Office Partitions and Cubicles – Are They Built the Same?

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You’ve probably wondered whether all types of office partitions and cubicles are built the same. While you may assume that all office cubicles and partitions work the same way, there are many differences that exist between the partitions available in the market today. Let’s look at the key differences between them.

office partitions and cubicles

Stackable Office Partitions

Stackable partition systems are partitions that comprise of sections of several partitions that are placed on each other to make a wall. They can be stacked up to the desired height. A major benefit that comes with stackable systems is that they’re extremely flexible.

You can easily change the partition’s height without dismantling the entire system. You’ll simply remove some sections to reduce the height or add more sections to increase the height.

Their flexibility reduces the cost of production and maintenance, especially when reconfiguring or adding more sections to the office layout.

Thus, if you want to introduce new changes to your office layout, such as increasing privacy, you’ll simply add some few sections on top rather than buying full partitions for the changes. This kind of partitioning is possible with some tile and monolithic systems.

You can also use modular, freestanding desks in combination with stackable screens. The screens offer privacy and are mounted on the furniture. However, stackable screens don’t work well with data/power cables.


Tile Office Partitions

Tile partitions comprise of a frame on which removable tiles are attached. The tiles are flat in design to give the partition wall a smooth finish.

This design makes it possible for data/power cables to be run along the interior wall. As such, they make it possible for the space to have more capacity to handle a lot of cabling, especially with desk-height belt access.

Also, the design that you’ve chosen for the tile partitions may make it less challenging to maintain or change the data/power lines. You’ll also have different styles to choose from.

For instance, the tiles can come with other materials such as fabric applied onto them to make them look more refined and to give them a designer look.


Monolithic Office Partitions

Monolithic cubicles comprise of solid panels with a certain height and width. They often come with accommodation for data/power cables at the bottom raceway. Some monolithic partitions come with data raceways at the top edge while others have the raceway installed along their beltline.

Generally, monolithic systems are the most inexpensive partitions available today. However, their flexibility is limited in terms of accommodation for data/power cabling.


What is creep and why is it important?

The term creep refers to the space aspect when planning the layout for office partitioning systems. Basically, creep is defined as the space that a partition occupies in terms of thickness upon being attached onto another partition screen perpendicularly or at an angle of 90 degrees.

When fitting an open and large office area with cubicles, creep contributes significantly to the size of the cubicle. Most models and manufacturers keep the creep at 2 inches on the lower side or 4 inches on the higher side.

Thus, the creep can add up and affect the overall size of the cubicle, yet you want to maintain comfortable and legal office space dimensions.

Basically, thicker panels can hold more data/power lines. However, this would add to the creep. Moreover, since most tiling has a high capacity to hold data/power lines, then there wouldn’t be any reason to make thicker panels unless you’re doing it for appearance.


How can you disassemble office partitions?

Upon installing and configuring the partitions according to the layout you want, you might want to disassemble and reconfigure them when your needs change. So how would you disassemble them for reconfiguration?

Well, the ease of assembling and disassembling partition systems varies according to the number of partitions involved and the design.

Basically, monolithic partitions are more cost-effective than the other types with respect to reconfiguration. They demand less labor to disassemble and reconfigure. A partition that comprises of fewer parts means that it can be disassembled and reconfigured more quickly.

Monolithic panels consist of one panel, trim pieces, power jumpers, and connectors. On the other hand, tile systems comprise of a single partition frame, several tiles, power jumpers, connectors, and trim pieces.

Stackable systems have even more parts such that you’d be dealing with a more complex system to disassemble and reassemble. Thus, simpler partitions are easier to work with and more affordable with respect to reconfiguration.


Consider the Quality

There are many partitions available in today’s market such that you won’t fail to find a preferred type. However, all partitions are not made equal. What you need to consider most when making your choice is the quality.

Low-quality partitions will often have multiple issues such as cracking or falling trim pieces when lightly struck by a vacuum cleaner or foot. Even if a manufacturer offers a lifetime warranty to fix any issues, it would be cumbersome to have repairs down every now and then.

You’ll waste a lot of time by constant interruptions to have repairs done in the office. Although you won’t get charged when under warranty, the time wasted in the office will translate into monetary losses. Thus, invest in high-quality partitions that are almost zero maintenance.


The Bottom Line

In conclusion, different office partitions and cubicles are not made equal. Thus, do thorough research to find a partition that will meet your needs.

Consider a partition that will maximize the available space, accommodate your power/data cabling needs, enhance the aesthetic appeal of your office, and one that demands the least maintenance.

Also, ensure the partition you choose is easy to reconfigure and doesn’t break down regularly. Ask for some references and compare quotes from different vendors to get the best deal.

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