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Through Thick and Thin – The Thickness of your Mezzanine Level

The thickness of a mezzanine floor is not often factored into mezzanine design. However there are times when the thickness needs to be minimised due to height restrictions, or to gain the most out of your space. When deciding on the thickness of your mezzanine level, there are a few things to consider.

Location and Design:

To begin with, where is your warehouse situated? Due to vibrations, warehouses located where there is seismic activity, or heavy truck traffic, will need larger and heavier beams than those that are not. That doesn’t mean you won’t be able to reduce the mezzanine floor thickness, but it does make the task more difficult.

The next step is to consider your general warehouse design and pillar layout. If you are trying to minimise thickness, then you might need to go with shorter beam spans, which means more pillars. Positioning of pillars can significantly affect the size of the beams you need, which means it also affects the thickness of the mezzanine level. You will also want to avoid a cantilevered mezzanine if possible, as that can require larger beams than normal.

Laying the Foundations:

Another thing to consider when attempting to minimise mezzanine floor thickness, is that while you can put thinner flooring into place, it might have to be heavier. Which means you might need to use more pillars than usual and you might have to install steel beams. All this extra steel adds weight to the warehouse foundations and may cause overloading, which will cause the foundations to crack or sink.

When you start loading a floor with heavy equipment, racking, and mezzanines, you must know its capacity. And it isn’t just about concrete thickness. It also matters how much the soil underneath the slab will compress. Knowing the characteristics of both your floor and the underlying soil are key to successful mezzanine projects.

Flooring Materials:

There are a few different flooring materials available for your mezzanine level and each of them has a different thickness. The successful selection of a working surface for your mezzanine will depend on the mezzanine level usage.

Lightweight Options

  • Particle board:
    • The most widely used, economical, and versatile flooring option available and although it is thin, it lacks strength and durability for heavy usage.
  • Grid Mesh:
    • Strong, economical, and lightweight, it is also thin enough to help with minimising mezzanine thickness.

Heavy Duty Options

  • Compressed Fibre Cement:
    • Compressed fibre cement is great for excessive usage, however it is also heavy and thick.
  • Plywood:
    • Durable and light, plywood has a medium thickness to it, therefore is a great middle of the range option for minimising mezzanine thickness.
  • Checker plate:
    • Checker plate is made of thin plates of steel and has the advantage of being able to cope with high loads, however it is heavy and will add a lot of weight to your foundation.

Minimising your mezzanine floor thickness requires thought and forethought. How much are you currently planning to load onto the mezzanine and your foundations, and how much are you planning to load on in the future. If you don’t consider the factors mentioned here, you could end up with needing to either redo your mezzanine or continually fix structural damage to your main floor and in turn your mezzanine. To talk through your options, call Dynamic Warehouse Solutions today.

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