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Question DetailsAsked on 10/13/2017

Water bed on second floor of home build in 1923. Is this a problem?

Live in Fargo ND. Bed has been there now for 8 years and only hairline cracks in ceiling. It is a queen sized soft side said to weight 45 lbs. per square foot.

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1 Answer


45 psf exceeds even today's load limits - and those of 1923 were generally in the 15-20 psf range, so you are definitely significantly overloaded.

However, on the practical side - if it is only causing minor cracking over 8 years, if you are not seeing dramatic bowing of the underlying ceiling (say over an inch or so sag at center of normal 10-15 foot span) nor hearing cracking sounds from breaking floor joists, even though heavily overloaded evidently the safety factor (commonly around a factor of 2 back then) is allowing you to get away with it.

Certainly not advisable to put that much load on it, and it is likely the flooring/subfloor is helping out by spreading the load to adjacent floor joists - and if you do start seeing rapid crack growth on the underlying ceiling or hearing cracking sounds then I would get it out of there. Aside from that - your call.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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