally installed over existing shelving to maximize the use of space.
Catwalk Mezzanine Flooring
When extra shelving and mezzanine space is added, it may be necessary to also add walkways for easy access to the new areas. Catwalks are an efficient and economical method for dealing with the need for increased access. The catwalk style of mezzanine flooring consists of walkways suspended from first level shelving or adjacent second level shelving. Regardless of how they are installed, catwalk mezzanine flooring is an additional feature of mezzanine floors.
Multi-Level Mezzanine Flooring
Multi-level mezzanine flooring is an additional method for tripling floor space by adding a level on top of an existing mezzanine or planning two levels as part of a mezzanine floor installation. Included in the installation process are multi-tier staircases and loading areas for increased access to shelving on the different levels. Conveyors, lifts, and chutes can also be included to increase efficiency and distribution of materials.
Modular Mezzanine Flooring
Modular mezzanine flooring is a cost effective method of purchasing and installing mezzanine flooring. The process of producing a modular mezzanine floor begins with determining the dimensions of the location where it will be installed. Once the measurements have been determined, the mezzanine flooring is produced off site and brought onsite for quick assembly.
Much like more permanent forms of mezzanine flooring, modular designs can be customized and configured to fit the needs of the location. When a modular unit is no longer required, it can be disassembled and stored or moved to another location.
Chapter Four: Uses for Mezzanine Floors
Mezzanine floors are constructed for businesses that require extra space due to the success and growth of their business. The use of mezzanine floors is a cost effective way to maximize the use of available space, negating the need to rent or purchase more property. Though it increases the square footage of a facility, it does not add to the company’s storage footprint.
There are limitless uses for mezzanine floors, which include extra lock rooms for employees, storage for unused machinery, increased parts storage, and additional office space. The uses and configurations of mezzanine floors vary depending on the goals and objectives of a company.
Uses for Mezzanine Floors
Industrial mezzanine floors are made of heavy duty materials, normally stainless or carbon steel. The type of flooring varies depending on how the mezzanine is being used, but it is commonly steel plating or concrete. Industrial mezzanines can have multiple purposes beyond use for storage that include added production and assembly areas.
Warehousing is one of the most common uses of mezzanine floors. By adding a mezzanine, a warehouse increases its capacity without having to invest in buildings or having to refuse service due to limited available space. Growing businesses are constantly running low on storage area for new inventory and available racking. A warehouse mezzanine offers flexibility to make adjustments through added shelving, increased racking lengths, and block stacking.
The use of office mezzanines is common in industrial locations that have to provide space for first level management to do paperwork and speak to employees. First level management must be available to deal with problems on the production floor but also have space to take phone calls, attend conferences, and plan. The location of their offices needs to be close and readily accessible; this makes mezzanine offices the perfect solution.
For retail use, mezzanines are included in the initial design of the retail space. They are customized to meet the needs of the products and the design of the building. The most popular retail mezzanines are in outlet stores where the amount of needed space fluctuates depending on display needs. Retail operations enjoy the convenience of mezzanines since they can be disassembled and stored when no longer needed.
Workshops are specifically designed to manufacture products or items for sale. The fluctuation in workshop business can lead to situations where the shop is overcrowded and does not have enough space for the craftsmen or the storage of inventory. The use of mezzanines becomes important for providing extra work space and storage area. The addition of a mezzanine can improve communication, production, and supply chain management.
Chapter Five: Mezzanine Floor Construction
The construction of a mezzanine floor is dependent on how the mezzanine will be used. Mezzanines that are used for storing parts and components may need to be exceptionally strong and sturdy, especially if the parts being stored are made of various forms of heavy metals. In industries where plastics and light fabrics are being stored, the floor may not need to be that substantial.
A key component of the development of floors for mezzanines is the engineering that is required to produce exactly the type of flooring that will meet the needs of the application. Mezzanine flooring manufacturers work closely with their clients to ensure what is being installed will fit the customer’s needs.
Mezzanine Floor Construction
An important part of mezzanine construction is the load per column, which is determined by the use of the mezzanine. When there are fewer columns, there is an increase in the load requirements per column. Fewer columns may require the addition of heavy duty base plates or footings to handle the additional load on each column. The loading of columns and the capacity of the slab are important concerns when constructing and installing a mezzanine.
The thickness of mezzanine flooring offers more stability and a solid feel. A thinner gauge can still handle the load but does not have the same solid feel and gives a shaking or swinging feeling when walked on. Stability in mezzanine flooring is a necessity when a mezzanine is being used for offices or retail. A requirement of offices is a feeling of solidity, security, and stability. The thickness of a mezzanine floor has to be a first consideration since it is impossible to correct once it has been installed.
Braces are extra support for heavy loads and equipment. Knee braces and cross braces are the most common forms used. Though they add stability to the structure, they limit access to the space under the mezzanine and can become a problem for workflow and efficiency. A solution to brace installation is bolts attached to the top joints, an easy way to free up space under the mezzanine.
Building codes must never be overlooked in the installation of a mezzanine floor. As with any form of construction, mezzanines are required to adhere to building regulations. There are a wide variety of building codes, including state codes and national and international codes.
Mezzanines can be attached to the walls of a building or the columns and supports of a building, or they can be completely freestanding in an open space. The factors that determine where to locate a mezzanine floor are intended use and the foundation upon which it will be set. A key factor is how its location will affect the facility’s flow of operation and fit into the facility’s processes.
Slab capacity is determined by weight and weight distribution. For the construction of each type of mezzanine floor, there are guidelines regarding the number of pounds per square feet (psf).
- Platforms and offices 60 psf
- Storage, warehousing, and light manufacturing 125 psf
- Heavy storage and manufacturing 250 psf
These figures have been established by the International Building Code and define the approximate weight distribution across a mezzanine platform. A typical floor slab in an industrial facility or warehouse is six to eight inches thick and has a weight capacity of 25,000 lbs. Though this is sufficient to support a mezzanine, the next factor is the soil beneath the floor, which can be sandy or can be from a high water table. If the soil is not stable enough, the floor slab will need to be reinforced with concrete.
Chapter Six: Advantages of Mezzanine Floors
A mezzanine floor is an intermediate floor positioned above the floor of a building but beneath the ceiling to create additional floor space and make use of the empty area below the roof. They provide a comfortable, convenient, and expansive workspace to assist in production and worker efficiency.
As businesses grow and expand, there is always the problem of limited space, which interferes with businesses’ ability to meet the needs of the operation. In the past, the solution was to rent a building or have one built. Managers have learned that rapid growth does not mean continuous growth, which requires adjustments to the use of capital. Mezzanine floors offer the ability to increase and decrease floor space as conditions require.
Advantages of Mezzanine Floors
The most obvious advantage of adding a mezzanine floor is the rapid and instant increase in space. An entire extra layer can be added to a warehouse, office, manufacturing operation, or retail store that offers the ability to allocate inventory or enhance operations.
The installation of a mezzanine floor is easy and swift. Unlike the addition of an annex or building, mezzanines can be in place in less than a week. Existing walls, floors, and columns are undisturbed and unaffected by a mezzanine floor’s construction and installation.
Since mezzanines are not permanent structures, they can be moved, removed, repositioned, and adjusted to fit the changing conditions of a business. This flexibility opens up opportunities for business owners to streamline their processes to fit the changes in their business. Mezzanines can be disassembled, stored, moved, and installed much like a piece of equipment or machinery.
The cost of available assets is a central concern for the management and success of a business. Adding infrastructure and buildings is a major investment and can tie up critical funds. None of these factors apply to mezzanines. They are a cost effective method for adding extra, valuable space at an extremely low cost. For a minimal investment, a fourth of the space in a building can be instantly doubled.
A mezzanine floor can be installed in any building as long as it has a tall enough ceiling. Regardless of the existing structures, mezzanine floors can be configured, adjusted, and shaped to fit around and with any columns, walls, machines, or other salient factors. Mezzanines can be designed to work with any space layout, any component, and any load.
As an organization grows, it develops areas that are seldom acknowledged or managed. These are the areas where failed projects are stored or dysfunctional machines are saved. Though they might seem to be out of the way, they tend to impede efficiency of the organization. By adding a mezzanine, these areas can be successfully addressed and organized. The key to the success of any business is organization and decisive action. The implementation of a mezzanine offers the opportunity to face and make those hard choices.
The life cycle of a mezzanine floor is dependent on how important it becomes to the stability of the flow of an operation. Though mezzanines are mobile and temporary, they can also be permanent and offer stability to a company’s success. Every mezzanine floor is built to last and be permanent and can prove to be a benefit for many years.
- A mezzanine floor is a middle floor that is installed between the ceiling and the ground floor to provide extra space for storage, assembly operations, or office space.
- Mezzanine flooring creates increased potential and maximizes unused inaccessible space.
- The many styles and varieties of mezzanine flooring can be added to any type of building and are not required to be attached to the walls or ceiling but can be completely freestanding.
- There are limitless uses for mezzanine floors, which include extra lock rooms for employees, storage for unused machinery, increased parts storage, and additional office space.
- The construction of a mezzanine floor is dependent on how the mezzanine will be used.