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Old 12-31-2017, 10:12 PM   #1
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Newbie loading question

Hi all, and Happy New Year!

I have been searching the interweb for information on calculating the load bearing capacity of my floor. It lead me here. I'm not after tiling it, but it seems like you know what you're talking about and wondered if you could lend me the benefit of your wisdom?

My house is a 1924 craftsman bungalow in southern California. I have no idea what wood they used, but it's still in reasonably good condition. Hardwood floors, probably original. Joists are 2" x 7.5", spaced roughly 20" apart. The span from foundation to first beam is 9'3", then it's 9'10 to the next beam, and then 9'7" to the foundation again.

I know there are a million other variables, and I can find and post any more information that will help answer this:

If I put a birthing tub between the first wall and the first beam, is it likely to hold or go crashing through? Total weight in an 8x8 area would be about 1 ton (including tub, water, people etc.).

I have used the Deflect-O-Lator but I'm not sure what it's telling me other than I should stick with hardwood and not put down tile or slate...

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Old 12-31-2017, 10:14 PM   #2
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Worth mentioning that it's a fairly sizeable crawlspace underneath, I have a bunch of photos if they would be relevant...
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Old 12-31-2017, 10:26 PM   #3
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Maybe others here can help but if I was planning to have a ton of weight, I'd want to talk to an engineer and get his opinion. Back when I tiled in new construction and we had a master bath upstairs with a soaking tub for two people, they would add steel beams under the tub area. Then we could tile the floor without any problems.

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Old 12-31-2017, 11:54 PM   #4
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I'm not an engineer, but I don't think your situation is anything out of the ordinary. Would you worry about sitting 10 people weighting 200 lbs each around a 4' square table? That'd also be 2000 lbs over an 8' x 8' area, and less well distributed that a 8' x 8' tub. Here's the math:

2000 lbs / 64 ft^2 = 31 psf which is less than a modern design live load.

Per AWC span calculator, the span for 2x8 douglas fir-larch (a guess) #3 (a low grade, but older joists may be low grades) at 16" o.c. (20" * 1.5" / 2" = 15" accounts for the extra width of the old 2x8s) is 9' 9" for a standard 40 psf live / 10 psf dead.

Cheers, Wayne
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