Can a house floor support a gun safe?

You are in a state of panic and ordered a 900-pound gun safe that measures 3.5 feet wide and 2.5 feet deep.

The safe is arriving in three days, and you are worried it will crack the floor.

Your wife wants you to cancel the order she is afraid everything is going to tumble through. Stop and do not stress!

The important thing is you have taken the first step in making sure the firearms not hidden all around the home. You need a heavy safe! You want to prevent thieves from taking it with them. So ordering one that weighs half a ton is an excellent choice.

With a hidden wall safe, burglars can carry it out of the house while a gun cabinet fixed to a wall you can cart off easily.

This is only one scenario many gun owner’s face. So can your house floor support the gun safe you have bought? Let us find out.

Let Us Solve the Weight Issue First

The fantastic thing is the floor in the homes built according to a code. The minimum requirement for flooring is 40-pounds per sq ft with a dead load. The floor beams act as a structure when placed diagonally between the trusses. You can easily have a 40-pound weight on each square foot of the flooring surface, and it will not collapse.

The best way to think of it is that there is no weight like that scattered on the floor. If there were, you would not be able to walk freely. On the average floorboards, there is loads of open space, and if you plan to secure it in a room like this, you have no worries. Let’s think about this carefully maybe you have a 10-feet x 12-foot room.

The total square feet of the room is 120, and you can have up to 4,800-pounds of furniture in the room. The truth is we doubt you will have that much weight scattered around the room. Once you have set the gun safe in place, it will distribute a load of weight in one spot.

The dispensed load will be 103-pounds per sq ft where the safe is standing. Where the problem might arise is when you place it in the middle of the room. In our opinion, the best place to keep the gun safe is along the wall where the best support is on the foundation wall.

According to building regulations, there should be a floor joist or even a bearing wall below. The fantastic thing is you can place heavy loads on trusses with no issues.

Will a Raised Floor Support the Safe?

First, you need to understand what a raised floor is. The flooring is a wooden framework spanning from one outside wall to another. Sometimes you do have added support placed beneath such as rafters or trusses. The structure usually comprises of wooden beams that run parallel to each other and vary in intervals ranging from 16-inches, 12-inches, or 24-inches.

The floor joists capped at the ends with headers and supported by bearing walls. The spacing and size is determined by your local building codes and engineering requirements. The sub-floor is usually made of plywood and nailed to the top of the framework.

The top framework is where you cover it with tiles, carpets and more. As with the above weight solution, it also has the same 40-pound square foot requirement.

So Where Should You Put Your Safe on a Raised or Second Floor?

The best practical solutions close to a bearing wall as possible. Further, you need to place it perpendicular to the floor beam as close as possible to the wall. By doing this, it helps to distribute the weight over the trusses and provides a stronger position.

The majority of gun safes sit flush on the floor compared to a table with four corners on the flooring. The problem is that you do not know how long the floor joists are—if you did it would be helpful. Luckily, you can bridge floor joists with a two by ten blocking, an X-braced wood slat, or even metal straps.

This allows you to place heavier weight in the location to prevent bending or twisting of the beams. If not possible the other solutions to put a steel plate on the floor under the gun safe to help distribute the load over more trusses. The fantastic thing is steel does not bend or twist under pressure, unlike plywood and dispenses the weight evenly.

Another thing you need to take into consideration is the type of wood used to make the floor. By nature, the timber can have imperfections, such as insect damage, dry rot, or know high-stress zone. Small things like cutting out a notch to run pipes or placing ducting through make a huge difference—so remember to consider these factors.

Questions Related to Other Types of Flooring

When it comes to installing a gun safe not all floors are the same. Here we look at different ways to how you can make sure your safe is secure whether living in a home or apartment:

The Basement

Placing a safe in the basement comes with its own problems such as water. You can elevate the gun safe with 4-inch-by-4-inch wood or put it on concrete blocks. They might not look great but works to prevent water damage.

, make sure it’s supported right out to the front edge, or it may fall forward. If you decide to raise it, you will not be able to bolt it down and makes carting away easier. Another way is to use hockey pucks to create ventilation underneath and looks great.

Finished Hardwood Floors

You know how easy the floor can scratch when you need to move it in place. Here you can do two things by using a carpet upside down. The gun safe slides easily without scratching the floor. Alternatively, you can use thick felt pads as well. The option is only if you are not concerned that a burglar hauls it away.

Rented Apartment

Renting an apartment leaves you with loads of problems when wanting to bolt a safe down. Your proprietor can be unhappy with you when drilling holes in the hardwood floor. So what is there to do? You can follow two solutions:

  • Bolt the safe to the wall – compared to bolting it to the floor the property owner may not approve of this method either, but you can patch it up after moving. Preferably, pick a corner making it able for you to bolt it to two walls. Locate the studs in the wall and mark exactly where you need to drill the holes to line it up with the middle of the stud. The best option is to hire a professional to help.
  • Bolt the gun safe to a steel slab – this methods less time consuming and works efficiently. Use a ¼ -inch thick piece of steel that is larger than the doorframes width. Place the slab where you want to mount the safe. Bolt the gun safe to the steel using the pre-drilled holes at the bottom of the safe.

What is the solution?

The best resolution is to increase the strength of the floor before placing the gun safe. The bottom line is if you only have a ground floor or even a raised wood floor you are capable of putting a heavy gun safe safely. All you need is some common sense of where you plan to place it. The important thing is to think about the safety, and if you have a concrete floor, you will have no problem at all.

 

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