The warehouse floor certainly isn't the most exciting part of a materials handling operation, but it's the part on which everything else is built — and flooring-related problems can be a big safety hazard.
At the very least, the warehouse floor must be able to bear the load of the racking and goods and the truck traffic. When you consider that a single piece of racking may be placing many tons of pressure on a small point on the floor, the importance of quality becomes clear.
In most warehouses, concrete flooring will be standard. It’s capable of bearing at least twice as much weight as asphalt, and can be much smoother and flatter, which is important - even small bumps and hollows in the floor can affect truck driving, and even cause accidents in some circumstances.
Depending on the height of the racks, the neccessary flatness can be different. A normal floor, which may vary in height by 5mm across a length of two metres, would generally be good enough for material handling at heights up to three metres. However, for high bay warehouses, that tolerance may drop to only 1.5mm or less. When heavy loads are moved at such high heights, even the slightest variations may be hazardous, so careful construction of the concrete flooring is essential.
Even after installation, the regular inspection and repair of flooring is equally important, to prevent problems before they occur. And certain industries may have specific flooring requirements - for example, anti-static flooring may be needed in environments where sensitive electronic components are handled.
Your warehouse's floor may feel like one of many details you need to keep an eye on, but it's an important area to think about, especially if you're planning a new warehouse project. If you're interested in finding out more about other aspects of the warehouse that can have a big impact on your operation, such as the climate, lighting and the loading docks, click the button below to get our free PDF guide, The warehouse building: Five areas where you can make improvements.