Let’s talk about how to adjust a low profile cable management floor. The raised floor we are using for this demonstration is the Netfloor USA CamassCrete raised floor.
It’s a low profile, cable management floor, meaning it is very short, and has some built in features to make managing cables easy and efficient.
I can’t say this method would work with other raised floors, because most of my experience is with Netfloor USA. And, to be honest, I’m more than a bit biased towards our products!
Before we dive in to the actual nuts and bolts of how to adjust the height and level of the access floor, it’s probably a good idea to understand a little about this raised floor in general.
As I mentioned, this is the Netfloor USA CamassCrete cable management floor. The access floor panels are similar to traditional raised floor panels: they are steel panels with a concrete core. Check out our website for more information on access floor panel types.
This system is very short in height. The majority of projects with this raised floor are specified at less than a foot high. Realistically, most of the time we are working with only a few inches, like 1”-6” in raised floor height.
Remember, this is a cable management floor, so we don’t need (or want) several feet of underfloor space.
And because this is a cable management floor, it has another unique feature traditional raised floors don’t have: built in cable raceways.
This provides a very convenient way to manage cables, whether they are electrical, data, voice…. Whatever.
Ok, enough product talk.
We were recently out at a project site setting up a demo of the CamassCrete floor. The Architect, General Contractor and the End User wanted to see it up close and in person. The electrical contractor wanted to see the raised floor to better understand how to run the wires under the floor. And, I even saw somebody walking around with a bunch of carpet samples, so I think they were trying to put the finishing touches on the interior design to make the new tenant happy.
We were asked to set up a small 16 square foot sample in a corner office, so we got right to it.
Oh, by the way, this project is an interior upfit, so the building shell is existing, and they’re just renovating the interior from the metal studs out. Don’t worry, this part will become important in a moment.
We started installing the raised floor by putting down the base connectors (more on that can be found on the website) and the access floor panels. We immediately noticed a problem. The concrete subfloor was uneven, and not just a normal ¼” over the span of 12 feet or so. We’re talking a half inch of difference in a two foot span!
That’s a really big difference!
It turns out we had been asked to set up our demo in a corner office, at the corner of a high rise city building. We were 8 floors above grade level, and over the years, the building had settled.
The subfloor closest to the edge of the building was higher…. Much higher…. Than the rest of the floor.
So, at the time, it seemed like this might NOT be an ideal situation for a raised floor, and certainly not a good candidate for a “how to” video on raised floors.
I mean, the subfloor was in pretty bad shape. This was definitely NOT a product showcase opportunity. As a matter of fact, I wasn’t planning on taking any pictures or video, so all I had with me at the time was my cell phone. (Which explains the less than cinematic photo quality. Hope you forgive me!)
Handling the Unexpected
So anyways, we started installing our raised floor and had to overcome the height difference in the subfloor.
Since I wouldn’t be making this article if we couldn’t easily fix that with the CamassCrete system, well, you guessed it, here is how you can easily adjust the height and level of the raised access floor, even with an uneven subfloor.
Each corner of the floor panel has a metal pedestal comprised of an inner threaded bolt, and a matching threaded outer shell.
Inside, there are two locknuts that use different size allen keys. One of the nuts adjusts the height of the pedestal, while the other locknut lock the height into place.
To start, you just screw the pedestal out the proper amount so your finished floor height matches the project requirements. Then, assuming a perfect world, you tighten the second locknut to lock the pedestals at that height.
In reality, some of the pedestals may need to be adjusted. It might be due to an uneven subfloor, or maybe you didn’t set them at the right height to begin with.
In either case, it’s an easy fix.
Once you have the floor panels laid out, you can check the overall level of the floor with… you guessed it, a level.
You can also try to “rock” the panels back and forth. Any panels that move or rock will need to be adjusted.
Take the smaller allen wrench (hex head wrench), and from the top of the panel, adjust the pedestal height up or down until the panels stop rocking. Use the larger allen wrench to lock the pedestal height into place.
If you did it right, none of the panels should rock back and forth, and your bubble level should be smack dab in the middle.
The process is really very simple. It’s half science (the level) and half art (rocking the panels). After doing this a few times, it becomes second nature and only takes a moment.
Once we got the raised floor panels set into place and levelled, the only thing left to do was put on the trench caps. These are the black steel pieces that cover the cable raceways.
On the bottom of the trench caps, there are rubber gasket strips to act as a slight cushion and prevent noise when the floor is in use.
As it turns out, we put the black trench caps in place and saw that we still had a couple panels that were rocking a little bit. It was that subfloor again!
So we lifted off the central cap, made a couple adjustments with the two allen keys until the panels were all level and weren’t rocking.
The raised floor is level, solid and despite an uneven subfloor, has a uniform finished floor height.
For more information on the CamassCrete raised floor system, or any of our access floor systems, check out our website at www.NetfloorUSA.com
Are Access Floors Right For You?
Access Floor, Netfloor USA CamassCrete