Timber Floor Loading


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Duncan A

Established Member
8 Nov 2007
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Not a workshop query, but there are those here that will know the answer, I'm sure.
I'm putting a gym machine into a fairly solid summerhouse and am wondering about the loading on the floor boards.

Weight of machine and user (me) comes to 220kg.
It's an elliptical trainer with quite a smooth motion so there shouldn't be much in the way of shock loads.
The trainer is supported on 4 x 50mm round feet, with weight probably fairly evenly distributed.
The feet are in pairs about 250mm apart; and the pairs are about 1900mm apart.
The floor is made up of 100 x 18mm decent quality softwood boards. Not T & G, just nailed down at approx 410mm spacings to bearers which are about 45 x 45mm.
Quite what is below the bearers I don't know, but it is a timber structure supporting the whole lot about 175mm above the ground i.e. a suspended floor, not sitting on a solid raft.
Rightly or wrongly, I am presently proceeding on the assumption that the support structures are adequate for the loading of trainer + me.
Question: Do I need to I put load spreading wooden pads under the feet to avoid overloading the boards?

Question: If I cover the floor with a vinyl floor covering ("lino") will this cause damp issues?
The summerhouse is dry and well ventilated with no known water ingress underneath it.

Thanks for your help in advance
Your point loads should be OK, so I can't think there is much need for a load spreader on the top of the boards. However, if you've no idea of the suspended floor structure there is no way of knowing if that will cope. Vinyl on top of the flooring should be OK, because it is on the warm side (inside) of any insulation, and there is no way that a building requires air flow through the floor to remain ventilated or dry. Any condensation resulting from the placement of the vinyl should be on the top of it, where there is no harm done. One assumes your underfloor void is properly ventilated.
Brilliant, thanks Mike
I think the overall floor structure will be OK as there's no flexing as I clump around it, and I've had quite a weight of wood in there with no apparent ill effects.
We're on a hillside and there's no evidence of movement which suggests it's well built.
Now to decide what colour to paint it inside!