Case study

The concept behind the mezzanine floor

Aug 18, 2020 | Mezzanine Floors

What does the word “mezzanine” mean?

The word mezzanine stems from the Italian mezzanino which means “in between” or “middle” so where an additional floor is intermediately placed midway in between the ground floor and ceiling a mezzanine floor is created. The floor is built to extend out from the wall and can cover over half the ground floor level which can be viewed from the mezzanine floor level’s open front above.

Intelligent use of space

The purpose of a mezzanine floor is to optimise the cubic area within tall buildings by making use of overhead space which would otherwise be an inactive area. The taller the building the more potential there is to implement multiple levels of mezzanine floors. Really beneficial to businesses feeling the squeeze on space, mezzanines provide an opportunity to increase their much needed operational area allowing them to accommodate growth whilst remaining at the same address without extending the building itself. The great thing about mezzanine floors is that they can be used in almost any environment, providing the height space within the building is adequate. A modernistic feature in present-day architecture a mezzanine floor can be found in homes, theatres, indoor shopping centres, retail units, offices, warehouses and manufacturing facilities.

Countless benefits

A mezzanine floor can serve a variety of purposes – A mezzanine floor symbolizes new beginnings with an opportunity to be creative. Whilst planning your mezzanine floor you will discover there are numerous options of how you could use the brand new space. With so many possibilities you’re sure to land at the most beneficial option for your business. As a highly accredited and experienced mezzanine floor designer and manufacturer WSL can help you plan your new space by taking time to understand your business operations and your goals. There’s more information about how we can help you at the bottom of this page.

Here are some of the most common ways in which mezzanines are used in commercial and industrial environments: 

Storage – An array of problems can arise from a cramped facility where storage capabilities are limited and these can have a negative effect on productivity. If this sounds familiar it may be time to consider adding more storage space within your facility and provided you have sufficient overhead space, a mezzanine floor could be the ideal solution for you. With the correct weight bearing designed into the structure a mezzanine floor can be built to accommodate the storage of heavy goods or machinery. To enhance storage capabilities further, there is a wide range of shelving and racking systems that can be integrated on and bellow the storage mezzanine structure. WSL specialise in storage mezzanine floor design as well as all types of pallet racking and shelving solutions, so with our help you can find the perfect combination.

Warehouse Storage Mezzanine Floor


ProductionWhere demand increases there’s often a need for production to expand and increase and for manufacturers relocating can be to disruptive and delay manufacturing adding even more cost to the business that a move would already incur. If you’re in this situation and you’re looking to increase production space, WSL can design a bespoke mezzanine floor to fit around your operation and can support production on the upper level. This is a highly popular solution for manufacturing facilities, because these often extremely busy environments can continue to operate whilst the mezzanine is being installed.

Sorting, picking and packingA mezzanine floor has the ability to drastically enhance productivity whist simplifying vital processes in busy fast paced warehouses or distribution centres. Moving activities such as picking and packing onto the mezzanine floor allows more space for employees to carry out their duties whilst the rest of the operation can continue on the lower ground. If there’s urgency for speed when transporting picked or packed items to the lower ground there are some innovative options. Clothing retailer Fat Face Limited uses their multi tier mezzanine floor, designed, manufactured and installed by WSL for picking, packing and sorting. To ensure speed critical production requirements are met, we installed chutes and conveyors so goods can be transported from the highest level to the lowest in seconds.

Multi tier mezzanine floorfor Fat Face Ltd used for sorting, picking and packing


OfficeAs a business grows, very often the headcount of employees grows too. Although growth is an exciting time for any business, making room for new employees when space is already limited can be a bit of a head ache. Installing a mezzanine floor above the ground floor operations will create a brand new space where offices can be implemented. If offices currently exist on the ground floor, they can be moved up to a larger mezzanine level, allowing space for production bellow to increase. The office mezzanine floor is hugely beneficial to both the business in terms of saving money whilst utilising existing space and emplyees who gain a comfortable space in which to work. Canvasman manufacture boat covering and canopies and their office mezzanine floor designed and manufactured by WSL has enabled them to use their entire ground floor level for production whilst office staff are located in a very spacious office above. See more details about this project in our news section.

Staff FacilitiesMezzanines can be a place where staff can stop for lunch, take a break, use WC’s, change into their PPE and store their valuables. Away from their work area, a staff canteen on a separate mezzanine level provides a comfortable area for staff to take their break and ideal if ground floor space is limited.

Mezzanine floors that accommodate comfortable offices and staff facilities can be impressive to visitors!

Office mezzanine


RetailInstalling a mezzanine floor within a retail unit is a smart way to increase sales floor area. It’s a very cost effective solution for retailers who require more space but want to avoid the high costs and hassle involved in relocation or building expansion. A retail mezzanine can become a featured part of the shop and can be used however you choose be it more sales floor area or a customer café.Decorated and accessorised to blend into the shops existing theme a mezzanine floor can greatly increase the time customers spend in the shop which has a new airy feel and a pleasurable atmosphere. This can lead to additional sales making this a highly cost effective solution which is growing drastically in popularity. For one client WSL fitted twenty two retail stores each with bespoke mezzanine floors over a period of fourteen months and this number continues to rise as more stores open.

retail mezzanine floor in completed and opened retail unit


Indoor shopping centresMezzanine floors are commonly used to increase the number of retailers taking occupancy at indoor shopping centres. Within the same footprint just a single tiered mezzanine floor can double the number of units available for retailers. A mezzanine floor can enhance the look of the centre making it feel more open and spacious. The desired number of units is possible on a reduced footprint area of development land thanks to the mezzanine floor.

Gym and fitness centres – After being confined to our homes for months with little exercise, many of us are now looking to improve our health and this has lead to a rise in the demand for local gym memberships. Post lockdown guidelines have forced gyms to analyse their space to help determine how they can adhere to social distance guidelines whilst welcoming additional members. Many have turned to the gym mezzanine floor solution on which they have added more machines, exercise areas, lockers, changing rooms, showers or WC’s. The mezzanine floor has enabled countless gyms to reopen safely without relocation or expanding the building and has even given them a new look with an improved atmosphere for their new beginning. Our team is currently installing a gym mezzanine floor for our client in Scotland which will be used to accommodate additional machines, member facilities and staff areas.

Covid 19 safety

All of the above uses will have the added benefits of increasing protection against Covid19. Mezzanine floors are designed to increase usable space which is extremely useful for social distancing measures. Mezzanines can help restaurants, shops, enclosed centres or theatres to keep staff and customers safe whilst they continue to operate. These establishments have been hardest hit during the pandemic and many have turned to the mezzanine as a social distancing solution. As warehouses, factories and offices have reopened many have been able to spread their staff out across multiple floor levels by using the mezzanine floor as a social distancing tool.

A Great Choice of Access and Accessories – Choose your mezzanine access and accessories to best suit the environment and theme of your business. There is a wide variety of staircase type, shape, treading and handrails to choose from. A retail staircase for example may be best suited to a stainless steel hand rail with glass infill to match the look of the establishment.As well as bespoke mezzanine floors, WSL also manufacture staircases and other accessories so your staircase can be designed to match your unique requirements. The mezzanine floor decking can be covered with your desired choice of flooring be it carpet or vinyl. Passenger lifts or goods lifts can be installed or pallet gates, chutes and conveyors for warehouse environments.

Mezzanine with Y shaped staircase


Economical – As mentioned above a mezzanine floor is implemented within the internal shell of an existing building so more usable space is created without the cost or stress of extending the building or relocating. This is the reasoning behind why the cost effective mezzanine floor is a sought after and extremely popular solution. A lucrative investmenta mezzanine floor in any setting can significantly increase productivity and in turn promote profitability.

For all but retail applications Mezzanine Floors are Business Rate Free and in all cases if your building is rented and you add the mezzanine floor, this additional area will be exempt from rent.

Supports business growth – And not just current growth. A mezzanine floor can help future proof your business, helping to ensure you are fully prepared for predicted or un-predicted future growth. Through careful design your new mezzanine floor can relieve current issues surrounding limited space whilst ensuring the possibility to extend in the future. It could be that you may want to extend the length or implement an additional tier at a later date and with this taken into consideration at the initial design stage future expansion can be simplified

Purpose-built but flexible – As a non-standard structure a mezzanine floor is designed and manufactured to suit the intended space and use, however there is room for flexibility if the mezzanine floor holds the correct weight bearing for future change of use. A storage mezzanine may later be converted to an office for example. An office mezzanine however, cannot later be used as a storage mezzanine unless the weight bearing was factored into the design.

Minimal disruption – Relocating or expanding a building is not only costly, but can be very disruptive and stressful. A mezzanine floor installation on the other hand can be fully installed in a matter of weeks, depending on size, with minimal disruption.

Your mezzanine floor by WSL

Based in Leeds, West Yorkshire WSL has been supplying mezzanine floors, pallet racking, shelving systems and ancillary equipment for over 30 years to clients ranging from small start ups to large organisations across the UK. Here’s what you can expect from us:

An exceptional service – Wherever you are in the UK and whatever the size of your project you will receive the same attentive service and professionalism from all team members involved. From the initial enquiry to completion we will ensure all your needs are met through our client centric process.

Bespoke design – Once contact has been made we will put you in touch with one of our experienced designers in your area who will arrange a site survey and a face to face informal chat. This gives our Design Technician the opportunity to not only assess your premises but to also understand your business as well as your long and short term goals. The extensive knowledge and experience throughout our design team means all of your questions can be answered there and then and any concerns can be addressed. On leaving our Design Technician will have all the information required to draw up new plans and provide a free no obligation quotation. For more detailed information about our design process please see: Your new mezzanine floor – Our design process explained

Mezzanine floor computerised plan

Highly accredited mezzanine floor manufacturing – If you are happy with our plans and quotation and the order is placed, the mezzanine specification plans will be passed to our engineering team located at our in house manufacturing facility. Having our offices and manufacturing facility all under one roof streamlines the process with greater communication between departments. Your mezzanine floor will undergo the manufacturing process which is accredited to CE Marking BS EN 1090 giving you extra safety assurances. We manufacture to the rigorous BS5950-1:2000 standards for steel sections and BS EN 1993-1-3 and UK National Annexes for cold rolled sections. Manufacturing can be completed in a matter of weeks however the timescale depends on the size of the mezzanine structure being fabricated. For more details about our manufacturing process please see: Manufacturing your mezzanine floor

mezzanine manufacturing


Professional Mezzanine Floor Installation – Here at WSL we have a very friendly yet professional installation team who will be on site ready to take delivery of your mezzanine floor, dispatched directly from our factory. They will begin by offloading the parts from the HGV and preparing them for installation. We install mezzanine floors with minimal disruption and within the agreed time frame. If your business is in operation during the installation process we can section the area off. We can also attend site after operating hours or work during the night when business is closed or quieter. You can look on as your mezzanine takes form in your premises and once complete our team will leave your site clean and tidy. To find out more please see: Mezzanine floor installation: What’s involved?

mezzanine floor being installed


Precision project management – Our Design Technician will hand your project over to one of our highly experienced and certified Project Managers who will be introduced to you once the order has been placed. Your assigned to oversee the project and keep you fully informed on progress you will have the same Project Manager throughout the scheme who be on hand at all times should you have any questions.

Highest safety and quality standards – WSL is a full SEMA member (Storage Equipment Manufacturers Association) and was the first mezzanine floor UK manufacturer to obtain full SEMA membership whilst holding CE Marking BS EN: 1090 certification. With these accreditation’s we guarantee quality and safety assurance because we don’t just follow these standards, as a full SEMA member we play a role in setting them too. We also hold membership of Construction Line and are certified to SafeContractor and EuroSafe as well as NEBOSH.

Discuss your mezzanine floor project

If you have a mezzanine floor project in mind and would like to discuss this further with a member of our team call us today on 0113 2045350 or email and we will get straight back to you.

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