Which Mezzanine Floor System Do I Need?

What is a Mezzanine Floor? Types, Uses and Benefits

A mezzanine floor refers to a level situated between the primary floors of a building, usually not included in the total count of floors. This floor often features a low ceiling and extends as a balcony-like structure. In the context of theaters, the term ‘mezzanine’ is applied to the lowest balcony or the initial rows of seating in that balcony. The origin of ‘mezzanine’ traces back to the Italian word ‘mezzano’, which means ‘middle’.

Mezzanine Floors offer the optimum solution for businesses needing to expand their floor and office space, without having to consider the potential high costs of either a building extension or premature business relocation to larger premises. In addition to the cost saving benefits, it greatly reduces disruption to the business. This guide gives a brief description of mezzanine floors, their uses, and what business may benefit from their installation.

Mezzanine Floors Explained

As mentioned, a Mezzanine floor is an intermediate floor incorporated within the existing structure. It helps maximise the potential floor area by making use of the space currently under utilised. It is also a great way to deliver an increased floor area when designing a new build.

With cost effective construction materials and the speed and ease of installation, return on investment can be quickly realised by increasing both storage and office space to enable growth and greater efficiency within the organisation.

Mezzanine floors are typically a bespoke design to suit a client’s specific requirements and very rarely require planning permission. They can often prove to be the key solution in enabling and facilitating business growth.

An additional benefit that a Mezzanine floor can offer is they can be deconstructed for potential use in another building further down the line.

Types of Mezzanine Floor

The two most popular options for a mezzanine floor are the Oversail System and the Inset System. Depending on your design requirements, one may be more suitable than the other.

Oversail Floor Systems – The cold rolled mezzanine joists oversail the primary members and are typically fixed to the top flange of the primary steelwork, either directly, or more commonly with a cleat and can offer the more economic solution. This system is typically used when headroom is not the key driver.

Inset Floor Systems – These are used where headroom is both limited and critical. In this instance, the joists are installed within the web of the primary steel member using a fixing cleat, thus keeping the overall floor depth to a minimum.

Mezzanine Floor: Industry Uses

The vast majority of business sectors can utilise the benefits of the Mezzanine floor option. Anything from retail, distribution, industrial and manufacturing, through to hospitals, schools and office buildings. Whether it’s to gain extra office space or increase storage capacity, it’s a system that can offer the most cost effective solution.

In addition to being a quick fix to help facilitate business growth, increasing space can also assist with the productivity and wellbeing of existing staff.

Building Constraints

The requirements that determine the design and type of the floor appropriate are usually based upon the purpose for which it is to be used, i.e. office space or warehouse space etc. The structural loading to the floor along with the deflection criteria and floor depth limitations will be key factors. Please consult with your structural engineer who will design this for you. The technical team at Metsec are available to offer guidance to your engineer in terms of specific products that would be suitable for that particular application.

Mezzanine floors are governed by building regulations and permission would need to be sought from the relevant parties to ensure compliancy, prior to commencement of the works.

The British Standards Institution Group (BSI) offer guidance with regard to regulations that must be followed by law to ensure the technical standards are met for a wide range of products and construction services.

Metsec Mezzanine Floor Joist

For more information on our range of Mezzanine floor sections and details of our unique tie bar system, please download our Technical Manual.

You can also download a copy of our Metspec 14 Software which also incorporates the facility to design mezzanine floor joists to both British and Euro standards.