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Will My Raised Floor Support a Safe?

By Maria Paiz October 23, 2023

Dark blue background with contrasting light blue text that reads Will my Raised Floor Support a Safe? The USA Safe and Vault logo and a photo of a raised floor.

*This post contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links, but it never influences our product selection process.

Table of Contents

Placing a gun safe in a home that has a raised floor can be a dilemma for some due to the floating space underneath. If you are planning to buy a gun safe and don’t know whether your raised floor is strong enough to support a safe, you are not alone. So let's get to the million-dollar question: Can I put gun safes over a raised floor?

Can raised floors support gun safes?

Yes, a raised floor is likely able to support a gun safe. In this case, you just need to use your common sense to estimate how much weight a floor supports, then look for the right place to put the gun safely.

 

It is important to put safety as the first consideration rather than aesthetics.

So, before further discussing whether a floor is strong enough to support a gun safe, we must first define what ‘strong enough’ really means.

For all intents and purposes, if the weight of your gun safe doesn’t exceed the weight limit for your raised floor, then there shouldn’t be a problem.

It is important to understand the characteristics of the raised floor before you put a gun safe on it.

 

Raised Floors Explained.

A raised floor is a wooden framework that extends from one side of the wall to another. The structure uses wooden beams that are installed cross to each other that range from 12 inches to 24 inches.

Wooden beams in the raised floor are plugged into headers and supported by bearing walls. The floor’s foundation is often made from plywood and attached to the top of the framework.

The top framework can stand 40 pounds per square foot weight and is usually covered with carpets, tiles, or other flooring treatments. 

After knowing the typical conditions of a raised floor, let’s see how we should place a gun safe on it.

 

Three ways to put gun safes on a raised floor.

gun safes on a raised floor

1) Close to a bearing wall

The practical way to cope with a raised floor is placing the gun safe as close as possible to a bearing wall. It should be vertically attached to the floor beams and close enough to the foundation walls. It offers a more stable position and helps to distribute the weight over the floor framework.

2) Lay it on the floor

Most gun safes are able to lay on the floor like a table with four corners. However, you need to consider how long the floor joists are to get a stable position.

Alternatively, the floor joist can be spanned using some blocking or metal straps. It can support the heavyweight of a safe without bending the wooden beams underneath the floor. 

3) Give floor joists support.

To distribute the safe’s weight over the floor framework, gun safe floor support such as a steel plate can be used. The steel plate is put under the gun safe to make it more stable. The good thing about using steel plates is that they don’t bend easily under pressure and evenly distribute a gun's weight safely.

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Is it okay to put a safe on a raised floor?

The short answer is yes, as long as it's situated correctly. The safe must be installed/placed on a raised floor and not just in any crawl space that is structurally able to hold the weight and not pose any injury or damage risks.

How big should my raised floor support be?

According to standard building regulations, the dead load capacity for standard raised access flooring is from 1,000 to 2,000 pounds.

Different places require different weight loads. For example, if you have a data center with many cabinets that each weigh up to 3,000 pounds, then you need a sturdy floor to hold them—or if your home is in a region where there are earthquakes and needs more structural support—you will need to build a heavier raised floor.

Can a house floor support a gun safe, or does it need reinforcement?

A concrete floor is a very strong and secure foundation to which you can bolt your gun safe safely. The best type of anchor point will be through the concrete floor using either a masonry hole saw or a diamond blade drill bit. You could also anticipate running additional bolts through the subfloor joist hangers to join hardwood floors or oak flooring down to the slab below.

Self-supporting safes, also known as gun safes on legs or free-standing units, have their own system of bolts or screws that secure them into the body.

Why do safes need to be on the floor?

When a safe is installed on an elevated surface, the door tends to swing out towards the floor when opened. The contents of the safe can fall from the open door when it swings down. If installed in an exterior wall, people may not have room to enter and remove items from within. Safes should always be installed on level surfaces.

Conclusion

Yes, you can set your gun safe on a raised floor - but don't forget the tips and considerations we've walked through in this article. Understanding the dead weight your floor can shoulder and strategizing the best placement for your safe is crucial to installing your safe.

Whether it's positioning it near a load-bearing wall, choosing a sturdy part of the floor, or even bolstering the floor beneath the safe for equal weight distribution - every detail matters! 

 


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