Every so often we get the question: Can I re-use my existing raised access flooring? While it’s not something that we can immediately say yes to as there are a number of factors to consider, it isn’t something that we automatically exclude either. Whether you are moving location, having extensive renovations to your building or your business needs have changed we are firm believers that if your raised flooring can be re-used, then it should! Let’s take a look at the issues you will need to think about should you wish to re-use your raised flooring.
What it has been used for
Raised floors have a wide variety of different uses and some are easier to re-use than others as they may not have had as heavy a use as others. For example, an office using raised flooring to store cabling will experience a different kind of wear and tear than one that has been exposed to more extreme temperatures such as a cold server room.
The flooring will also have been built to withstand certain load levels and these will have been determined by its intended use. It will be difficult to increase that load bearing level for a floor that you want to re-use, but it would probably be easier to reduce the weight-bearing load.
Raised flooring has a typical life span of around 25 years. However, this is an average figure and will depend in large part on what its previous use has been. A raised floor that has experienced high load levels or more extreme temperatures may not live to 25, so it is not as straightforward as thinking that it was only installed 10 years ago so it’s easily got another 15 to go.
Type of flooring
Re-use will depend to an extent on the type of flooring you already have installed. Some materials may be easier to refurbish than others. The technology in materials has also evolved significantly in the last decade, so an older flooring type may not be as easily available any more. Indeed, a newer floor may be a better option both in terms of load bearing and type of use than a re-used one. It may also be cheaper to install than to refurbish an existing one.
What are your options?
The first thing to do is to ask the question of an experienced and knowledgeable installer. When we are asked it, we will inspect the flooring to determine its suitability for re-use:
- How old is it?
- How much wear and tear is evident?
- What type of flooring is it? Are replacement panels available?
- We will test its load bearing limits to compare against what your new intended use is
- How cost effective is it really to re-use it versus installing a new bespoke raised flooring?
If the advice is not to re-use it, then the old flooring can be recycled; nothing is thrown away without taking the most environmentally friendly route first.
If you are considering re-using an existing raised access floor or are thinking about having a new one installed at your existing or new premises, then make a call to Fieldmans Raised Access your first step. Give us a call on 020 8462 7100 for an initial, exploratory chat or to make an appointment.