Question: Reducing Sway in loft bed.


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Old 11-22-23, 04:53 AM
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Question: Reducing Sway in loft bed.

I'm building a double loft bed for my girls. The original design just used vertical and horizontal 2x4 construction with 2" L-brackets and 1.5" wood screws. Once complete I noticed that there was more sway (left-right and front-back) than I would like. I added four 45 degree front-back 2x4s (red in the picture) and two 45 degree left-right 2x4s (green in the picture) which has eliminated the left-right sway and reduced the front-back sway. However, I would like to eliminate the front back sway.

Which locations, height and angles should I place supports to eliminate front-back sway? I can only place supports along the walls as I do not want to block access to the desks or underneath area from the fronts.

 

Last edited by objecttothis; 11-22-23 at 04:55 AM. Reason: clarification
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Old 11-22-23, 06:12 AM
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If it's attached to the wall solidly, I'm surprised there is any sway.
 
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Old 11-22-23, 06:28 AM
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Firmly attaching both sides to the wall will help. But, if you don't want to do that then diagonal bracing is your friend. Unfortunately, where you need it most will block access and the living space below. Any angle will work but 45 is best. And the longer the diagonals are the better. Use screws or through bolting to attach the diagonals which will hold better than nails.

An issue will be the 2 x 6? on the protruding corner which is the one that needs it the most. There is no diagonal bracing shown so attaching the entire system to the walls will help a lot to firm up that unbraced corner. If you don't want to attach to the wall a diagonal in the corner behind the left ladder will help.
 
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Old 11-22-23, 10:55 AM
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I had been resisting anchoring the bed to the wall for two reasons.
  1. Because of the baseboards there is a 1" gap between the bed and wall.
  2. I was concerned that over time the wall anchors would break free since it's block construction and screws would not be going into 2x4 studs in the wall.

This is why I was trying to use 45 degree bracing on the beams against the wall so as not to block access underneath the bed. I may be able to get around #1 above by adding a shim between the bed and the wall. As for #2, I could try wall anchors but I'm likely going to need to use large through bolts and pretty beefy anchors. Bolting a bookshelf to the wall works great but the bed gets a lot of movement every day and I'm not convinced anchors will hold.
 
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Old 11-22-23, 11:11 AM
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Put a 1" shim in there and screw it to the wall. Use 3/8" x 4 1/2" tapcons. If you put enough of them in (like every 32") the strain on each one would be minimal. It should be solid as a rock without the need for bracing that would take away headroom. You know they will eventually bang their head on bracing.
 
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