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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    1

    Default How much weight can studs handle?

    Hello all!
    I have a house built from 1907 with an addition from 2003. In the addition, I put a half wall that was built around a 120 gallon fish tank. The fish tank itself weighs 300 or so pounds; plus the water (120x8.2=984lb) equals 1200lb+. Now in the half wall, there are aproxamatly 12 5-6' studs screwed into 1' 1/2 rafters which then go into concrete. Would the studs be able to support the force of the fully loaded tank? I will try to post a photo later. Thanks.
    Last edited by Inahardplace; 09-07-2011 at 09:16 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    5,093

    Default Re: How much weight can studs handle?

    Actually a lot.

    But even enginieers will have a hard time giving you a precise answer, because there are so many factors: length of the 2x4 or 2x6, type of tree, moisture content, and more.

    Believe or not, you should worry more about swaying than simple dead weight.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    975

    Default Re: How much weight can studs handle?

    A stud by itself is proportionally weaker than a stud that's part of a wall system; sheathing and even the drywall work in concert to stabilize each other into a load-bearing system.
    Other points to consider is if the load is centered over your wall, or is offset.
    Substituting 1/2" smooth plywood (glued and screwed) for the wallboard on your wall will create a "stress-skin panel" that far exceeds a conventional framing job by a significant factor.
    Casey
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: How much weight can studs handle?

    I've wondered this myself, mainly because I have 6 packed bookcases in a small home that was build in 1947. It doesn't look like there are many support beams under the floor at all, when I've checked out our small crawlspace. I'm a bit worried that the floor could collapse entirely with a small quake, especially as my wife and I live in an earthquake zone. How do you figure out what is enough support when you have hundreds of pounds of weight on your floor?
    Only Hidden Content machines and typewriters require no upgrades ...and no wonder

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    nova scotia, canada
    Posts
    1,522

    Default Re: How much weight can studs handle?

    if the section of floor with the bookshelves doesnt have a bearing wall directly under the joists supporting them the joists can fail and collapse.

    a friend owns a book store and has a room jammed with shelving, hes often wondered the same thing, he may get me to go in some day and quickly put up a wall to support the joists so such a thing doesnt occur
    fire up the saw and make some dust

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,361

    Default Re: How much weight can studs handle?

    Quote Originally Posted by jkirk View Post
    a friend owns a book store and has a room jammed with shelving, hes often wondered the same thing, he may get me to go in some day and quickly put up a wall to support the joists so such a thing doesnt occur
    Well, you know how every so often you have to turn the bookshelves over to work out the sag? I suppose you could do the same thing with your floor joists!
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    823

    Default Re: How much weight can studs handle?

    i finally found out why we are getting some of these wacky answers....not the spam ones but these ones that don't make any sense.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    nova scotia, canada
    Posts
    1,522

    Default Re: How much weight can studs handle?

    i have a feeling this is a spammer. just trying to blind us first with a messed reply.. being dealt with now
    fire up the saw and make some dust

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