What is a mezzanine floor? 2022 Definition & Guide

A mezzanine floor is defined as a floor that sits between two main floors of a building, or between the floor and the roof in a single storey building (such as a warehouse). It is not usually counted as one of the main floors in the building – it sits in the middle between the main floors. In fact the word ‘mezzanine’ actually comes from the Italian ‘mezzano’ which means middle. A mezzanine floor is one of the best ways to add additional usable square footage to a building.

A Semi-Permanent Structure

A mezzanine floor is usually classed as a semi-permanent structure within a building. They can often be dismantled and relocated if needed and many mezzanine floor systems are modular and can be expanded. Mezzanine floors for industrial applications, including warehouse storage, are usually constructed from strong materials such as steel and aluminium. Different systems use different materials depending on use case. The flooring can also be made from a wide range of materials. Wooden and steel floors are the most common, but aluminium and fibreglass solutions are available.

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Common use cases for mezzanine floors

Mezzanine floors are installed for a variety of reasons, but the primary benefit is a large increase in usable space. A well designed mezzanine floor system could potentially double warehouse storage space for example.

Mezzanine floors are commonly used in retail applications in order to increase storage space or to provide welfare facilities to staff (such as kitchens, bathrooms and break rooms). Another common use-case is in gyms, especially those built in warehouse facilities. In short, if you have a large amount on unused ceiling space, a mezzanine floor could be the answer to benefit from and utilise that space.

Do mezzanine floors require planning permission?

Generally speaking, mezzanine floors do not need planning permission. To learn more about this subject, read our complete guide.

Do mezzanine floors require fire rating?

If the mezzanine floor is to be used for storage, it may not need to be fire rated. This will be discussed at the planning stage as the rules vary depending on the situation. If the floor area exceeds 400m2 or if it will exceed 50% of the floor space it is to be built on, the mezzanine will need to be fire rated. The rules and regulations do change from time to time, so up to date advice should always be sought.

What weight can I put on a mezzanine floor?

The weight that you can put on a mezzanine floor depends on the construction materials and the specific system that has been installed. It therefore needs to be assessed on a case by case basis. As a general guide, a mezzanine floor rated for light usage will be rated for 480kg per meter squared, while a mezzanine rated for heavy usage will be rated for 960kg per meter squared.

Does a mezzanine floor need building regulations approval?

Yes, all mezzanine floor structures will need to be fully approved by building regulations. Learn more in our guide.

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Is my building suitable for a mezzanine floor?

If your facility has a large amount of empty vertical space, it is likely that a mezzanine floor will be suitable. Warehouses, shops and storage units are often good candidates for a mezzanine system. If you are exploring the possibility of installing a mezzanine floor, whether it is for storage or any other purpose, the best thing you can do is request a site visit from a qualified expert. This is the only way to ensure that every element of your site’s unique situation will be taken into account. If your building is suitable for a mezzanine floor, they can then help you to plan and install the structure.

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