Can a first floor studio w basement underneath hold a 1500lb press?


I recently acquired a 10 x 15 c&p craftsman press. I would like to run if from my first floor home studio. (It is currently in my non insulated garage. I’m in central CT.) There is a basement underneath the first floor studio. How can I know if the floor can withstand the weight of the press?

The basement has metal posts that hold up the joists. But they don’t run directly underneath the corner where I’d like to place the press.

Thoughts welcome!

Friendly Fire Paper

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Generally a corner is the best place to position weight on a floor since it is directly supported very close to the center of the weight. If you are not savvy in evaluating building construction, get someone who is to look at it and let you know. Putting the press on a heavy sheet of plywood will help to spread the weight more evenly over the surface area. If the building is up to current code, you will most likely be ok, but if you are not sure, it might be worth having an architect or engineer take a look. If there are already jack posts under the floor, it may be an indication that there are already issues with the floor.

I think a 10x15 weighs a fair bit more than 1500 pounds.

Consult a structural engineer, this can be done.

You will likely need to reinforce the floor in some way probably with extra floor joists and support columns.

Even if the press is only 1500 pounds you need to make sure the floor can support both the static load and the live load.



There aren’t any issues currently with the floor. The metal posts in the basement that support the joists are part of the house’s foundation.

We will have an architect/engineer have a look.

Also, didn’t know about thick plywood to even out the weight distribution. Good tip.

In residential construction, floors are designed to meet certain load conditions. Typical floors are not required to hold more than 40 pounds per square foot of live load - which is the name for people and furniture ( If your press takes up about 9 square feet of footprint on the floor - that means the floor is designed to hold 360 (9x40) pounds. There are a lot of other factors - other items in the room, location, etc. The edge / corner will support more. You also need to make sure it can support the load on the path from the entrance to the final location. And even if the floor is strong enough to support the press, the floor will sag and finishes such as drywall or flooring can crack because of the deflection.

My main point is that residential light frame wood floors are not designed for the magnitude of loads for presses. That doesn’t mean it can’t be done, but definitely seek a professional opinion specific to your case.

A king size waterbed can be about that weight but spread out over a larger area. Talk to a carpenter or an engineer.

Coming back to say we decided to keep it in the garage!

Just for reference, the standard 10x15 C&P New Style is listed at 1500 pounds, the Craftsman 10x15 is at 2000 pounds and the 10x15 Craftsman Automatic is listed at 3000 pounds.

In our construction activities, we always over build, use the services of a structural engineer, and never pour a concrete floor less than 6” thick—for our own uses. The new second floor wood floor in my print shop is designed for 100 pounds/sq. ft., but no presses. As a kid, when my parents were looking at new homes, my goal was that there be enough room for a model railroad layout. Since my teens, that priority changed to how a print shop would fit in.

If you can add a couple of sleeper beams under the joists in the basement where the press would be positioned and a couple of screw-jack posts under the sleepers you can reinforce the floor where the heavy load would be, and you could also do the same with temporary sleepers and jack posts under the path the press would have to take to get where you want it. The advantage of the jack posts is that they can be adjusted if there is any settling.


The (very) old regulations for London UK small business I think spoke of 112lbs per square foot. Heavier loads like a guillotine on a first floor bindery called for a sheet of steel plate to spread the load. In ignorance I once put about 30 tons of composing room on a first floor with timber beams.
No probs with the beams, but the bricks below their wall endings crushed noisily in a couple of places after about two weeks. Panic in the room below. All sorted out quick-o and amazingly I didn’t loose my job.