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The Kronotex USA Blog Explores Laminate Flooring: How To Select It, Install It, Care For It and More

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Laminate Flooring Weight Limits: Heavyweight Issues and Solutions

  
  
  
Laminate floor heavyweight: Piano

Have you wondered what laminate flooring weight limits are and how they affect installation? We think it's a good question to consider before installing a floating floor system such as laminate. That way you know what to do with that grand piano heavyweight in the middle of the room you're about refloor!

In this article, we'll review issues associated with heavy objects on laminate floor and offer solutions. By knowing weights limits, you can make better installation decisions so heavyweight objects are both properly supported and their weight evenly distributed.

By the way, Brad Young, laminate flooring installation expert, frequently encounters questions about weight limits when he advises Kronotex USA laminate flooring customers. That's why it's one of the "Ls" in Brad Young's booklet "The 3 L's" - aka "Load."

Why it's important to consider heavyweight weight limits on your laminate flooring...

Heavy, weighty objects sitting on your laminate floor can interfere with the natural expansion of the planks across the entire room because it's a floating floor system -- regardless of the manufacturer. Heavyweights can affect the structural integrity of the interlocking laminate planks and lead to performance issues with the floor. Not good!

For instance, if you know you're going to park that baby grand piano you inherited from your aunt on top of your Kronotex USA Beaufort floor, install an "island" or "lilly pad" of the same flooring where the piano legs will go, separated by the rest of the room's flooring, with the standard T-molding and expansion gaps. That way the weight of the piano is literally isolated to the piano's footprint without putting the rest of your floor at risk.

There are four basic issues when it comes to placing heavyweights on laminate flooring.

1. Anything over 500 lbs. on laminate flooring is a heavy weight consideration.

When we speak of heavyweights, we are mostly talking about weight limits of 500 lbs and more. Heavy, stationary objects under 500 lbs. may not necessarily need their own island (described above), but they would definitely benefit from a thicker plank selection, like a Kronotex USA 12 mm thick Beaufort plank. (Read more about thickness in our post How to Choose Laminate Flooring Thickness.) An exception is when the object generates vibration. We address that in #4 below.

2. Limit instances of concentrated weight on a laminate floor.

Some heavyweight things can spread out their weight evenly, because more of their surface area comes in direct contact with the laminate floor. Heavy things resting on feet, however, are another matter entirely and would benefit from a lillypad or island. The best example is typical fish aquarium. Here's why:

  • Many aquariums are held by wrought-iron frames that concentrate the entire weight on four small feet. Each foot may force as much as 200 lbs. into a 1 to 2" diameter area for a typical 90 gallon/800 lb. tank. That's a lot of pressure! 
  • Aquariums are usually placed against a wall where they may end up resting on and therefore putting stress on a short laminate plank. Short cut planks (which are just a result of the installation for a given room) don't have the length to distribute the load as well. They don't deal well with heavy concentrated weight forced down on them.

3. If the heavy weight stays put, it's actually better for your laminate floor.

Knowing in advance where a heavy item will be placed will help you plan your laminate floor installation and accommodate an island for it.

4. With some heavy things, it's not the weight but the vibrations that could be a concern for laminate flooring.

We discussed this in The Laundry Room and Laminate Flooring: Room x Room regarding washing machines. A typical washing machine may weigh around 175 lbs. plus water and laundry, but the vibrations could, over time, loosen the locking system if not isolated from the rest of the floor. Definitely consider an island for the washing machine!

Laminate floor heavyweight: pool tableWhich heavyweights should I be careful about on my laminate floor?

Here's a quick list we put together of heavyweights and their weights. Remember, every item and situation is different and all weights are averages or estimated...

  • Upright piano: 500 to 800 lbs.
  • Grand piano: 500 to 1,200 lbs.
  • Pool table: 700+ lbs. (The thickness of the slate is the big determiner here.)
  • Gun safe: 375+ lbs. (Based on a 6 ft. safe that holds 16 guns)
  • Aquarium: 800 lbs. (Based on a 90-gallon tank. Always remember, "a pint's a pound the world around.")
  • Washing machine: 175 lbs. plus water and clothes
  • Treadmill: 250 to 300 lbs. (Based on a True PS/800 model)
  • Pinball machine: 300 lbs.
For each of these heavy items, you'll want to consider the four issues detailed above and how to best address laminate flooring weight limits.

What about those mobility scooters on my laminate floor?laminate floor heavyweight: mobility scooter

If someone in your home uses one of those battery-operated scooters to get around, it's not the weight that's the concern, even though they will have a load-bearing range of between 250 and 350 lbs., depending on the model.

Rather, it's the repeated torque on the laminate floor's locking system (caused by turns going through a doorway). A 12 mm thick plank laminate floor will handle the repeated torque stress better than a thinner plank will.

Have something unusally heavy or big you want to sit on your Konotex USA laminate floor? Tell us about it! We'd love to advise you.

--The Kronotex USA Blog Team

Comments

My son who weighs 470 lbs. was asked not to sit at a bar on a bar stool because they have the laminate floating floor. Is there a solution for this?
Posted @ Sunday, February 24, 2013 3:21 PM by Pam
Pam, 470 lbs. is very close to the 500 lbs. consideration we mentioned above in #1, especially if all the weight is concentrated on four bar stool feet (like the aquarium example we mentioned above). If the bar owner is concerned, you should honor that, because you have no way of knowing if the subfloor was prepared properly and is uneven or if the laminate flooring planks are sufficiently thick enough to handle the weight. And being near a bar, you'll have no way of knowing if topical moisture has not been taken care of over time, thus compromising the locking systems.
Posted @ Monday, February 25, 2013 12:32 PM by The Kronotex USA Blog Team
I was think about putting a laminate floor in the unfinished basement when I build my new wood working shop. I was hoping it provide the cushioning to get me off the concrete; with a ceiling just over 8 ft., there is enough height to much with the floor. After reading the above article, the weight (over 750 pounds) and the vibrations lead me to believe that might not be a good idea. Comment?
Posted @ Friday, April 12, 2013 10:23 PM by Rodney
Rodney, 
You are correct, as well as a weight issue, You have correctly identified vibration as a potential issue creating an environment that is not suitable for laminate flooring to perform at its best.
Posted @ Monday, April 15, 2013 9:00 PM by Brad
Should we install our new laminate flooring under our new kitchen cabinets, or install the cabinets first and then lay the flooring?
Posted @ Wednesday, June 12, 2013 1:55 PM by Lynette
Hi! I am considering installing a floating laminate "wood" style floor in a standard functional home garage. There is not a whole lot of information out there regarding this application of laminate. Naturally the concrete sub-floor would be properly prepared, leveled, and lined with a vapor barrier. My concerns are;  
- Can or will a laminate floor stand up to the weight of a car or SUV at 4,000 to 6,000 lbs. distributed amongst the four tires? 
- Is there a specific thickness or pressure rating I should be looking for? 
- Would you advise to glue or epoxy the joints under the path of the tires to prevent dislocation? 
- Are there any sealers that would prevent minor oil or antifreeze (etc.) from seeping between the joints? 
- Do you think laminate floors are a viable option in functional garages as opposed to epoxy finishes that may crack over time?  
Thank you so much for any information you can provide! Much appreciated!  
-Eric
Posted @ Friday, June 14, 2013 1:22 PM by Eric
Eric, 
 
We've just checked with Brad Young, laminate flooring installation expert for Kronotex USA and he says: 
 
"This is not an acceptable usage footprint for laminate." 
 
Does that help? 
 
Thanks for visiting and sharing your question with us. 
 
Best, 
CB
Posted @ Tuesday, June 18, 2013 9:31 PM by Christine Whittemore
Hi guys im looking at putting in a very large aquarium on an existing 8mm laminate flooring also using 1 to 2 pieces of dispersion rubber underneath the entire aquarium cabinate which has a flat bottom, in an effort to help disperse the weight.dimensions are 3.7m x 800mm. weight is around once fully set up 3.5tons as in metric. Having a flat bottom, 2 layers of dispersion rubber and being 8mm flooring is this feasible ?
Posted @ Tuesday, June 25, 2013 7:51 AM by Peter
.....PLEASE SOMEONE HELP ME..... I think my Ikea bed and wardrobe are affecting my floating floor. It comes apart in the way of creating a lip for me to tip up on. I've read about 'Island', but I was thinking of shifting floor the other way, so planks aren't in line with bed, they would be across. Kinda like counter balancing, would this work? Or do I sound completely blonde ha ha ha xx 
Thank you
Posted @ Friday, August 09, 2013 3:34 AM by Heidi
Peter, 
 
Great question. Thanks for asking it! Brad answers it in http://kronotexusa.com/blog/bid/302733/Ask-Brad-Questions-About-Installing-Laminate-Flooring 
 
Best, 
CB for Kronotex USA 
 
Posted @ Friday, August 09, 2013 2:34 PM by Christine Whittemore
Heidi,  
 
We checking with Brad. Stay tuned! 
 
Best, 
CB for Kronotex USA
Posted @ Friday, August 09, 2013 2:34 PM by Christine Whittemore
Lynette, 
 
Brad says cabinets come first. Check out his complete response in http://kronotexusa.com/blog/bid/302733/Ask-Brad-Questions-About-Installing-Laminate-Flooring 
 
Thanks for sharing your question. 
 
Best, 
CB for Kronotex USA
Posted @ Friday, August 09, 2013 2:38 PM by Christine Whittemore
I am putting down a laminate floor its 8mm thick. I am planning on putting a pellet stove in the corner of the room and was wondering if it would be ok. The stove weights about 350 pounds but is spread out over a 3x4 area. Thank you
Posted @ Friday, August 30, 2013 8:23 AM by John
John, 
 
Wanted you to know that Brad answered your question in the most recent "Ask Brad". Here is the link: http://kronotexusa.com/blog/bid/317293/Questions-About-Laminate-Floors-Brad-Answers 
 
Thanks so much for asking your question! 
 
Best, 
CB for Kronotex USA
Posted @ Thursday, September 26, 2013 3:16 PM by Christine Whittemore
Hello , 
 
We finished out basement with laminate and next week are having a wetbar and island put it. Should I install anything diffently? Are there any concerns?
Posted @ Tuesday, January 21, 2014 3:10 PM by froso
Hi I am about to rent a place with wood laminate flooring. I am a weight lifter and have an Olympic caliber weight bench. My question is As I commonly bench over 300 pounds, and that's not counting my body weight as well. Is it safe to put my bench on this flooring? If not if I got some weight mats would that make any difference? I wont always be lifting that much, but I am concerned when I do go for that high of weight.
Posted @ Saturday, January 25, 2014 11:28 PM by Harold
I'm putting in a laminate Floor in Living room hall way & kitchen, I have very heavy rot -iron end tables & long table for TV, will these be too heavy for the floors,an should I put felt on bottoms of legs ?????????
Posted @ Saturday, February 01, 2014 4:18 PM by Patricia
Frosa, 
 
Great question! Brad answers it in http://kronotexusa.com/blog/bid/341703/Glue-Broken-Grout-Static-Electricity-Ask-Brad-How-to-Install-Laminate 
 
Best, 
CB for the Kronotex USA Blog
Posted @ Wednesday, April 09, 2014 12:31 PM by Christine Whittemore
Harold,  
 
Thanks for your comment. Check out what Brad explains in http://kronotexusa.com/blog/bid/341703/Glue-Broken-Grout-Static-Electricity-Ask-Brad-How-to-Install-Laminate 
 
Best, 
CB for the Kronotex USA Blog
Posted @ Wednesday, April 09, 2014 12:32 PM by Christine Whittemore
Patricia, 
 
Check out Brad's response in http://kronotexusa.com/blog/bid/341703/Glue-Broken-Grout-Static-Electricity-Ask-Brad-How-to-Install-Laminate. 
 
Thanks for your comment. 
 
Best, 
CB for the Kronotex USA Blog
Posted @ Wednesday, April 09, 2014 12:33 PM by Christine Whittemore
Hi, 
 
I recently bought a 300 pounds multi table game. This table will be placed on a laminated wood. What do you recommed to place under the 4 legs of table to protect my floor. Thanks for your quiock reply
Posted @ Saturday, April 12, 2014 2:01 PM by khasi
Hi all! 
 
I am wondering if my newly installed 12mm laminate floors, with 6 ft planks, will hold a 500lbs gun safe ..?!? 
 
Kindly do advise, thanks!
Posted @ Saturday, April 12, 2014 11:43 PM by Winston
During my apartment building's retrofit and upgrade, I will be required to remove a large plant from my balcony. I have laminate flooring but don't know what kind. The plastic pot is 24" in diameter and 20" tall. The plant (a mature cape honeysuckle) is about 48" tall from the top of the pot. It's heavy but I have no idea how heavy. Will my floor be if I keep it inside for several months? If not, what's the best way to move it across the 17' from the balcony to the entry door? Thanks!
Posted @ Sunday, April 13, 2014 6:01 PM by Charlotte
Charlotte, 
 
Thanks for your comment. Brad recommends the following: 
 
Allow the plant to dry before attempting to move since water is heavy. 
 
The planter and plant you describe should not cause any issues. Remember wipe up any topical moisture as soon as possible. 
 
So you don't hurt your back, try placing the plant on a dolly or something with wheels to move it. 
 
Good luck! 
 
Best, 
CB for the Kronotex USA Blog
Posted @ Monday, April 14, 2014 9:06 PM by Christine Whittemore
Khasi and Winston, thanks for your questions! Brad has just answered them in this article: http://kronotexusa.com/blog/bid/349078/Advice-for-the-Laminate-Flooring-Challenged-by-Brad-Young 
 
Best, 
CB for the Kronotex USA Blog
Posted @ Friday, June 27, 2014 2:06 PM by Christine Whittemore
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