FIRE RATING
YOUR SPACE

Depending on what your mezzanine floor's use, length and size is, it may require fire protection. We delve deeper into the reasons why a mezzanine may need fire rating and the ways in which we achieve that.

WHAT IS MEZZANINE FLOOR FIRE RATING?

Mezzanine floors are constructed from steel columns, steel beams, purlins, and a chipboard deck. Left unprotected these materials offer no fire resistance and in the event of a fire the structure would potentially collapse. 

Depending on the use of your mezzanine floor, it may be necessary to add protection to your mezzanine floor by means of a suspended ceiling, column cases and fascia to the exposed edges of the mezzanine floor. These components when combined will provide 60 minutes fire protection to the structure. 

Typical scenarios where fire protection is required are;

  • If the mezzanine floor exceeds 50% of the footprint of your building 
  • If the floor exceeds more than 20 metres in length 
  • If the floor will have operatives working permanently below or above the floor 
  • If the intention of the floor is for office accommodation 
  • If the floor exceeds 400 square metres 

Mezzanine floors that are solely used for storage purposes, that are under 20 metres in length and are under 50% of the warehouse footprint would not need fire protection.

Mezzanine Floor Prior To Fire Rating
Mezzanine Floor With Fire rating

CEILINGS: SUSPENDED OR PLASTERBOARD?

The most common (and most cost effective) way to provide 60 minutes fire protection to the underside of a mezzanine floor, is to install a suspended ceiling. There are only a limited amount of suspended ceiling tiles and grid’s that have been tested under a mezzanine floor and are suitable for this application. Suspended ceiling tiles are available in either flat lay or tegular configurations. Suspended ceilings are also commonly used because they provide easy access into the void which is an advantage when you need to access any services within the void. 

Another solution that offers fire protection to the underside of the mezzanine floor is the installation of a plasterboard ceiling. Mezzanine floors naturally deflect so to prevent the plasterboard cracking under movement, we must install a MF ceiling (Metal frame) which compensates for the deflection and alleviates the problem. However these ceilings are expensive (when compared with a suspended ceiling) and allow no access into the void for access to services. 

COLUMN CASES

To protect the mezzanine columns, they must be cladded. The most cost-effective way is to clad the column with a pre-formed column case. Typically, the column cases are a white plastisol finish, although a galvanised finish is also available for more industrial environments. These column cases are generally used in environments where aesthetics is less important because the base plate is left exposed. 

Another option (which is typically common in an office fit out environment) is to clad the mezzanine columns with plasterboard. This technique is used when the base plate needs to be concealed too. The wall can then be skimmed and decorated, ensuring the columns blend into the office environment. 

FASCIA

To complete the fire protection, the exposed edge of the mezzanine floor needs to be clad with a fascia. Similar to the column cases, the fascia can either be finished with a pre-formed fascia (available in white or a galvanised finish) or they can be finished with plasterboard (which is more suitable to an office fit out environment). The plasterboard finish is more expensive and similarly to the plasterboard ceiling, a deflection head is required to stop the plasterboard cracking under movement. 

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So as you can see, not all mezzanine floors need to be fire rated. It all depends on their use and the parameters that their design potentially meet. When you work with us, we’ll help to determine early on whether your mezzanine floor will require fire rating, the type of protection needed and it’s cost. Allowing you to budget for the required fire protection and ensuring there aren’t any hidden costs later on down the line.

If you are looking to move to a new warehouse or you are looking to make the most of your existing space with a mezzanine floor, get in touch today, we can help. Call 0113 831 3303, email info@nwsmail.co.uk or talk to one of our experts via the live chat button and we’ll help you to get the right solution for you and your business.