What will it be: shag, Berber, single color or pattern? It may not be on par with finding the right carpet for the living room, but choosing the proper decking material for a mezzanine may also create a lively discussion. For many, the response may be, “what’s the difference? Just throw something down.” And that would be a mistake. The answers are several, all relating to cost, safety or application.
The following are several decking options available for mezzanine flooring. These options offer insight into why companies want to invest in one over another.
Mezzanine deck basic. Corrugated 20-gauge steel, also known as B-Deck, is the most common decking material for mezzanines. It is used in combination with a secondary decking material for additional strength to finish the flooring.
Wood and its related variations. A plywood deck is an excellent option for high-traffic/light load areas. The wood accepts paint or urethane coating with ease and its economics make plywood easy on the wallet compared to other options. Composites using wood fiber are a step up from plywood decking. Resins combine with wood fibers and coatings to add increased load capacity. The composite decking also offers a finished, permanent look.
Bar grating lets more in. Bar grating is one of the more familiar decking options. These welded grids offer significant lasting power and strength. You frequently find bar grate decking in multiple manufacturing applications. Its open design does not block light or prevent air movement. However, operations using small parts would not be a good application for bar grating. This creates the potential for more problems should the parts for through the grates. It’s also worth noting that fire sprinklers within the mezzanine structure aren’t usually required when using bar grate.
Choosing a concrete option. There are several reasons for selecting a concrete deck option for your mezzanine. Durability is a prime consideration. Concrete flooring holds up extremely well in applications where environmental conditions require frequent and heavy wash downs. Because concrete dampens sound, it also works in situations where noise is a factor. However, many companies choose concrete decking where fire rating is important or in applications using chemicals. There is one drawback with concrete decking—permanency. Pouring a concrete floor on a mezzanine will limit the ability to change configurations. In other words, make sure change is not a future consideration for the facility.
Steel floor plate for heavy duty. The mention of steel evokes images of strength and toughness. Steel deck options are a go-to choice for companies requiring intense load points such those encountered when using forklifts. This flooring not only withstands the heavy loads, but also works well in areas where flammability is a concern.
Decking options for special applications. Not every application fits neatly into one of the above decking options. Many food processing, electrical manufacturing or biomedical applications have clean or non-conductivity requirements the other decking options cannot meet. Open style grating made of fiberglass or plastic are available. These specialty decking options often are more costly.
Coating options. Most decking options listed above work well as is in many applications. However, some locations require additional protection against environmental conditions. This frequently means using protective coatings on the deck surface. These coatings provide additional traction for slip-free walking or movement, protection against moisture or corrosion, and sealing to maintain a germ-free environment.
Taking a one-size-fits-all approach to mezzanine decking is a prescription for problems. The best way to determine what decking option works best for your situation is discussing it with a mezzanine professional.