Warehouse mezzanines are a type of warehouse equipment that are designed with the purpose of adding additional storage space. But the type of mezzanine and how it’s designed is essential to how much space is actually created and if the space created is used effectively. Warehouses are oftentimes filled up quickly due to an inefficient design, or when warehouse equipment is installed without any forethought of what works best for the products stored there.
If your warehouse is running out of space and you’re considering relocating or expanding, you may want to first consider installing a warehouse mezzanine in order to utilize existing space in your current warehouse. A mezzanine is an elevated structure that is installed above existing racks and is perfect for warehouse ceilings that are multiple stories high. At DAK Equipment, we provide a full range of warehouse equipment, including conveyor systems, steel shelving, pallet racks, flow racks, and more that helps to increase space, productivity, and reduce safety hazards. Before you spend time and money on relocating, work with our warehouse design consultants at DAK Equipment.
Types of Warehouse Mezzanines
There are essentially two types of mezzanine systems, each with their own benefits. The style that is best for your warehouse will depend on your needs, the products stored in your warehouse, and the type of equipment being used there. Contact DAK Equipment for a design consultation.
Supported by columns that are bolted to the floor, these systems take up minimal space and can hold pallet racks, shelving units, conveyor equipment, and stored products. For much larger or heavier items, load requirements need to be considered during the design process. They are ideal when floor space under the mezzanine still needs to be used, but additional space is required above for storage.
Rack, Pallet Rack, or Building Supported Mezzanine
Rather than being supported by columns that are part of the mezzanine installation process, this type is supported by existing shelving or pallet racks or by the warehouse itself. In these situations, you will need to ensure that the support structure can hold up the weight of whatever is being stored on the mezzanine. Again, which of the three is best for your needs will depend on what is being stored. All three options tend to be more budget-friendly, as they rely on existing support structures, rather than having to install columns.
Considerations When Installing a Warehouse Mezzanine
Before you actually select which type of mezzanine is best for your warehouse and begin the installation process, there are a few things to consider.
- Permissions: If you are renting the warehouse, consult with the planning and zoning board to ensure that you are permitted to install the structure.
- The Purpose: Are you installing it for additional office space, storage, a showroom, production space, or retail space? The type of mezzanine and how it’s designed and installed is dependent on its purpose. Talk with your project manager at DAK Equipment about your goals for the space.
- Headroom: Both the ground floor and mezzanine levels need to have enough headroom for employees to move around and for the items themselves.
- Loading: A significant consideration is the weight of the items being stored and load requirements for the structure. A mezzanine that is holding machinery will have greater load requirements than a mezzanine that is being used for office space.
As you have probably gathered by now, the weight that is being held by the mezzanine is an important factor in a variety of ways. The mezzanine itself needs to be sturdy enough to hold anything from office desks, chairs, and filing cabinets to heavy machinery or other warehouse equipment. Furthermore, the slab floor of your warehouse itself needs to be sturdy enough to support the weight of everything inside the warehouse. If you’re unsure of your floor’s capacity, a slab and soil analysis can be completed, and if needed, special footings can be installed.
Mezzanine floors are typically created with high-density particle board, but depending on your needs, it can also be made with steel decking, grating, diamond plate, or even concrete.
- Particle Board: This type of flooring is typically sufficient for most warehouse mezzanines, as it can be easily painted when needed and is budget-friendly. However, if liquids are being stored, or if the environment is wet, it may be less than ideal.
- Steel Decking/Grating: A more common flooring material, yet still affordable, steel decks offer enhanced strength, they are moisture-resistant, and provide optimal security.
- Diamond Plate: A great option if you’re storing heavy loads, these floors are essentially steel decks with a steel tread plate installed on top. Diamond plate floors are one of the most durable options and are slip-resistant.
- Concrete: Another durable flooring material, concrete is often a permanent solution, offers noise reduction and can still hold heavy loads.
Stairways and Handrails
Whether the mezzanine is open to the public or not, stairways and handrails offer safety and accessibility. And possibly more importantly, there may be code requirements for the mezzanine depending on who will be accessing it.
Even though a warehouse mezzanine could save you on relocation costs, it is still an investment. There are many factors that go into the cost of the structure, including the size and type of mezzanine, type of flooring, and weight requirements. Generally, mezzanines are a cost-effective way of increasing space within a warehouse and when designed and installed correctly, they could eventually pay for themselves with increased productivity.
Warehouse equipment is essential for an efficient and safe business, whether it’s a mezzanine, pallet racks, or conveyor system. At DAK Equipment, we provide all of the above and more. Our project managers have years of experience and have worked with dozens of warehouses to help increase space and reduce production times. If your warehouse is running low on space, work with an expert at DAK Equipment. Located in Chicago, we offer quality equipment and long-lasting customer relationships throughout the area. Contact our team today for a consultation.