Knowing what to put under a gun safe on hardwood floors can be tricky, but there are a few options that you can use to protect both the floor and the safe itself.
A heavy-duty rubber mat is one of the best options for keeping the floor safe from pressure marks and scratches. However, there are some alternatives that we will explore in this article that do a great job as well.
Let’s take a look at the best 3 options, as well as the things you need to consider before placing a gun safe directly onto a hardwood floor to minimize damage.
How Much Do Gun Safes Weigh?
The first thing to consider is how much gun safes actually weigh, as this has a big impact on what you need to place under them to keep your floor safe.
Gun safes can weigh anywhere from 200 pounds all the way up to 5000 pounds in commercial settings, but at home, the average weight will be somewhere between 200 and 1000 pounds depending on your collection.
This means we need to find something that can withstand a significant amount of weight to place under a gun safe.
How Are Gun Safes Installed?
Most gun safes are installed with bolts directly through any flooring and into the subfloor as a theft prevention technique. They are also installed on a level surface, which is important for reasons we will discover later in this article.
This is the most secure method of installing a gun safe, and while you can opt to install the bolts into a wall, this is generally not recommended as it makes it easier for somebody to steal the safe.
This means that if you decide to place a gun safe on a hardwood floor, you will need to drill holes through the floorboards to secure your safe properly.
Why Place Something Under A Gun Safe On A Hardwood Floor?
You may be wondering what the point is of placing something underneath the safe if it is bolted through the floor anyway, but there are some additional benefits to doing so.
Placing something underneath your gun safe will help to maintain moisture levels for the floor below.
This is crucial for hardwood floors in particular, as they will react to changing levels of moisture by either shrinking or expanding which can lead to problems such as cupping or gaps forming between individual floorboards.
This can cause stress for the bolts as the floor below the safe will become uneven, which can damage the safe itself.
Pressure Marks And Scratches
Another reason for placing something under a gun safe on hardwood floors is to prevent scratches and pressure marks.
Hardwood floors are highly susceptible to scratches, especially when moving heavy objects on them. Even if you are not bothered by scratches, they will damage the seal of the floor which can lead to the moisture issues mentioned before.
It also helps to distribute the weight of the safe as well which lowers the chances of indentations from the force going into the hardwood.
3 Options To Put Under A Gun Safe On A Hardwood Floor
Let’s take a look at three options for things that you can put under your gunsafe.
A thick rubber mat is a great option for protecting the hardwood floor below. A rubber mat will distribute the weight evenly across the floor and prevent any scratches or indentations, as these will happen to the surface of the rubber rather than the hardwood below.
We recommend using a heavy-duty mat designed that is specifically designed to support large weights, with a thickness of at least 1 inch. Rubber can leave marks if you move it around so once you have it in place try to keep it as stationary as possible while loading the safe on to it.
Piece Of Carpet
Another easy option is to use a sheet of old carpet.
The carpet will prevent scratches entirely, but you may need to fold it over a few times to get good protection from indentation marks. You should also accept that the carpet will get damaged from this process, which is why it is recommended to use some old or spare carpet.
Another option is to use plywood, ideally 1/2 inch or thicker.
Plywood will distribute the weight evenly and also prevent scratches to the floor below, and it can be bought at any local hardware store easily.
Make It As Big As Possible
Whichever option you choose, try to make the sheet as large as possible.
For example, if you have chosen a rubber mat try to buy one that is much larger than the base of the safe. This will distribute the weight more evenly and provide even more protection to the hardwood below.
Should You Keep A Gun Safe On A Hardwood Floor?
Given all of the drawbacks to keeping a gun safe on hardwood flooring, is it actually worth doing?
In our opinion, it is better to keep a gun safe over a different type of flooring if you have access to it. The best option would be concrete, if possible, as securing the bolts is less hassle and scratches will be much less noticeable. You also wont have to worry about replacing floorboards with hardwood if you want to move the safe in the future.
Concrete is also more resistant to mold problems and expanding or shrinking with changes in humidity.
Avoid flooring types such as carpet as well, as you will cause permanent damage to the fibres below it if you store a gun safe on this surface.
If you have no other option but to keep a gun safe on a hardwood floor then you should use one of the options above to provide extra protection to the floor.
If you have any other options that you have had success with, please get in touch and let us know.