Raised access flooring – what you need to know

Raised access floors are a great option for offices and production floors in many ways. Here are a few basics that you need to consider if you’re thinking about going for raising access flooring.

What type of raised access floor should you choose?

Go back a few years and the answer to this question was simple – you didn’t have a choice. These days, you do!

The type of raised access floor you go for depends upon a number of factors:

  • Type of application, i.e. office, data centre, retailer, production environment
  • What type of air distribution system you need
  • What you need when it comes to cabling and wiring
  • The loads that your flooring will need to bear

Sometimes office designers are reluctant to factor-in raised access floors when it comes to the building design. This is because they are reluctant to lose ceiling height, as traditionally raised access flooring is quite high. However, raised access flooring suppliers are now able to provide low profile access floors. This means the height loss because of raised flooring is kept down to a minimum.

The types of raised access flooring

There are two general types of raised access flooring. These are low profile access flooring as mentioned above, and standard raised access flooring.

Low access flooring generally means flooring that is less than 150mm in height. The main purpose of such flooring is for cable distribution, which makes it ideal for offices and data centres.

Standard raised accessing flooring is usually higher than 150mm. Such floors allow for the distribution of both cabling and cooling air. Standard flooring is suitable for a number of applications, such as retail and production environments and for data centres with a high number of servers that need to be kept cool.

Note that if you are expecting to use your raised access flooring for cooling air distribution, it is no good going for low profile flooring and then filling up that space with cabling!

Low profile flooring is only really suitable for applications that do not need a large amount of underfloor air distribution.

Flooring panel materials

For a long time now in the UK, the most popular panel is the steel encapsulated wood core. In the US, the standard panel is the steel encapsulated cementitious core. Today, you will have more in the way of options.

If you have a lot of weight to distribute, then cement core steel panels are the way to go. They are the strongest panels routinely available.

One final aspect of raised access flooring you need to consider is portability. In previous days raised access flooring was considered a permanent feature of the building in which it was installed. Today, that is not necessarily the case. Some low access floors add portability to their functioning which means that should your business choose to move premises, you may be able to take your raised access flooring with you!

If you are unsure about any aspect of the suitability of your chosen raised access flooring solutions, then you can contact Fieldmans Access Floor Ltd. We are available to advise you about installing the right access flooring for your company. Call us on 020 8462 7100, or email us at .

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