Adding mezzanine flooring is a cost effective and practical way to add extra space to an industrial, commercial or retail unit. They provide an excellent solution for growing businesses or companies that need to adapt their premises for additional storage or work spaces such as meeting rooms, offices or production areas.
One huge benefit of mezzanine flooring is its’ extreme versatility. Generally being a modular installation, they can be constructed then removed, added to or even modified.
The ultimate success of your installation will depend to a large extent on careful planning and design before the construction of your mezzanine, to ensure it meets the relevant building control requirements, as well as the business’s needs as well as preventing any late changes, or worse, regretting your choices when alterations would be costly.
So, what should you consider before you launch into the construction of your mezzanine floor? Here are 5 things to consider when you are considering a mezzanine:
1. Purpose and use
The intended purpose of the new installation is a key part of your mezzanine flooring considerations ensuring your solution meets the relevant requirements to help achieve the company’s goals. Is there a need for more storage space, office space or workspace, this influences a number of elements in the design process to ensure regulations and safety measures are also met. Establishing a clear purpose and use for your mezzanine will also assist the supplier in delivery the results the business desires in the most cost-effective way. Like in any project thorough planning at the outset leads to the best results.
The design stage is where your solution starts to come to life and the purpose and use outlined in the planning stage becomes key to your future mezzanine floor. The supplier will start to create something that is both practical and aesthetically matched to the space. Factoring in aspects such as soundproofing, lighting, smoke detection, safety regulations and even things like colour to incorporate the company’s branding. Other considerations include finishes like galvanised steel rails, timber decking, potentially a glass façade frontage or partitioning to build rooms.
Mezzanines floors are bespoke in design as they need to meet the building’s shape, business, safety and regulation requirements. It is important that your design is compliant and incorporates things like travel distance off the mezzanine, this is the company’s responsibility to create a workspace that has their employees overall safety in mind. A good supplier will work with you on all these details to ensure the ideal placement of storage, walkways, office spaces or production areas to guarantee the most flexible workspace for your purposes.
Not all mezzanine floors require planning permission but do require building control, this is to ensure that the solution has been designed correctly and meets the relevant safety and building standards. Building regulations on the other hand do apply as standard and relate to aspects such as staircases meeting Part K, distances to the nearest fire escape, fire rating, and a range of other scenarios. Fire-rating a mezzanine is influenced by what the floor will be used for, will the underside be enclosed, and what percentage of the current floor space it will cover. An experienced mezzanine flooring supplier, such as Advantage, will be fully cognisant of all the regulations required to deliver a compliant solution.
Mezzanine floors are versatile and planned well can grow with the business or be phased to accommodate budget constraints. It is important to think about potential next steps to help future-proof your space and ensure that it can be evolve without major changes that could be costly later on.
Safety should always be paramount when considering a mezzanine. Mezzanine flooring needs to have safety railings on the stairs, protecting people as they pass up and down to the new floor. As a mezzanine is an open floor installation, the edge of the floor needs to have a barrier of some kind – to keep people or items from falling from a height. Where businesses might need to load materials or products onto a mezzanine floor, it is important to consider solutions such as pallet gates. These protect the operatives whilst they are being loaded and then repositioned for storage. They also ensure that there is no continually exposed edge while activities like this are being carried out, which could be classified as a high fall risk. Pallet gates come in a different styles and sizes depending on the size and weight of pallets you are working with.
The final finishes a mezzanine flooring requires will depend on your intended use and needs careful consideration to get right. Choosing those final finishes such as flooring can be anything from standard timber decking, timber decking with chequered plates or mesh for those industrial spaces. If it is a design-led build where there are ways you can create a more decorative inspired interior by opting for glazed facades, staircases with glass panels, even by opting for more elegant and stylish finishes such as a wide range of vinyl and laminate, or even engineered wood floors if the budget allows. Just because it is an industrial space like a warehouse doesn’t mean you can’t still have something that is aesthetically pleasing and creates an environment that your teams enjoy working in.
Ask the design team at Advantage
If you’re planning a new mezzanine floor and not sure where to start, our friendly Advantage team are here to help map out what you need. We’ll come to the site to get an understanding of your vision and the space, we will then create a CAD design to help you visualise what your new area will look like.
We understand the intricacies of a construction project and the time constraints teams are under, our turnkey solution offers complete project management from the construction of mezzanine flooring and fit coordinating all trades under one roof, making sure your project is delivered with ease, on schedule and in budget.