Is my Porcelain Tile strong enough to bear the weight of a heavy wood stove?

QUESTION

I am wanting to lay tile in our basement onto a concrete floor. I currently have an area of tile underneath our wood stove that I laid over 10 years ago ( I will have to remove this). My husband is concerned about the grade and strength of the ceramic tile I am interested in. I would like to lay something similar to Lowe's Natural Timber Porcelain Tile 6 x 24" by True Life but am not confident this will be strong enough to bear the weight of a heavy wood stove. Would this be strong enough grade? PEI rating listed as a 3 with breaking strength listed as 251-499 pounds. Thanks in advance!

ANSWER

ANSWER - If in fact the tile you are selecting is a porcelain tile with the physical properties as required in ANSI A137.1, and it is installed correctly, it should be suitable for bearing the weigh of a heavy wood stove.  Of course you need to carefully place the heavy wood stove on to the properly installed and properly cured tile floor.

Porcelain tiles should not have more than 0.50% absorption and they should have an average breaking strength of at least 275 lbf.  If the porcelain tile is installed properly on a properly prepared concrete substrate, and there are no voids within the thin-set mortar adhesive between the back of the tile and the concrete substrate, then the tile should be suitable for supporting the heavy wood stone on top of it.

6 thoughts on “Is my Porcelain Tile strong enough to bear the weight of a heavy wood stove?

  1. Marcia Dobbs says:

    What should we look for in Ceramic or Porcelain tile for Sporting Goods Business with high traffic, and we are in a State with for seasons, Spring, Summer, Fall & Winter (State of Wisconsin). What is going to be the best Ceramic, Porcelain or a stone ( Like Granite)?
    Thank You in advance for your response via my e-mail.

    • Donato Pompo says:

      For a high traffic retail store in an geographical area that has rain and snow, you need to consider the durability and wearability of the tile, the slip resistance, the freeze-thaw resistance, and the ease of maintenance.

      A ceramic porcelain tile would be best for is durability. You want the tile to be slip resistant, but not too textured where it gets dirty easy/frequently and is more difficult to clean. You want it to be stain resistant.

      Throughbody (unglazed) porcelain tiles tend to be most durable because it has a high compressive strength and is chip resistant and it is the same material throughout the entire tile, so if it chips it is the same material. It also tends to be more slip resistant. Porcelain tiles are impervious so they are normally freeze-thaw stable. They also tend to be stain resistant, but they can stain.

      A glazed porcelain tile can be durable and suitable for your intended use. It can be chip resistant, but can chip and the underlying body could be contrasting or not. Glazed tiles tend to be more slippery when wet and easier to clean and maintain. Some slip resistant tile can tend to require more effort to maintain because of a heavy textured surface. Although there are some new glazed tiles that are slip resistant and are still easy to maintain. One is called Stepwise by Marazzi. The glazed surface and body should be impervious so it is stain resistant.

      Whatever you decide on make sure you read the manufacturer’s data sheet to make sure the tile will be suitable for your intended use.

  2. Marcus says:

    Hi Donato, hope you’re having a great day!

    I have a similar situation as the original poster. I just moved into a new home which has 24×24 porcelain tiles throughout the house. I want to put my home gym in one of the rooms, but I am concerned about putting hundreds of pounds of weights and equipment on the porcelain tile floor.

    I have horse stable rubber mats (3/4″ thick) to put down on the floor, but will porcelain tile be able to handle the weight of a home gym?

    I have about 600-700 pounds of free weights, and a heavy power rack (maybe 350 pounds). I appreciate any help you can offer!

    Thank you

    • Donato Pompo says:

      If the porcelain tiles are properly installed with 80% thin-set contact or more with no voids at corners or edges of the tile, and no voids larger than 2 sq. inches (size of golf ball) then it can handle the weight of the gym equipment.

      If you drop a heavy weight on the tile from a relatively high level it could damage the tile particularly if it lands on a spot where there is a void underneath.

      By putting down the rubber mats that should provide some protection from dropping something on the floor depending on how heavy and from what height it is dropped from.

  3. Brett says:

    Donato,
    I have a very similar situation as the gentleman with the weight room question. I’m remodeling the fireplace/insert in the living room and plan to install a stone fireplace surround system with mantle, weighing 1,020lbs. The hearth is constructed of 2×6 framing and tiled with black 7″x7″x3/8″ ceramic tile as is the wall around the fireplace. The contractor used thin-set and I’m fairly certain 80-100% covered with no gaps. The weight will be distributed on the two legs of the stone surround, at approx 500lbs each side. The footprint of the legs are 8″x4.5″.
    What are your thoughts on this project? Any experience with this?
    Thanks for your insight and wisdom!

    • Donato Pompo says:

      You would have to get a structural engineer to do the calculations and review the local building codes to determine if you are compliant or not.

      It is not uncommon to have 4×4 inch wood posts holding up exterior decks that I imagine would be supporting more than 500 lbs each.

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