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Raised Access Floor

What is a Raised Access Floor?

A raised floor or raised access floor application was first developed in the 1960s for the sole purposed of providing air circulation in large computing rooms of the past for mainframe computers that ran on heat-generating vacuum tubes.  Technology has come a long way since then, however the flooring products to meet technology have not.   Today, this outmoded raised floor technology is being used to provide a hidden passageway beneath the floor to pass electrical and mechanical cords, HVAC or wiring. This may allows contractors to access those elements through the flooring, but at great effort and cost as each panel is 42 lbs, making the reconfiguration of each space a monumental effort. Raised Access Flooring is commonly found in office buildings, IT data centers and computer rooms but rarely fully meets the users need for easily re-routing cabling.

What is the difference between Raised Access Floor and Low Profile Access Floor?

The Construction Standards Institute created a special MasterFormat number for Gridd, identifying low profile access floors unique from any type of floor in the market to date.  Low profile access floor are under 6 inches tall.  Some can accommodate cables, wires and conduit. A raised access floor is anything above the 6″ mark. If the purpose of the flooring is for IT Cables to easily access ethernet and electrical wires/cords, then a Low Profile Access floor would be the right fit. If the building is looking to run HVAC beneath the floors they will need to have more than 6″ of height, making low profile access flooring not the right choice.

How is FreeAxez’s Smarter Raised Access Floor: Gridd the Best Low Profile Access Floor on the Market?

Gridd is not a Traditional Raised Access Floor, It IS the next generation of cable management systems.

Unlike traditional post and panel raised access floors, which can occupy up to 3 feet in height, Gridd’s sleek system lays just inches above the floor and requires minimal ramping at entranceways for ADA compliance.

Raised Flooring with carpet tiles

Lowest Profile: The Gridd system is available in two heights:

Gridd40 is 1.6” (40 mm) tall – the slimmest floor on the market! It provides 1.35” of usable space.

Gridd70 is 2.75” (70 mm) tall and provides 2.5” of usable space.

High Capacity: Large cable capacity with organized channels for cable runs.

All Steel: High durability and strength; double 16 gauge zinc galvanized steel.

Efficient Installation: 1000 square feet per installer per day.

Simplicity of Use: No tools required for access to power, voice and data cabling.

Immediate ROI: Instant payback realized during turnover and re-configurations.

Sustainable Design: GreenSpec listed; 100% recyclable, reusable, refundable.

Addition by Subtraction: Eliminate power poles and exposed cabling.

Rapid Depreciation: as Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment as it’s not fastened to the building structure.


Who Uses FreeAxez’s Smarter Raised Access Floor: Gridd?

  • SFO: San Franciso International Airport.  The airport lowered the floor so Gridd would sit flush with the remaining flooring.  Gridd was installed in the TSA area so that security check stations could be easily reconfigured and moved around according to their needs based on the volume of travelers passing through the space.  See here below installation and completion shots.  In addition, watch the feature news article about the floor being installed here at 1:03.
  • GOOGLE:  One of several offices, Google realizes the impact Gridd can make in their space allowing them to be nimble and getting cables to where they need them, when they need them on a moment’s notice.

Are you still hesitant about which solution to use? Contact us and we will study your project and give you our best thoughts.

Advantages of Low Profile Access Flooring vs. Raised Access Floor

Cost saving

Installation takes less than half the time of a post and panel raised floor, leading to significant savings in labor costs. In addition, non-plenum rated cabling can be used in a Gridd floor, providing tremendous costs savings in hardwire cable costs.  Lastly, when GriddPower is used with Gridd, the power system uses 30% less copper further reducing costs.

Easier installation & highly adaptable

Installed at 1000 sq.ft./installer/day, Gridd is installed by hand without the use of tools, screws or fasteners.  When FreeAxez conducts its training for the installers, and later for the end-user team responsible for the space, knowledge is embedded in the team on hand everyday to be able to lift two simple components, the channel and corner plates to reconfigure the space quickly and easily.

Easier for onsite personnel to use

Once on-site personnel are trained, the task of uncovering the floor, removing pieces of the all-steel Gridd floor by hand to move the location of a power/voice/data box to another location to accommodate a change is simple and easy for any operations, facilities or end user client.

No cutting or sawing of concrete

Gridd’s low-profile access floor is placed on top of the building’s concrete floor.  As the components of the Gridd floor come together, channels are naturally created to house data, power and voice cabling.  This eliminates the need to cut trenches in the concrete floor thereby fixing the direction the cable runs with little ability to provide flexibility in the future.  In addition the noise, vibration and dust created is extremely disruptive and can negatively impact the structural integrity of the building.  With Gridd there is no dust, noise or disruption, while maintaining the structural integrity of the building and providing maximum flexibility when integrating technology into any space.

Never have to touch the ceiling space

Until recently, many organizations had no other choice than to run their precious data and power cabling in the ceiling of the floor below, core drilling through concrete to feed their cabling through to their own space.  In addition to compromising the security of your data cabling, by housing it in another tenant’s space, this creates havoc when needing to upgrade cabling.  When not using someone else’s ceiling space, companies often use their own, then requiring the need to drop unsightly power poles down from the ceiling to workstations throughout the space.  Low-profile access floors have done away with this cumbersome and insecure practice.  With Gridd you tighten up the security of your IT network and open up space all the while introducing maximum flexibility for moves and reconfigurations as your business needs and demands it.

Keeping precious floor to ceiling height

Providing an organized and flexible cable management system.  Eliminating the need for deep dropped ceilings, and with Gridd, committing up to just 2.75″ of height means that the full height of an office interior can be realized.  This opens up the space making it feel spacious, allowing more natural light to flow through the space and creating better air circulation, translates into better space with occupants who are simply happier and more productive.

No work interruption

Unlike raised access floors which install and come apart using noisy drills, Gridd’s low-profile access floor installs without the use of tools, screws, glues and fasteners.  It’s border components make it easy to fit a floor to unique curvatures without cutting the flooring to size.  Gridd sits on top of the building’s concrete structural floors and does not require any core drilling, trenching or even any anchor attachments.  The ease in which it is installed is a testament to its design which allows neighboring working facilities to continue their work in silence and peace as Gridd is installed right next door, above or below.


A raised access floor cannot provide the flexibility of a low-profile access floor.  One major reason why is the plate that needs to be lifted on a raised access floor in order to access the cables laying beneath is upwards of 42 lbs each and requires tools for unscrewing and suction handles to lift.  Gridd’s low-profile access floor has one channel plate, at 1.5 lbs, when lifted by one finger, provides full access to cables laying beneath.  This ease of access allows for reconfiguration and provides any space ultimate flexibility.

Better acoustics

Raised access floors mount concrete panels on metal posts.  Because heights of these floors can range from 6 inches to nearly two feet, echoes from footfall are heard every step of the way.  Gridd’s all-steel low-profile floor is embedded with nylon strips.  These strips provide sound dampening and fit so effectively that the Gridd floor feels completely solid underfoot with no noise from footfall whatsoever.

The only fully integrated power solution on the market today

When low profile access floor manufacturers (like FreeAxez) also integrate power (GriddPower) you get the only fully integrated power solution on the market today. Gridd with GriddPower provides multiple advantages in any installed circumstance.  The GriddPower Bus system allows one feed back to the main electrical panel.  This mean one electrician installs the system once.  After that any other electrical connections can be done my a non-licensed installer.  In addition to saving hundreds and in some spaces thousands of feet of electrical cable, the system meets all Title 24 and Seattle Energy Code requirements allowing unmatched energy saving features.

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