Cutting data center floor tiles is a topic that many data center managers are unfamiliar with. In all actuality, its pretty easy if you have basic carpentry skills and the proper tools. The first rule is to always adhere to proper safety and care procedures while on the construction site. Likewise, wearing appropriate ear protection, shoes, leather gloves and safety glasses is a critical guideline.
There are 3 common types of raised floor tile cutouts
- Square or rectangular cutouts on the interior of the panel.
- Square or rectangular cutouts on the panels edge.
- Circular holes on the interior of the panel.
It’s important to note that any type of cutout will have an effect on the structural integrity of the floor panel. To minimize that, we recommend that cutouts be located a minimum of 3” inward from the panel edges and within the center of the panels quadrant. This allows cable access to every square foot of the floor. However, the only drawback is that the cables must be routed thru the cutout hole. Moreover, many clients prefer a cutout along the raised floor panel edge. This allows cables to be rerouted without having to disconnect them. Most important, never cutout the corner of a panel.
Start by drilling pilot holes in the panel
Drill pilot holes in all four corners of the square or rectangular dimensions. Be sure the pilot holes are of sufficient size to accommodate the saw blade and that they are on the inside of the mark. In the case of a round cutout, simply mark the location and utilize a circular hole saw.
Next, use a reciprocating saw to cut the panel
For rectangular or square shaped holes, use a heavy duty reciprocating saw with a metal or bi-metal cutting blade when cutting data center floor tiles. Furthermore, in instances where this is not available, use a heavy duty jig saw with the same type of blade. The blade should be 14-20 teeth per inch. Be sure to debur all cut edges on both the top and bottom surfaces of the panel. It is highly recommended that the edges have a plastic type molding or floor grommets to prevent any cable chafing. In the meantime, install one of our pre molded type brushed koldlok floor grommet to trim out the hole.
How to accommodate cutting data center floor tiles with circular cutouts
For circular panel cutouts up to 6” diameter, its highly recommended to use a circular hole saw with a metal or bi-metal cutting blade on a drill press. These are commercially available at construction supply stores. Additionally, it’s best to use the drill press at a very low speed. A heavy duty hammer drill will also work but exercise caution as the teeth on the saw may catch