In essence, there are two main types of raised floor systems. The first is found in homes and other buildings with no basement that, for various reasons, need to be built off of the concrete slab foundation. The second type is found in office buildings and other workplace environments that require a lot of cables and piping. A raised floor in such a place is used to conceal computer cables, power cables, plumbing, and heating systems. Raised floor systems serve a practical purpose in both situations, providing an easy solution to a number of potential problems.
Type 1: Raised Floors in the Home
Raised floors found in homes without basements serve both a practical and aesthetic function. In a practical sense, they provide longer life to a home’s floorboards. Raised floors create an airspace between the concrete foundation and the floor joists, sub-floor, and flooring. In so doing, ventilation is facilitated beneath a home. Without this, excessive moisture could build-up leading to internal rotting after time.
Plumbing is easily repaired in homes with raised floors. A crawl space is made beneath a home and its foundation which allows repair technicians to more easily access the source of a problem. Other sub-floor piping like radiant heat systems is also easily accessed. In terms of structure, it is not altogether uncommon for the soil beneath a concrete foundation to settle after time. This can lead to a home actually tilting to one side. With raised floors, this is much more easily fixed than on a home sitting directly atop the foundation.
For homes built in areas prone to flooding, having raised floors is beneficial for two reasons. First, it helps to protect the structure and contents of the home in a flood. Secondly, having raised floors reduces rates for flood insurance because the home is ultimately at lesser risk than homes directly on top of their foundations.
Aesthetically speaking, raised floors to add value to a home in part because they raise it slightly. It may not be much, but raised floors can add several feet to the height of a home which can make for better views and a loftier stature.
Type 2: Raised Floors in the Workplace
In the workplace, raised floors must serve a very practical purpose as well. Most offices make use of computer systems that are networked together along with printers, copiers, and fax machines. There are also the plumbing, electrical, and heating systems necessary to the functioning of an office workplace. Rather than running a maze of wires along the baseboards, across rooms, or the ceiling raised floors provide an unimpeded path for all manner of cables, wires, and piping. The flooring is modular, meaning that a single panel can be removed to get to a particular set of wires. Raised floors in the office remove the hindrance of noticeable wires, a fact made all the more advantageous because so many of them may be required.
Raised floors serve two very different purposes whether they are found in homes or in workplaces. In homes they work to raise the level of the home off of the concrete foundation, providing ventilation, flood protection, and ease of plumbing installation. In the workplace, they enable what can be a large number of cables, wires, and piping to be concealed beneath a modular floor. They are kept out of the way, yet they are easily accessible when needed.