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These Waterbed Facts Will Floor You

Nov 9, 2007
In the early days of waterbeds, there was a widely held perception that the weight of the average waterbed would be enough to have it come crashing through the floor of the average home or apartment. The notion that this perception developed at all is interesting since to this very day, there has not been one documented case of a waterbed falling through the floor of a properly constructed residential floor.

Water is heavy and that is measurable fact, weighing in at 8.34 pounds per gallon. So if a queen-sized waterbed with a bladder-type mattress holds roughly 130 gallons of water that weighs in at 1,084 pounds plus the weight of the frame and two people. To keep the math simple let us assume that the mattress, frame and two adults weighs 1300 pounds and that the bed assembly measures six feet by six feet taking up a total of 36 square feet of floor space. If we divide the weight of the bed by 36 that gets us to 36 pounds per square foot.

Now 1300 pounds sounds like a lot of weight and it is. That number alone might give some people pause until they do the math and can see that the weight is distributed over 36 square feet and the load on the floor system is 36 pounds per square foot. The load limit for the average residential flooring system, built to code, is a minimum of 40 pounds per square foot.

Now let us look at the weight and the potential floor load of the average household refrigerator. A modern refrigerator with a freezer, icemaker and all the usual accoutrements could weight more than 400 pounds. If we allow a generous nine square feet of floor space, the load on the flooring system could be well in excess of 44 pounds per square foot, even more when the refrigerator is loaded with groceries.

In fact the footprint of the refrigerator could be slightly smaller thereby increasing the load per square foot.

In all fairness to those folks who think that it is likely that a waterbed could fall through the floor, it is possible, though not very probable. Placing any heavy object in a house with a substandard flooring system could be an invitation to trouble.

A flooring system that is damaged or weakened by fire, dry rot or termite infestation could fail under load whether from a waterbed, refrigerator or other load source. Likewise a flooring system that was not constructed in accordance with modern codes could be prone to failure under even a normal floor loading condition.

So the burden, so to speak, is on the waterbed owner to make sure that floor is solid and up to code.

The fact is that refrigerators and waterbeds are not falling through the floor. In a world obsessed, with twenty four news, you can well imagine the headlines if waterbeds suddenly started falling through the floor. The bad news is that the myth of waterbeds causing damage is as persistent as ever.

Many landlords still require additional damage deposits for those tenants who have waterbeds and will often require the purchase of renters insurance to cover any potential damage. The funny thing is that additional monies or insurance policies are not required for refrigerators, chest freezers and other heavy appliances. A one hundred gallon aquarium can weigh well over 800 pounds and the load is distributed over a scant twelve or fourteen square feet.

If buying a waterbed is in your future do not weight! The floor is no longer the limit!
About the Author
Mitch Endick is a short article writer for the popular waterbed sheet web site: http://www.waterbedsheetsale.com. He
provides informative advice on purchasing quality bedding for waterbeds.
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