What is raised access flooring?

  • November 25, 2022
1024 772 CCL Interiors

When space is at a premium in a building, it often makes sense to build up instead of out!

Raised access flooring can be an efficient, safe and cost-effective way of optimising the space in your commercial or residential property.

In this article, we’ll look at what raised access flooring is as well as some of the questions prospective clients ask us about this type of flooring

What does a raised access floor do?

A raised access floor is an elevated grid of panels that provides additional space in a building. In effect, you’re adding an extra floor to your existing space!

The surface consists of floor panels, pedestals that support the panels, and stringer bars that connect the pedestals together. This results in a solid load-bearing structure that’s suitable for the majority of buildings.

All cabling, pipework and wiring are routed under the floor panels, keeping everything self-contained.

You might also hear a raised access floor referred to as a platform floor, computer floor or raised floor.

Where can I use raised access flooring?

The great thing about raised access flooring is that you can use it anywhere you need extra space. For example, if you need to build a new office for staff, need more storage space for stock or an additional ‘floor’ for your retail store, raised access flooring is an effective and affordable solution.

Raised access flooring is often used for data centres and server rooms. This is because all the wiring needed can be neatly tucked away, and you can install air conditioning to keep your systems cool and fully operational.

What are the benefits of raised access flooring?

As we mentioned earlier, one of the main raised access floor benefits is that it lets you optimise your use of the vertical space in your building. 

As well as providing more vertical space, you can use raised access flooring if you want to protect your existing flooring. For example, if you’re carrying out a construction project in a listed building, it can help prevent damage to the floor.

As all the cabling and wiring are tucked away in the panels, this provides a clean and professional look. In addition, there are no trailing cables or trip hazards to contend with. 

If the cables and wiring in your raised access flooring need replacing and maintaining, you can easily lift the panels for access. This saves you a lot of money and time in the long term.

You can also customise the panels with flooring finishes like carpet, lino, laminate or wood to create a unique look and feel. And you can install airflow panels to cool computers and other equipment.

Raised access flooring can be easily futureproofed too. If you need to accommodate more people in your building or provide extra functionality, you can easily run additional cables through your flooring panels without worrying about clutter.

Find out more about how raised access flooring can enhance your construction project.

How much weight can a raised access floor support?

Raised access floor weight capacity depends on your specific needs and what you’re using your surface for.

The panels used can take anything from 454 kilos (1000 pounds) to 11,340 kilos (25,000). As you may expect, raised access floor panels with higher weight capacity are more expensive.

You can mix and match the panels to fit your requirements, and make your project more cost-effective by using higher-weight panels in areas that need them most. 

Can I take my raised access flooring with me if I move to a new building?

As raised access flooring is modular, you may be able to take the panels with you, ready to install in another building, if they’re in good condition.

If you’re not sure whether you can take your raised access flooring with you, get in touch with the interior fit-out experts at CCL Interiors for advice.

Is raised access flooring the same as a mezzanine floor?

Not quite. While both provide flooring between two floors of a building, a mezzanine structure is typically made from steel and aluminium and does not consist of panels.

Mezzanine floors also don’t contain wiring and cabling in the same way raised access flooring does.

How long will raised access flooring last?

Floor panels should last at least 25 years, and supporting components should last at least 50 years.

You can extend the lifespan of your raised access flooring by maintaining it regularly. Keep it clean, replace any damaged panels as soon as possible and swap panels around to reduce wear and tear in high-footfall areas.

What do I need for raised access floor cleaning?

For the most part. you don’t need a special schedule for raised access floor cleaning. Simply take care of it as you would any other floor surface and you can keep it in great condition.

Dust or vacuum your floor weekly if it’s at home, or daily if it’s in a commercial premises. And if you spot any stains or scuffs, clean them with a mild detergent and a damp cloth.

It’s generally okay to mop raised access floors when needed, provided you don’t use too much water. But avoid using strong solvents or abrasive cleaning utensils, as these could damage your surface.

Otherwise, make a note in your calendar to vacuum the subfloor and understructure every 6 months to prevent a significant build-up of dust and debris. At the same time, clean any perforated panels, as well as any air flow mechanisms that are concealed in the flooring.

If your building receives particularly heavy footfall or your activities produce a lot of dust, it’s recommended that you get your floor professionally cleaned every 6 months. But if this isn’t the case, every year will be enough.

How much does raised access flooring cost?

It depends on the size of the floor you need and the functionality that’s required. 

If you get in touch with your requirements, we’ll be happy to provide an estimate for your project.

Can I install raised access flooring myself?

While you can, we wouldn’t recommend it.

Working with a professional installer means they will help you choose the right flooring solution for your needs and ensure it is installed in line with health and safety regulations.

CCL Interiors: Your raised access flooring specialists

Raised access flooring is our speciality at CCL Interiors. If you’re looking for a dependable, fully accredited construction company to oversee your installation, we’re here to help.

We’ve supplied and installed over 3,800 raised floors for our clients, and this number is growing all the time!

No matter where you are in the UK, or whether your project is residential or commercial, each of our raised access floors is designed and installed to an exceptional standard.

Contact us today, and let’s see how we can work together on your upcoming project.