Question We are interested in converting a family room to a home library and want to build book cases around the perimeter. What factors do we need to consider to support the additional load?
Answer Hi Tracy, I wouldn't suspect that you need to worry too much about the load of some book shelves but if you'd care to share with me some information about your home construction I can comment further if there are any concerns. A 12" deep book shelf will spread any weight over one square foot per lineal foot of shelf. You would really have to stack some books on that square foot to make a notable concentrated load in one area. If your floor is a concrete slab it is most capably able to support at least 1800 pounds per Square inch...in a wood floor system, the weight is spread over several floor joists. So I would venture that each joist is capable of having several hundred pounds cross it at some point without any sagging.
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