The Difference Between Rack-Supported vs Clear-Span Mezzanine

The Difference Between Rack-Supported vs Clear-Span Mezzanine

Faced with the challenges of urban sprawl, limited industrial real estate, and ever-expanding inventory needs, businesses are turning towards innovative solutions to optimise their ROI. Often, the secret lies in making the most of available space. Enter mezzanines! These elevated platforms can transform your warehouse by adding extra storage or even creating space for an office. Think of them as a smart two-level solution in a one-level footprint.

So, you’re seeking an efficient, space-saving investment, and want to elevate your game with a mezzanine system—but what’s the difference between rack-supported and clear-span mezzanines? And which one will work best for my warehouse? 

These are common questions we receive from our customers, and the answer largely depends on your specific needs, space constraints, and the intended use of the mezzanine. Fortunately, this guide is here to demystify the head scratchers and help you make the best possible decision for your business goals. Read on to find out more.

Rack Supported vs Clear-Span Mezzanine

At Unistor, we pride ourselves on being the leading manufacturer and supplier of mezzanine flooring solutions in Australia. With over thirty years of experience working with a range of industries, we specialise in offering bespoke mezzanine systems to meet all of your requirements. This includes (but is no means limited to) two primary types of mezzanine flooring: rack-supported and clear-span.

Both rack-supported and clear-span mezzanines are structures used to increase storage or workspace within a facility. However, they are designed and function quite differently.  Let’s take a look at the differences and specifics of each and determine which one might best serve your requirements:

Rack-Supported Mezzanine Floors

Rack-supported mezzanines combine two powerful storage solutions: traditional pallet racking and mezzanine floors. Imagine stacking shelves (pallet racks) high up, and then placing a sturdy floor on top. This design lets businesses store items below on the racks while creating an extra floor above for more space or additional storage. It’s like adding an extra layer in your warehouse, giving you double benefits: maximised storage at the bottom and an added level of usable space on top. 

Advantages of Rack-Supported Mezzanines:

  • Ultimate storage solution: Businesses with large inventories or stock, be it retail, manufacturing, logistics, 3PL or warehousing, will find this option exceptionally beneficial. The pallet racking system underpins the mezzanine floor – creating an extensive storage area for additional inventory without compromising the usability of the space above. 
  • Cost-efficient: Since it combines racking and mezzanine, there’s a potential for substantial cost savings as you’re integrating two systems into one cohesive unit. These mezzanine systems have become an essential tool for businesses seeking to optimise their space without the significant costs and disruptions of relocating. 
  • Increased weight capacity: Due to the robust pallet racking system that supports the mezzanine, these structures often have higher weight-bearing capacities than some other types. This makes them ideal for storing heavier inventory, tools, machinery, or equipment. 
  • Integration with warehouse management systems: Many rack-supported mezzanines can be easily integrated with warehouse management systems, allowing for efficient inventory tracking and management.
  • Flexibility: With Unistor, every rack-supported mezzanine is customisable, allowing for a design that matches your specific storage and space needs. Their modular design also enables easy reconfiguration, integration with existing storage systems, and a system that will flex as your operations grow.


Clear-Span Mezzanine Floors

Clear-span mezzanines are, in essence, freestanding structures. They don’t rely on shelving or racks for support, resulting in an unobstructed area beneath the floor. Whether you are moving goods, packing and sorting, or require a clear path for automated systems – this design shines especially in operations that require flexibility and freedom of movement.

Advantages of Clear-Span Mezzanines:

  • Uninterrupted workflow: Clear-span mezzanines are a boon for spaces like manufacturing hubs, active assembly lines, dedicated workstations, busy loading zones, or even automated systems. Their obstruction-free design ensures that businesses experience no interruptions, even in their high traffic areas, allowing for smooth and efficient operations every day. 
  • Aesthetic value: One of the underrated benefits of clear-span mezzanines is their ability to elevate the aesthetics of a space. By easily integrating into the existing layout without causing major structural changes, they present a neat, streamlined appearance that enhances the overall ambience of your warehouse or facility. 
  • Easy installation: Clear-span mezzanines often have a straightforward design which can lead to quicker and less complicated installations compared to other systems. 
  • Safety and durability: These mezzanines are designed to provide a sturdy, elevated platform without compromising on the structural integrity or safety of the space. Their free-standing nature ensures a reliable workspace for employees and goods. 
  • Adaptability: The minimalist nature of clear-span designs, characterised by their reduced structural components, offers unparalleled flexibility. Whether you’re eyeing future expansions or reconfiguration, these mezzanines will flex effortlessly.


Making the Right Choice with Unistor

Both rack-supported and clear-span mezzanines have distinct advantages that they bring to the table. The choice between the two largely depends on your operational requirements, storage needs, and future growth plans. 

If you’re unsure which is the best fit or need assistance with any step along the way, our expert team at Unistor are here to guide you! With over thirty years of experience as Australia’s leading manufacturer and supplier of mezzanine flooring solutions, we know the ins and outs of what makes a mezzanine project successful. 

Whether you’re leaning towards the integrated utility of a rack-supported mezzanine or the open flexibility of clear-span, rest assured that with Unistor, you’re always making an informed and future-proof investment. We stock a huge range of mezzanine flooring options and accessories, all of which are 100% Australian-made and designed according to your unique business needs.  

Unistor offers end-to-end project services from consultation, design, engineering to installation, ensuring you deal directly with the manufacturer from start to finish. Reach out to us today, and let’s elevate your business together.

Choose Unistor as the right mezzanine solution and increase your storage capacity by double. 

Double the floor space in your warehouse

Contact our professionals today to tailor a Mezzanine Floor solution to meet your requirements