What is the Importance of Raised Flooring and Air Flow?
Not all raised floors are created equal. Learn the differences.
By Julia Nass
What is a Raised Floor?
A raised floor is a flooring surface elevated above an underlying subfloor (often concrete). The term raised floor often refers to the type of flooring found in office buildings and computer rooms, where the distance between the subfloor and the floor surface can range from 2 inches to 4 feet. This space is used to route cords, cables and wires in a hidden yet accessible way. A quick google search for raised floor will most likely lead you to raised floors in this context.
Another type of raised floor tiles are those that sit a couple millimeters to a couple inches up off of the subfloor. These types of raised floor tiles have a differing yet practical purpose in homes and buildings: they allow air flow to occur underneath tiles. It is exactly this type of raised flooring that will be discussed here.
How Important is Air Flow?
As mentioned above, raised floor tiles are beneficial because they invite airflow to an otherwise air tight situation. But why does that matter? Air flow is important in flooring systems where moisture is present, like in basements and other naturally humid or damp spaces. The presence of moisture creates an environment where bacteria, mold and mildew can grow and thrive. At best, mold is a nasty bother that may do some damage to flooring materials. At worst, mold and mildew are harmful to humans, especially with long-term exposure.
Air flow in a flooring situation helps prevent the buildup of moisture, thereby protecting against mold and mildew. Raised floor tiles give space for air to alleviate moisture levels and flow through damp areas. In dry climates or humidity controlled environments, air flow is not as important. However, in humid climates where moisture build up is bound to occur, it's important to have some type of air flow in those damp spaces. It's smart to install a floor that combats mold and mildew off the bat. That way, one will not have to pay in time and money to replace mold or moisture damaged flooring.
Do All Types of Raised Floors Allow Air Flow?
We can see that air flow matters, and maybe you are already convinced raised flooring is the solution. Before pulling the trigger, let's take the discussion one step further. Not all raised floor tiles are created equal in terms of air flow. The most obvious way to categorize differences in tile air flow is as follows: tiles with a sealed surface and tiles with a perforated surface.
Raised floor tiles with sealed surfaces allow air to flow underneath the surface floor layer. Even a small space for air can help prevent moisture. However, there will not be nearly as much circulation as with perforated tiles. On the other hand, this kind of raised flooring allows extra cushion and ergonomic benefits in the floor. Anti-fatigue and softer impact makes sealed wood and vinyl raised floor tiles a great option for dance floors and other athletic uses. For example, Greatmats' Max Tile Raised Floor Tile is a versatile sports floor tile that can be used for everything from basketball to ballroom dancing.
Perforated tiles allow air to flow not only between the tile and the subfloor but up through the top surface of the floor. Perforated raised floor tiles maximize airflow and minimize moisture build up. Therefore, they are highly recommended in places where water is largely present - such as in hot tub rooms, showers and around pools. Perforated raised floor tiles are also a popular choice for outdoor playgrounds and kids areas.
Checking for Moisture
Routine moisture checks are always recommended in basements and similar rooms. Exposing and dealing with moisture, mold and mildew can be a huge hassle if it means pulling up the floor. Fortunately, Greatmats' raised floor tiles makes it easy. Raised basement flooring is a breeze to install and uninstall, so checking out the subfloor isn't such a time consuming chore. It's something one can do solo. Further, such checks are needed less frequently with raised floor tiles.
Raised Floor Options
There are plenty of different types of raised floors to choose from. As with any flooring at Greatmats, one can find raised floor tiles in all sorts of styles and designs.
Greatmats' offers raised basement flooring to meet all your basement needs, but that's not all. There are also raised floors for garages, bathrooms, outside patio or any other location you may find a raised floor handy.
Whether you are searching for raised flooring for your kids' room in the basement or a portable dance floor, Greatmats can help you find the perfect raised flooring solution. Raised floors can be found with surfaces in everything from carpet to vinyl. At Greatmats, all raised floor tiles are a breeze to order, handle and install.