Murphy Bed Disaster, need help

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Forum topic by richmeister posted 12-24-2011 06:00 AM 7821 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 2343 days

12-24-2011 06:00 AM

Hello, We purchased an expensive murphy bed kit and were going good until we got to the spring mechanism installation. To make a long story short, we adjusted the spring tension as per the manual. We also installed 4 self tapping supplied screws into metal wall studs at the top of the unit as per the manual to secure the unit to the wall. I triple checked these for going into the studs and they were tight. But when I started to test the opening and closing of the heavy bed part, when I attempted to open it all the way, the entire unit pulled away from the wall and came crashing down on the floor almost killing me and my wife. This had something to do with the spring tension but it was adjusted as per the manual. It was like the screws in the metal studs did not have any holding power. This should not have happened. What went wrong?

10 replies so far

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2968 days

#1 posted 12-24-2011 06:30 AM

I personally don’t think metal studs are any good for a load.
The only buildings I have worked on with metal studs had load blocks embedded in the wall where there was going to be a load attached.

What’s on the far side of the wall? Another room, the outside, or a closet?
If the answer is closet, you could put the load block on the other side of the wall and run screws through the wall.

View ChuckC's profile


828 posts in 2933 days

#2 posted 12-24-2011 06:37 AM

I agree. I don’t think you will have much luck with the metal studs. Can you open the wall to add reinforcement?

View tomd's profile


2155 posts in 3768 days

#3 posted 12-24-2011 06:43 AM

I’m afraid I also agree metal studs do not have much holding power for screws.

-- Tom D

View cuttwice's profile


60 posts in 2683 days

#4 posted 12-24-2011 07:35 AM

richmeister, did the manual say the screws were for fastening to metal studs specifically? Before the bed came off the wall, did it seem especially difficult to push the bed down? The springs are supposed to assist you in lowering the bed gently, but once you get it away from the wall by more than a few degrees, the bed platform (and its mattress) should come down pretty much on its own. If you were having to push it down much at all, the springs may have been too tight.

That caveat aside, I agree with the others that the most likely culprit is the studs. Metal studs are fine in compression, but not great at carrying side loads like those that would be imposed by a Murphy bed spring. There may well not be enough meat in the metal box’s wall to hold the screws properly – there’s not much to those things, and the metal’s often pretty soft.

If you’re really lucky, the springs were misadjusted. If you’re a little less lucky, the other side of the wall is a closet. If not, ChuckC is likely right that you’ll have to open up the wall to reinforce the bed mount inside it.

Sorry to hear about your trouble, and glad you and your wife are OK!

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


932 posts in 2352 days

#5 posted 12-24-2011 08:10 AM

Yeah, metal studs are meant to bare loads from top to bottom, not from the sides. Unfortunately I can’t think of any solutions for you that don’t require wall surgery, and if you are in the wrong setting, well, that might not be possible.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View richmeister's profile


3 posts in 2343 days

#6 posted 12-24-2011 09:34 PM

Thank you all for your answers. I have talked with some industry people and it appears that pulling away from the wall is a common problem with these Murphy beds. I wish I had been told or warned about how important the wall securing is. I will reinforce with butterfly type fasteners and anything else that is necessary. The other side of the wall is a storage room. Thanks.

View buckles's profile


24 posts in 2540 days

#7 posted 12-25-2011 12:19 AM

Sorry fellows but 22 ga metal studs are not structural members in any sense of the word. They do not bear loads and are not in tension or compression and will not support anything but the lightest of pictures. They are used in NON load bearing walls.
Where a load is designed to placed on a wall, structural steel studs are specified OR load bearing supports are installed before the drywall goes on.
Opening the wall to insert wooden 2×4 s will not work because there is no support at the top on the wall. You will only pull the entire wall over on yourself.
You would have to go into the attic and brace the top sill of the wall to something solid up there. This is not a do it yourself project.
I am a State certified General contractor and have designed and built houses.

-- Politicians are like diapers. They need to be changed for the same reasons.

View klassenl's profile


185 posts in 2657 days

#8 posted 12-25-2011 06:30 AM

Don’t let Mr. Buckles get you down. He’s made very valid points about steel studs, but many things are a do it yourself project if you’re willing to acquire the knowledge and then spend the days/weeks/months doing the work.

-- When questioned about using glue on a garbage bin I responded, "Wood working is about good technique and lots of glue........I have the glue part down."

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3083 days

#9 posted 12-25-2011 07:34 PM

Sheetrock is not that difficult to cut, remove, replace and repair. You can cut a small or large inspection
hole in the wall and find out just what is in that wall and the header. Then if you are lucky and have to
reinforce from above, you might be able to access the attic. Just saying that after you have put that
money into the bed, do not walk away until you have checked out as much as you can by yourself. If
it is more than you can handle, hopefully you know a good contractor or carpenter, or can find one by
checking local references who can help you solve this problem without breaking the bank.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


932 posts in 2352 days

#10 posted 12-25-2011 08:20 PM

no statement was made about what gauge the studs are. Therefore I will not assume they are 22 or any other gauge.

Nor was I about to say what possible kinds of wall surgery can be done, because I’ve not seen inside said wall. But, in all fairness there is the possibility that this could be a dyi project regardless.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

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