A mezzanine is a level that is built in between floors in a building. Usually, it is similar to a balcony, where the floor below it is visible. The mezzanine level shares the same ceiling as the lower floor. Many types of buildings utilize a mezzanine level in their architecture to maximize the use of vertical space. Some of these buildings include warehouses, tradeshows, distribution, office and retail buildings and movie and television sets.
While some mezzanine levels are built into the original building plans, they can also be added after the building is complete. Many times, these additional structures are made of metal frames that are assembled from the ground up. Flooring is then mounted to the metal frames to create platforms, walkways, ramps and stairs. Mezzanine structures can be multi- or single-level.
Mezzanine structures can come pre-fabricated or be custom built to meet the needs of the customer.
Mezzanine flooring is most commonly made of aluminum, steel or fiberglass. However, it can be made of concrete and other materials. The support beams are usually made from steel. The flooring can be created from bar grating, perforated steel, solid steel, wood or oriented strand board. Different combinations of materials can increase the strength of the flooring. The flooring usually has a b-deck underlay and a finish of wood, heavy duty steel, aluminum or fiberglass grating.
Consider the purpose of the structure before deciding on a flooring material. There may be a need to allow airflow, or the flooring may need to be waterproof. A display area will require different flooring than a storage area. Determine whether you want a multi-level structure. If so, you will want to include handrails, gates, stairs and other safety features.
Different materials support different weights and are designed to perform better under certain circumstances. Companies that specialize in mezzanine flooring can list their materials and how much weight the materials will support.
Benefits of Using Mezzanine Structures
A mezzanine structure can increase the cost effectiveness of a building, adding usable space without altering the construction of the building. Additionally, it can save on engineering and architectural costs.
It takes less time than for conventional construction to add a mezzanine level. Also, the process to get a permit can be faster.
Many mezzanine levels can be dismantled, moved to other locations and rebuilt. Mezzanine levels come pre-fabricated or can be custom made.
Verify with the manufacturer in writing that the mezzanine level will meet the building code regulations. Failure to meet these regulations can result in fines and required disassembly of the product.
Check with the manufacturer to learn about the upkeep for the flooring material you choose. Some flooring can be mopped with gentle cleansers or repainted. Some manufacturers suggest methods for upkeep that can maintain the quality of the type of mezzanine flooring finish you select.
- Photo Credit MÃ©diathÃ¨que intÃ©rieur avec verriÃ¨reet mezzanine. image by Bruno Bernier from Fotolia.com MÃ©tal brossÃ© image by Strikker from Fotolia.com perforated image by .shock from Fotolia.com A portable motorised Scissor Lift used by Painters image by david hutchinson from Fotolia.com floor cleaning #5 image by stassad from Fotolia.com
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