Raised floors, as most of us might be quite familiar with, come in handy when there is a need to create pathways for wires, cable, piping, airflow and conduit. The type required generally depends on multiple factors such as application, wiring or cabling needs, air distribution setup or cooling system and load & weight capabilities. Nowadays, there are several places that make use of raised access floors, including offices, call centres, data centres, libraries, command units and classrooms.
In general, there exist two primary kinds of raised floors – low profile and traditional. The former is generally less than 6 inches in height and used for organizing wires, conduit and cables. Due to low height, the airflow underneath is not much of a concern. It takes very less amount of ceiling height, can be easily used by on site personnel and does not include heavy panels. It does not usually need overhead management of cables or concrete trenching. Nowadays, it is being used by several industries besides data centers, such as the retail industry and traditional workplaces. For cable management, the most popular choices in case of low profile raised floor are either grommets or stainless steel floor box.
Standard raised floors, commonly found in institutional or industrial settings, are heavy duty and rugged. They are normally higher as high as 12 inches. They provide enough space for piping, cables and wires. However, they are not as flexible and easy to use as their low profile counterparts. They can be serviced either by in-house highly trained personnel or outside contractors.
The panels used in raised floors are built using different construction materials. The choice of material for panel largely depends on the application in question. At present, there are several choices available in the market, like hollow steel, wood, bare concrete, concrete core steel and polypropylene options. One should be aware of the fact load rating of any raised floor is always more than that of its panels.
When considered in terms of ease of redeployment, low profile raised floors are simpler to deploy than their standard counterparts. The former can be reused as well as depreciated. With them, removing stringers, pedestals and panels is a relatively cheaper task. At the time of shifting, all equipment can be ripped out the floor without much hassle. In other words, lower profile options are better in every way, be it for cable management, rerouting or future redeployment.