Is your facility running out of space to store your products and equipment? A full warehouse means your company is not only successful but readily expanding, so that’s great news! However, there is an upper limit to expansion in a single building, right? Wrong!
Many storage facilities have excess space between the first floor and the ceiling, letting much of the available square footage go to waste. But how can you start storing stuff above what you already have?
Building structural steel mezzanines throughout your warehouse is the ideal solution for utilizing the open space above your main floor. Most importantly, you can maximize your floor space without the need for external additions to the building. You also avoid the problem of having to ship everything you have to a new, larger facility.
But what is a mezzanine? Why do you need one? And how do begin to build the right one for your facility?
What is a mezzanine?
A mezzanine, also known as an intermediate floor, is a platform that sits between the first floor and the ceiling. This elevated area can be used for storage, as a workspace for employees, and many other things. Regardless of what you will use it for, a mezzanine will give you the extra space you need to work and grow.
There are also multiple mezzanine options including:
Freestanding Mezzanine: If you are simply trying to expand your floor space, this is the mezzanine for you. These mezzanines are entirely modular, so they can be designed to fit the specific needs of any operation. They are also supported by heavy steel beams, allowing for maximum storage capacity.
Structural Steel Mezzanine: These mezzanines are designed for facilities that store extremely heavy products like industrial equipment. However, reliable steel construction and high weight capacity can accommodate virtually any storage or work area. In fact, they are also used to create new mezzanine office spaces, locker rooms, and even cafeterias.
Catwalk Mezzanine: Unfortunately, these mezzanines are not meant for showing off your new outfit. Catwalk mezzanines create elevated paths by which employees can travel around the facility. This creates more elbow room and prevents the space from feeling crowded for workers. The modular design also allows for the implementation of stairways, gates, and even pallet drop zones, so work can get done from above.
But which mezzanine will work best in your facility? Well, that depends on what type of business you are running.
What happens when you start running out of space?
All growing businesses start running out of available floor space at some point, but that does not make it any easier to deal with. Once your operation reaches critical mass with your current configuration, the lack of space can introduce a wide variety of issues.
Yes, you might be able to find some temporary solutions for your crowded facility. However, the keyword here is “temporary.” You will need to find a way to properly expand eventually. Installing a mezzanine might seem like a hassle, but there are more disadvantages to not installing one than just expanding upward.
Where do I put my stuff?
Your facility space is shrinking while your inventory keeps growing at an exponential rate. How do go about storing this tidal wave of incoming products and materials?
Your intuition is likely to lead you to stack the new products on top of everything else. This is the quintessential temporary solution. You will not have anywhere to go once you finish stacking another layer of inventory. Trying to stack any higher puts not only your products but also your employees at risk.
Furthermore, your facility will become a cluttered, unorganized mess. Finding the correct products and prepping them for shipping will take significantly longer than usual, and your clients will take note of that. Now, your lack of space is risking customers seeking out other businesses.
If you still choose to continuously stack your incoming inventory, you might even start placing items in your current walkways. The lack of space and growing clutter is now a potential safety hazard for everyone in the facility. Your employees will now need to make sure nothing will fall on their heads while simultaneously keeping an eye out for items in their path.
This will inevitably end in someone tripping or falling, risking serious injury. This can result in much more than simply paying worker’s compensation. Code violations can lead to fines and often lawsuits depending on the particular case. Therefore, it would be much easier to just install a mezzanine and start safely expanding your storage.
An unpleasant viewing experience
This issue is something that more often occurs in retail stores, wholesale stores, and other businesses that serve the public. When a customer walks into a store, they want to be greeted by a clean, welcoming atmosphere when they can shop comfortably.
If your store is cluttered and disorganized, your customer will have a more difficult time finding what they need. This unpleasant shopping experience might have them leave without having purchased anything, and they might not ever come back.
With a mezzanine, storing excess inventory is quick and easy. Your backroom stocking area will have more than enough space to store your products, so your customers have an easier time traversing your store and finding what they need.
What types of businesses have mezzanines?
Mezzanines are not unique to any one industry. There are businesses in a diverse range of industries that use mezzanines for many different reasons:
Warehouses and distribution centers
‘The most common application is creating mezzanine storage areas in warehouses and distribution centers. These facilities are constantly moving, shipping, and receiving countless products on a daily basis. Therefore, the effective use of space is critical for maintaining efficiency. Mezzanines have several different uses in these operations from expanding storage to creating a better workflow with catwalks and other additions.
Parts and components centers
With more storage space comes more opportunities to organize. These facilities have to keep track of many different types of products with small differences. For example, automotive part distributors need to keep track of everything from nuts and bolts to engine assemblies. So, having the space to maintain reliable organization prevents mixups and ensures everything is going where it needs to go.
Industrial manufacturing facilities
Industrial manufacturing plants operate large machinery that takes up much of the existing workspace on the main floor. Mezzanines not only provide more space for storage and equipment, but they can also make the facility safer for employees. Catwalk mezzanines, in particular, give workers the ability to move throughout the facility without having to pass directly through an area with active industrial machinery.
Retail and wholesale stores
Adding a mezzanine to a retail or wholesale store will create storage space for your inventory. However, the main advantage is providing customers more space to comfortably shop and view all you have to offer on the mezzanine shelves. If you have ever shopped at a Costco, you have seen what mezzanines can do for retail and wholesale companies.
This is one of the more fun applications of mezzanines, showing off their versatility. Many fitness and indoor sports centers use mezzanines to expand the space for visitors, while also adding space for sports and workout equipment when not in use. Mezzanines are perfect for creating seating areas for audience members for indoor soccer and basketball. This gives parents a bird’s eye view, so they can comfortably watch their children compete and cheer them on!
If your facility does not fit into one of these categories or you simply want to explore more options, consult with an industrial equipment solutions company like R.W. Martin and their sister company, Martin Vertical Storage Solutions. Contact R.W. Martin today, and they can answer any questions you have and help you find the ideal mezzanine for your facility.
Why should I build a mezzanine in my facility?
As you probably know by now, mezzanines are the best solution for using the available space above your main floor. Whether you need more shelf space for your products and inventory or just more room to get work done, a mezzanine is a welcome addition to any facility. However, there are many other mezzanine floor advantages than just space:
Flexibility and adaptability: A mezzanine is not limited to one method of storage after installation. Mezzanines are modular by design, so there are countless ways to set up mezzanine racking systems. As a result, you can reconfigure your mezzanine on the fly to adapt to your storage needs and make organization easier and more effective.
Expands with your business: Growth is a central goal of any business, and the space you need is directly linked to that growth. Eventually, your initial mezzanine will run out of room, too. However, the modular design allows you to create more storage space as you need it. So, you can expand your current mezzanine system to better suit your growing business.
Quick and easy relocation: Maybe you ultimately decide that moving to a larger warehouse is best for your business after installing a mezzanine. Your current system still cannot keep up with your business’s growth. Thankfully, mezzanines are incredibly easy to deconstruct, uninstall and reinstall. As a result, moving between facilities is easy and inexpensive, and you can immediately begin configuring your mezzanine to work best in your new space.
Save energy, save money: Building a mezzanine in your facility means you will not have to make any external additions like new rooms and wings. As a result, you avoid increasing energy consumption and save money on your utility bill.
Visual appeal: Mezzanines do not just have to be used for storage and catwalks in industrial facilities. They have uses in many businesses that are open to the public. Many concert venues will use mezzanines to increase space for more audience members and give the venue a specific vibe. In fact, many people will pay top dollar for mezzanine seating.
Countless configurations: Industrial equipment specialists like R.W. Martin can tailor mezzanine designs to fit best with your unique facility. So, you will receive a mezzanine with the exact size, height, and load capacity you need. You can even choose from various deck surfaces and stair options to create the ideal configuration.
If you want to see how pervasive mezzanines are in the business world, just keep your eyes open. You likely frequent many businesses that use mezzanines and just have not realized it!
What kind of options do I have in designing my mezzanine?
When building a mezzanine, you want the end result to be an efficient addition to your existing operation. With Martin Vertical Storage, you can choose from a wide range of customizable mezzanine options. This will allow them to tailor their storage solutions to satisfy your unique needs.
Here are some of the options and additions you can choose from when customizing your new mezzanine:
When you say mezzanine, we say “How big?”
The first question you need to answer is “How much more space do I actually need?” If you are just looking to add a single office area to free up space on your main floor, you may not need a large mezzanine. However, if you are struggling with maintaining a large influx of products and materials, you may need a larger area to proactively prepare for your business to grow.
Regardless of what you need, the experts at Martin Vertical Storage can help you find the most optimal design. They will assess your current facility and storage needs to develop the ideal spatial configuration.
A floor that suits your needs
Flooring might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you construct a mezzanine, but it is more important than you might think. Martin Vertical Storage offers multiple options, so they can help you choose the most functional floor for your mezzanine:
Concrete with corrugated steel decking:
This is a great all-rounder type of flooring. Concrete is already strong, but when underlaid with steel decking, it becomes incredibly difficult to damage. As a result, this flooring is a good choice for mezzanine storage areas with frequent foot traffic and heavier inventory.
Resin board with corrugated steel decking:
This is also a floor option with significant resilience. However, it has one central advantage over concrete: aesthetic. Resin board is much easier to color, so design options are much more versatile. This makes it a great option for mezzanine office spaces where you may want a consistent color scheme.
Diamond-grip steel panels:
If you have not heard of this before, you have definitely seen it. These are the metal panels with all the little diamond bumps on them, but the bumps are not just for a visual flair. The diamond configuration significantly improves traction, making it a safer surface to walk on.
Open bar grating floors:
These floors are mostly useful in industrial applications. The open grating allows workers to always have a view of what is happening around them. If someone happens to be working above or below, you can check with a moment’s glance. This awareness allows workers to keep themselves and others safe while working around the mezzanine.
Easy ways to reach your mezzanine
You also need a reliable way to travel to and from your mezzanine. Martin Vertical Storage offers a variety of stair options including straight, L-shaped, and U-shaped. These can also come with or without landings. For mezzanines in tighter spaces, there are also many ladder options.
If you are unsure of which type of staircase or ladder configuration you need, the experts at Martin Vertical Storage can help you find the ideal solutions based on your current facility layout. Depending on your mezzanine configuration, you may also want to consider installing a VRC lift through Martin Vertical Storage. This will allow you easily transport your products and materials on and off the mezzanine, so your employees do not have to carry heavy items up and down stairs.
However, these are not the only design options available. If you want to learn more about how to customize and configure a mezzanine, get in touch with Martin Vertical Storage Solutions today!
How do I get a mezzanine for my facility?
Building the ideal mezzanine for your facility requires a keen eye for detail and expertise with industrial equipment. Partnering with a company like R.W. Martin ensures you receive a mezzanine that is tailor-made for your facility’s needs. R.W. Martin is a leading provider of industrial equipment solutions, offering high-quality Cogan® mezzanines through their sister company Martin Vertical Storage Solutions.
The experts at Martin Vertical Storage Solutions will visit your facility and assess your current space. They will gain a full understanding of the size and scope of your facility, so they can begin developing a mezzanine configuration that will maximize and optimize your floor space. Once you agree upon a mezzanine design, you can sit back and watch it become a reality. R.W. Martin will handle the entire installation process, while you continue to work as usual.
R.W. Martin has been providing various businesses with the industrial equipment solutions they need for more than 50 years. Robert W. Martin founded the company in 1967 to provide businesses with a reliable channel through which they could obtain equipment from nearly any manufacturer. So, if you are looking for high-quality equipment at reasonable prices, R.W. Martin has you covered.
If you need to expand your facility or find some new equipment, get in touch with R.W. Martin today! Their technical staff is standing by and ready to answer any questions you have and can even provide professional recommendations based on your specific situation.