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The choice of the suitable raised access floor system depends firstly on the intended use, as for office spaces, housing or technical rooms.

PANELS AND FLOOR COVERINGS

The first criterion of selection is the working load: it is advisable to preliminary choose the loading class. The load classes from 3 to 5 efficiently fits most of functional requirements. The load class 2 is more suitable to non-permanent loads whilst class 6 is normally used for areas with specific and extremely high load requirements”.
At the same time, it is necessary to choose the most suitable finishes for the intended use, to be compatible with the desired type of panel.
In general, within the wide range of choice, it is advisable to use stone or ceramic finishes in high traffic areas, such as corridors, lift entrances and halls; moreover these finishes can also be applied in all those office or housing spaces with an a high profile appearance. Resilient materials (PVC, rubber, linoleum) can be used for almost all operational office spaces.
About wood, the extremely natural beauty of the essences has to be preserved by a careful use, particularly focusing on humidity control and maintenance, in total absence of water.
It’s possible to use the bare encapsulated GW panels as walking surface, along with possible variations in stainless steel, to fit specific minimalist or hi-tech aesthetic and architectural choices. It can be successfully applied with no particular restrictions in modern offices, show-rooms, display areas and shops.
A further element to evaluate in the panel/covering matching process is the flexibility of use along with an optimal site management feature offered by the loose-lay tiles. In this case, the bare panels can be first installed on site, leaving the option to loose-lay the desired final covering at a later stage.
The final coverings/finishes will so avoid all the potential post-installation damages caused by working operations during the building process of the site. Furthermore the choice of loose-lay covering can be customized area by area, even at different times and without interfering or operating on the main steel encapsulated raised access floor. The total flexibility also involves format and design, allowing future variations at low costs. The loose-lay tiles is perfect to developers wishing to offer, in business or commercial centres, finishing solutions that are tailored to the end-users or easy-to-change destination of use.

SUBSTRUCTURES

The type of substructure to match the chosen panel/covering mainly depends on the height of the finished floor; for floor heights up to 300 mm pedestals only (TF3/SA) can be used with all the panels; in case of heights over 300 mm it is always advisable to use stringers (substructure type TF3/ST1 – TF3/ST2 – TF3/STH – TF2/50S) to ensure the correct lateral stability. The choice of the substructure changes the total supported load of the system, particularly for not encapsulated panels. The final choices can be made according to the specific comparative cards (please download our masterbook). Only for GW panels, as an alternative to stringers or to guarantee a better protection of the subfloor plenum, a “corner lock” system can be put in place, with the panels screwed to the pedestals heads.

ACOUSTIC REQUIREMENTS

Density and weight of the materials determine significant variations of the acoustic properties. Calcium Sulphate raised floor systems, especially those with calcium sulphate core, have high soundproofing features. Care must also be taken in the choice of the final floor covering (textile, resilient, stone or metallic) as it can determine variations of the acoustic performances.
It is also possible to provide the system with special acoustic pads to apply under the base of the pedestals for a general improvement of the acoustic performances, if required. Due to the complexity of this subject, it is recommended, if in doubt, to consult our Technical Department.

ANTISTATIC CHARACTERISTICS AND CONDUCTIVITY

Problems due to electrostatic charges generated on the floor surface can be avoided by an appropriate choice of the materials.
In particular could be used coverings, insulatings, antistatics, static-dissipatives, conductive with electrical resistance ranging between 104 and 1010 Ohms, can be chosen depending on the intended use of the areas.

RESISTANCE TO HUMIDITY

Raised access floors can notoriously be sensitive to sudden changes of temperature or to high relative humidity rates. First, a correct use, from storage to maintenance and cleaning of the raised access floor system is needed. In case, for instance, of constructions like high raise buildings or skyscrapers, where many months can pass before the air conditioning is fully functioning, or in geographical areas like the Middle or Far East, characterized by high temperatures and humidity, GW panels are the perfect choice, both with chipboard or especially with calcium sulphate core.
One of the main characteristics of TOPFLOOR is the high degree of specialization and experience on field: our Technical Department is always at your disposal at info@topfloor.it where all the design specifications will be analysed in details to identify the best panel/covering/substructure that can fit all the requirements.

 

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