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How Much Weight Can Wood Flooring Tolerate?

Tolerance Will Often Depend On The Subfloor

The amount of weight a wood floor will tolerate will depend on many factors.  Generally speaking, if you’re planning to install a new wood floor and are worried about weight tolerance issues, your wood flooring supplier will be able to guide you.  In most instances, tolerance questions arise from people who are concerned about particularly heavy pieces of furniture.

Three of the main factors which will affect how much weight your wood floor can tolerate are: your subfloor, the thickness of the flooring and how evenly distributed the weight will be on the floor.

The worst type of weight from a wood flooring point of view is weight which is unevenly distributed and concentrated on to legs or feet.  Imagine a really heavy sofa which distributes its weight on to six or eight, relatively pointed feet and you’ll get the idea.  If you want to protect your wooden floor from this type of weight damage, the only way is to place rubber protectors or cups under the feet to stop the floor’s surface from being pierced by the weight.

When it comes to subfloors, there are various types of subfloor, including plywood, plank, concrete and joists.  Each type of subfloor has its pros and cons and depending on your project, you may or may not be in a position to choose which subfloor will help your weight tolerance issues to best effect.  Generally speaking, the more stable your subfloor, the more tolerant your wood floor will be when it comes to tolerating weight.  The most solid subfloors are concrete and plywood or plank, that said if you are faced with boards which have been placed directly over joists, there are precautions you can take which will increase your floor’s weight tolerance.

Thereafter, the thickness and type of wood flooring you choose will impact on the tolerance you can expect.  Hardwoods for example, will withstand weights more readily than softwoods as will thicker boards.   There are technical specifications when it comes to the official tolerance levels of different types of wood floors and once again your flooring supplier is the person who is best placed to advise you.

Another factor that you should bear in mind when placing weighty items on your wooden floor, is to take great care when installing them in the first instance and thereafter when you’re moving them.  You should take great care when installing and moving heavy items to lift them and not to drag them over your floor which will cause damage.   If you are in any doubt when moving a heavy item of furnishing, try placing a rug under the item to reduce the risk of damage.

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