When it comes to acquiring extra space either at home or in workplace, few options are as versatile as a mezzanine floor. Able to offer storage, working or living space simply by tapping into previously unused overhead space, a mezzanine can provide as close a perfect solution as possible in many cases.
The floor structure itself is responsible for a lot of this but there are less thought about components that contribute to the safety and aesthetics of the floor. Whether it’s enabling you access the newly acquired level or keeping you from falling once you’re up there, staircases and handrails are indispensable companions of a mezzanine floor.
Mezzanine Staircases Considerations
Of course, without any way to access your floor, it’d be pretty much pointless. This is where your choice of staircase is going to play a huge part for obvious reasons, as well more subtle factors.
The primary factors when considering a suitable staircase are the use of the floor and regulations covering this intended purpose.
If you are planning to use a mezzanine floors as a means of storage, your chosen manufacturer and installer should refer to Part K of official Building Regulations. These guidelines cover protecting you against the dangers of falling or otherwise harming yourself when using your mezzanine.
It is stated that handrails should be incorporated on both sides of the staircase at a minimum of 90cm high for maximum support and safety. This also applies where stairs are for industrial purposes.
Part M of Building Regulations covers access and this includes disabled access. Office space mezzanines must conform to these rules, which include lower step rises and wider treads. There may also be a requirement for a middle landing if there are more than twelve steps to the staircase.
Public and retail staircases must have handrails fitted at 90cm and have surrounding panels to ensure that there is no risk of falling from the side.
Choosing Mezzanine Staircases
You do have some say in your staircase though. Whilst it’s important that legislation and guidelines are strictly adhered to, you will no doubt want to ensure that your staircase is right for you and your floor. For example, if your staircase is going to be on public display, you may prioritise aesthetics over all else. On the other hand, if you’re after a warehouse floor, you probably want the cheapest floor possible with not too much emphasis on appearance.
There are a number of varieties to take into account here, including materials and finishes, and the most common staircase is one that is spiral shaped. This takes up much less room whilst looking great and providing all the elements of safety that are required.
Choosing Mezzanine Handrails
It’d take a lot to ignore the fact that edge protection atop a mezzanine is an absolute must. Again, Part K of Building Regulations covers this and the dangers of falling.
The usage of your mezzanine will play a big part in the handrails that you select. Feature mezzanine floor handrails made of stainless steel are arguably ideal for locations where appearance is a vital factor. Offices, retail and personal areas may benefit from bespoke handrails to add that final dash of charm to the place.
Where practicality is more pressing and style is not as big an issue, a more standard rail may be a better option to keep costs down but still get the safety and security that is essential.
Floors, Staircases and Handrails Working Together
Whatever the reasons you are looking for a mezzanine floor, staircases and handrail systems are vital pieces of the space producing puzzle.
Without them, apart from the whole structure being impractical, illogical and inaccessible, the floor would technically be going against regulations which is never a good idea. As long as you hire a trusted mezzanine floor company to undertake any work, you should be free to safely enjoy the latest addition to your building.