# Wayfair warddrobe pushes floor weight limits to max??

Forumite Posts: 10
Forumite
edited 19 May at 2:23PM
I live in a second floor flat constructed in 2006. To my surprise the floors between levels in the building are wooden and not concrete.

I recently purchased a large flat pack wardrobe and erected it in my bedroom (now now). It was VERY heavy. The entire thing weighs 151.5kg according to the website, and I know from the painful construction that about 75kg of that weight is the mirrored-front sliding doors alone. It has a 60cm x 180cm footprint.

It's so much heavier than I was expecting (I obviously didn't ready the small print, my bad) and now I'm worried about the weight of it! I can hear slight creaks as I walk past it.

And of course, all this weight is before I put anything in it! So now I'm concerned about loading it up with heavy items...

I'm concerned about the minimum floor weight per sq/m a building should be able to support safely? From another similar question here a few years ago (and a very helpful post from forum member weeg) I understand:

The code states that domestic floors must be designed to carry a UDL of 1.5kN/m2 over the entire floor OR a point load of 2.0kN at any point (there's 2 people in 1 sq m covered). An most cases the 1.5 UDL is the more onerous.

Realistically though, your floor will be able to take more than this without failing, as there is also a deflection limit of 14mm, or span/333, and this is the most common mode of 'failure', by which I mean I floor failing to conform to the BSs. I's also note that for ULS (or failure type states) these figures have a load factor of 1.5 applied. SLS ( or deflection) is calculated using unfactored loads. These are the current BS EN 1991-1-1 values, or course. The previous code BS5268 used 1.6 for live loads.

According to my calculations this warddrobe is already 2.0kN! Although I guess the width means it's distributed over several joists... assuming the joists go from the front to the rear of the building?!  It seems surprising that a warddrobe could hit the maximum weight distribution without anything in it!

Anything to calm my nerves is appreciated Thanks!

• Forumite Posts: 30,503
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So 24 stone, 2 just above average 12 st people.  Put them in a double bed and how much weight is on each of those 4 little legs on the floor ?  What is actually in contact with the floor ?
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This really isn't something to worry about. The sizing of floor joists is invariably governed by acceptable deflections not the actual load capacity of the members. In other words, if your downstairs neighbour hasn't complained about the ceiling cracking up, the floor isn't overloaded!
• Forumite Posts: 543
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edited 19 May at 3:48PM
Also...

The empty wardrobe, at 151.5 kg, does not impose a load of 2 kN on the floor. It's about 1.5 kN, give or take, so there is still plenty of scope to hang a shirt or a couple of pairs of trousers before you reach 2kN. Google provides a useful way to convert units like this:

A bigger thing to remember is that the floor is designed to carry 1.5 kN/m² over the entire area of the room. Just because the actual load is equal to (or exceeds) the design load in one small area doesn't mean the floor joists are overloaded. There are also large areas of the floor supporting nothing but a layer of floor covering (e.g. 2 kg/m² carpet equivalent to 0.02 kN/m²)!

In practice, the only way you will have a problem with the strength of a floor is if you start doing things that are way outside the bounds of what is normal in a home (things like installing a hot tub on a balcony of a high rise flat). As long as the things you're putting in your room are within the bounds of "normal furniture", you will not have any problems.

• Forumite Posts: 10
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edited 19 May at 3:52PM
molerat said:
So 24 stone, 2 just above average 12 st people.  Put them in a double bed and how much weight is on each of those 4 little legs on the floor ?
To answer your maths: 0.4 kN over a ~4sq/m area. This warddrobe is 2 kN over a 1sq/m area.
molerat said:
What is actually in contact with the floor ?

IIRC: Primarily the two edges (left and right) of the flat pack. There were also some front and rear panels, too.

• Forumite Posts: 10
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edited 19 May at 3:58PM
Also...

The empty wardrobe, at 151.5 kg, does not impose a load of 2 kN on the floor. It's about 1.5 kN, give or take.

Ha! I used a different conversion website... it said 2.0 kN. Your result does make me feel much better! And other sites support that formula, too. Phew.

I wonder how I got 2 kN!

A bigger thing to remember is that the floor is designed to carry 1.5 kN/m² over the entire area of the room. Just because the actual load is equal to (or exceeds) the design load in one small area doesn't mean the floor joists are overloaded. There are also large areas of the floor supporting nothing but a layer of floor covering (e.g. 2 kg/m² carpet equivalent to 0.02 kN/m²)!
This makes sense, thanks!
• Forumite Posts: 447
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If a wardrobe, albeit a heavy one, is too heavy for the floor, then the neighbours below must by now be well used to it raining shagging couples

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