The Difference Between a Cat A and a Cat B Fit Out

kitchen area in office

If you’ve been considering a new office fit out, you’ve probably stumbled across a few common questions during your research phase, one of which might be: “are you looking for a Cat A or Cat B fit out?”.

If you’re not sure how to answer that, don’t worry, the Ashlar team will be going through both terms in detail.

What is a fit out?

Let’s start with the basics. A fit out can be understood as the process of making an interior space suitable for occupation. While the developer will carry out the construction of the building, it’s usually down to the occupant to find a suitable fit out team to bring the space to life.

Shell and Core

Before a space can even be given Cat A or Cat B status, it will be shell and core. This is the immediate post-CAT A fit outconstruction stage where a space has the bare essentials: a metal frame, cladding, toilets, external works and lift shafts. Things such as lighting and air conditioning have not yet been installed.

What is a Cat A fit out?

A Cat A fit out can be understood as the next step ahead of shell and core. It will feature all of the basic finishings of a space, including all mechanical and electrical services, internal walls and flooring, but that’s it.

A Cat A fit out is usually the limit to which a developer will fit out a building. In this sense, the aim of a Cat A fit out is to provide a functional canvas for a design team to build upon and truly make that space their own. 

What is a Cat B fit out?

A Cat B fit out is what takes that blank canvas and truly brings it to life. From new rooms and partitioning to FTSE 100 Data Security Company full refit completethe minute details such as plants and light switch coverings, a Cat B fit out is a true expression of the occupant’s vision for the space. Cat B fit outs, then, are perfect for clients who are looking to align their space with their brand and create something memorable.

Here are just some of the features of a Cat B fit out:

What is a Cat A+ fit out?

A more recent term, a Cat A+ fit out, as you might expect, lands somewhere between the two. The purpose of toilet being refurbisheda Cat A+ fit out is for a landlord to provide some basic design features, such as furniture and kitchen areas, on top of a Cat A fit out to make it more immediately occupiable. The business world moves fast, and people who are moving offices want to hit the ground sprinting.

If you’re looking for a Cat A or Cat B fit out for your office space, all you need is Ashlar. Our design team has plenty of experience and theoretical knowledge, so we would be able to guide you throughout the process and create a space that works for you and, of course, your employees. Want to chat further? Just get in touch.

You can leave all the work to us...

Our dedicated in-house team can design, plan and organise the fit of your space. Our goal is to create innovative spaces designed just for you.

Step One: Design


Our interior designers are always finding new and innovative ways to design commercial interiors that look stunning whilst increasing staff morale, efficiency and productivity. We want your business to grow, thrive and reach its full potential.

Step Two: Plan


Efficient project management goes hand in hand with our design process. We will appoint a dedicated contracts manager to oversee things, ensuring that your project is delivered on time, to budget and specification.

Step Three: Fit


Our team of construction professionals will bring your designs to life with precision and accuracy. No two projects are the same and all our projects are completed to the highest standards, with minimum of disruption to your business.

Find out more

Some of the clients we've worked with.

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