One thing you need to consider before installing a floor in your home is how much weight the floor can handle. So how much weight can laminate floor support?
On average, laminate floors can support weight up to 350 pounds per square inch. More than 350 pounds per square inch and the laminate floor may develop wraps and crack open.
The type and quality of the laminate boards, and the level of prep work and condition of the subfloor all determine the weight limits of the laminate planks. However, engineered hardwood laminate boards are usually limitless when it comes to the weight that the floor can handle.
This post reveals much more about the weight limits for laminate floors including expert tips on how to protect the laminate floor from heavy furniture. So, let’s dive in.
Is There a Weight Limit For Laminate Flooring?
There is a general weight limit for laminate floors and this is usually set between 300 and 500 pounds per square inch, with 350 pounds as the average limit.
However, this weight limit doesn’t extend to mechanically engineered hardwood laminate floors. These floors are designed specially to handle high traffic and heavy furniture as long as the floor is installed correctly. So where regular laminate floors will suffer in terms of weight, engineered laminate boards will survive.
To know the weight limit of your newly-installed laminate floor, check the manufacturer’s website or the user’s guide that came with the laminate floor. The information concerning the weight limit is usually indicated there.
That said, you should know that most laminate floors, if not all, will show signs of damage if made to support weight that is more than 500 pounds per square inch.
Will Laminate Floor Crack If You Add Too Much Weight?
A laminate floor will eventually crack if made to support too much weight or more than the weight limit. However, this crack will happen over time rather than immediately.
This is because laminate boards are usually made to be flexible and sturdy enough to handle intense pressure without giving way. So the laminate floor will handle the weight until the pressure gets too much for it to handle and then it cracks or splits open.
To be fair, laminate floors rarely crack even when you add too much weight to the floor. This is because laminate planks are made from recycled materials which makes the laminate boards flexible. When you put too much weight on a laminate board, you’ll immediately hear squeaking noises coming from the floor. The squeaking noise comes from the joints and locks in the laminate floor being under intense pressure.
If the weight is left on the laminate floor, the locks will continue to be under intense pressure till the planks start to sink to the subfloor. When this happens, the planks will become bent and can eventually crack open in multiple areas. Asides from cracking, laminate floors also separate and buckle when made to support too much weight for a long time.
How Long Do You Have To Wait To Put Heavy Furniture on Laminate Flooring?
You need to wait at least 3 days or 72 hours before putting heavy furniture on a laminate floor. This is to allow enough time for the laminate floor to adjust and acclimate before handling weight.
If you put heavy furniture on a laminate floor too soon, the weight of the furniture will create gaps between the planks because the planks have not adjusted to the floor yet. You should also ensure to use a furniture pad before placing heavy furniture on a newly-installed laminate floor.
When a laminate floor is installed on the floor, the laminate planks go through a process known as acclimation. This process takes place between 24 and 72 hours after installing the laminate floor and it’s how the laminate planks expand and adjust on the floor to set in place.
You should wait until this process is fully completed before you put heavy furniture on the laminate floor. That’s because it’s only after acclimation is complete that the laminate floor becomes strong enough to handle heavy furniture. If you put the furniture on the wood before it has acclimated, the planks will bend, crack, and give way.
Types of Furniture You Can Place Over Laminate Floors
Here are some types of furniture and objects that you can place over laminate floors:
A laminate floor can support the weight of a piano as long as the weight of the piano isn’t more than 500 pounds. If the piano weighs more than 500 pounds, the laminate floor will bend and buckle as a result of too much weight and pressure from the piano.
Based on this distinction, grand pianos and orchestral pianos might be too much weight for a laminate floor as these types of pianos commonly weigh well over 500 pounds. If you are to put a piano over a laminate floor, ensure the floor is properly padded first.
A laminate floor can support the weight of a refrigerator very well as refrigerators weigh about 250 pounds on average. That weight is okay for a laminate floor to handle. However, you need to ensure that the laminate floor is made to be waterproof before putting a refrigerator on it as refrigerators can be a source of moisture on the floor.
A laminate floor can support the weight of a small, portable, and medium-size pool table as these types of pool tables all weigh less than 450 pounds. So a laminate floor will support the weight quite comfortably.
However, don’t place large pool tables on laminate floors as these pool tables usually weigh between 700 and over 1000 pounds. The 4×8 slate pool table for instance weighs about 850 pounds. That’s too much for a laminate floor to support.
A laminate floor can support the full weight of a kitchen island as long as the kitchen island is equally spread over the laminate floor. This means that the kitchen island should rest evenly on the planks. Kitchen islands generally weigh less than 200 pounds. Though the furniture might look huge, it’s mostly made of hollow spaces and drawers for you to put stuff in. So a laminate floor will perform well.
One thing to ensure is that the laminate floor is covered with a waterproof carpet so that food, drinks, and spills from the kitchen island will not drop on and stain the laminate floor.
Do not put treadmills over a laminate floor. In this case, the weight of the treadmill isn’t the problem. Rather, it’s the use of the treadmill that can cause issues on the laminate floor.
Treadmills generally don’t weigh more than 500 pounds, especially the household versions. However, if you add the weight of the user to the weight of the treadmill, then that will cause a problem.
Not to mention the constant running, vibration, and movement of the treadmill on the laminate floor. If left unchecked, this will ruin the laminate floor and can even cause injuries and damages to the user and the treadmill. So whatever you do, don’t put a treadmill over a laminate floor.
Laminate floors can support the weight of a washing machine. But, it’s not a good idea to put a washing machine over a laminate floor because laminate floors don’t do well on high moisture areas like the laundry room. If you are to put a washing machine on a laminate floor, ensure to put a rubber floor mat on the laminate floor to make it waterproof.
Never put a heart on a laminate floor. This is a very wrong idea. Heaths are usually made of concrete, masonry, brick, and stone meaning that the size and weight will be massive for a laminate floor. Hearths should always be installed directly on the subfloor and not on a laminate floor.
You shouldn’t put a pellet stove on a laminate floor because pellet stoves are a source of heat. And, laminate floors are made from recycled materials meaning that laminate floors are combustible. Putting a pellet stove or any other type of stove directly on a laminate floor is a recipe for a fire problem.
How Do You Protect a Laminate Floor From Heavy Furniture?
Here are some expert ways to protect a laminate floor from heavy furniture:
- Always lay a sturdy concrete subfloor underneath the laminate flooring if you know the floor will be supporting much weight or foot traffic
- Ensure that the subfloor is perfectly even and smooth before laying the laminate planks
- Always put a furniture floor pad on the laminate floor before putting heavy furniture on the laminate floor
- Do not drag items across the laminate floor
- Ensure the laminate planks are installed correctly
- A squeaking sound means that the weight is too much for the laminate floor so always listen to squeaks and cracks
- Never go above 500 pounds per square inch on a laminate floor.
In summary, laminate floors are very strong and flexible which means that the laminate floor can handle weight very well. But, only if the weight isn’t more than the weight limit of the flooring. To know the weight limit of your laminate floor, you can check the user’s guide or the manufacturer’s website of the laminate plank.
You should also ensure to use a sturdy subfloor if you know the laminate floor will handle much weight. Remember to use floor furniture pads before putting heavy furniture on the laminate floor to prevent dents and scratches.