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Full-Size Bed: Size and Number of Slats

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Forum topic by pastorglen posted 11-20-2014 06:54 PM 3764 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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pastorglen

267 posts in 2150 days


11-20-2014 06:54 PM

Topic tags/keywords: loft bed support slats design question

I recently made a “semi-loft” bed for my daughter out of a sheet of 4’ x 10’ x 1-1/8” plywood. The bed is a FULL-SIZED bed and is designed to lift her bed and give her added storage space in her small bedroom.

Here’s my question.

I plan to ditch the factory bed springs and simply place the mattress on a 1/2” sheet of plywood that is supported by a number of slats. I have TEN 1” thick by 2” wide MAPLE flooring boards that I plan to use as my slats.

Is this going to be enough? Should I use more? Should I use something different all together?

Your thoughts are appreciated.

-- Glen, Pennsylvania, Colossians 3:23 "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men."


12 replies so far

View Loren's profile

Loren

8295 posts in 3107 days


#1 posted 11-20-2014 07:20 PM

IKEA sells these laminated wood springs. Look into
it. They aren’t expensive. I think they’re a new
standard in Europe, replacing box springs, so
they’re being manufactured in large quantities.

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BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1829 days


#2 posted 11-20-2014 07:25 PM

Double post.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1829 days


#3 posted 11-20-2014 07:27 PM

I used furring strips for my daughter’s bed with about 2” gap between each slat, no plywood. But, it was a twin, so I don’t know that I’d trust them to be strong enough for your span without some support in the middle. It’s supported story times that had myself, my wife, and my daughter on the bed, and no problems whatsoever. Seems like 1” maple wouldn’t have much spring to it.

I don’t know how you were planning on keeping them in place, but I clamped both cleats together and used a dado set to notch out where I wanted to slats. Then, the slats just drop into place and can’t move around. My nephew has a store-bought bunk bed that used slats, and they have a tendency to move around, which is not good.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

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darinS

678 posts in 2327 days


#4 posted 11-20-2014 07:37 PM

10 slats 1 inch thick for a full size bed? No problem. You wouldn’t even need the 1/2 inch ply. You might want to screw them into place so they don’t move on you however. Or, you could do as BinghamptonEd suggested.

-- They say many people die because of alcohol. They never realized how many of them are born because of it.

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Kaleb the Swede

1727 posts in 1429 days


#5 posted 11-20-2014 07:48 PM

Just so you guys know, those Ikea bed slats shift quite a bit. The ones in mine and my wifes bed are always moving. I am building a bed now myself.

If the length of her bed is 80 inches (don’t know what size you did but I think that is standard) that means you only have 20 inches of slat material to cover the 80 inches total. That leaves you with 60 inches(?) of uncovered material. I think the strength would be plenty along with the plywood.

Bear in mind that the mattress needs to expel the moisture that the body develops. That is why bed slats are more and more popular letting the mattress breathe

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

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knotscott

7207 posts in 2835 days


#6 posted 11-20-2014 08:20 PM

That’s a 53” span, correct? Most beds that use slats have a boxframe that supports the middle and distributes the weight to the outside toward the stronger bed frame system. Without the support of a factory boxspring/boxframe, I fear that those 1” strips will sag in the middle pretty easily….the ply won’t offer much support. You might want to consider a support frame of some sort….even laying the slats on edge to offer 2” of support would help, but you’d have to tie them in place somehow, which essentially means you just built a box frame anyway. You might be fine with a kid’s weight, but she’s not likely to get any lighter over time!

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

View nate22's profile

nate22

453 posts in 2335 days


#7 posted 11-20-2014 08:25 PM

I agree with darinS. Just use like 1×4’s or 1×6’s for slats. And you can screw them down if you want to make sure they would move. When I make my beds I just use slats no ply and it works just fine.

Nice looking loft!!

-- Gracie's wooden signs. Middlebury, In.

View Loren's profile

Loren

8295 posts in 3107 days


#8 posted 11-20-2014 08:25 PM

I’ve used things like 1×4 pine boards with acceptable
results. It’s a resilient wood for this sort of application
and you should be able to buy “shorts” pretty cheap.

I wouldn’t be afraid to resaw spruce 2×4s either. Spruce
is used in aircraft and guitar tops because it has among
the best weight to strength ratio and it is springy.

View BinghamtonEd's profile

BinghamtonEd

2281 posts in 1829 days


#9 posted 11-20-2014 08:33 PM

If you do go with something like furring strips or resawn dimensional lumber, be conscious of where the knots are in the boards, and be prepared to pick through the pile. I bought something like 10 furring strips and probably looked at 30. A large knot in the slat would compromise the strength.

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View pastorglen's profile

pastorglen

267 posts in 2150 days


#10 posted 11-20-2014 09:42 PM

Thanks, all.

One other question. Do you think there is any need to have the plywood run COMPLETELY from side to side? (My dad said it might keep stuff from falling through the crack to the floor.)

I am being very selective with the wood I’m using to make sure that it is clear and without knots. Basically I’m only using the flooring because I have a STACK of it, and I can’t see buying something else if this will safely do the trick.

I really like BinghamtonEd’s suggestion for keeping the slats from moving around. I’ve glued spacers in place and plan to screw each slat board into the bed rail – just to keep them in place.

As for the picture I posted—that’s my living room, not my shop. And the little girl is included so you’d know why I don’t want the thing to fall apart. :-)

-- Glen, Pennsylvania, Colossians 3:23 "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men."

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pastorglen

267 posts in 2150 days


#11 posted 11-20-2014 09:48 PM

Knotscott – You are correct. Spanning the width of the full-size bed is what bothers me.

Building my own support frame is a great idea. I could just build my own frame (Kreg screw it together) and place the plywood on top of it all to span the weight. That way the wood would be placed on edge gaining the full support of the same slat boards – but on edge.

-- Glen, Pennsylvania, Colossians 3:23 "Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men."

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1176 posts in 2527 days


#12 posted 11-20-2014 11:50 PM

For beds, I use the rule of full/queen is 4 slats kink or cal king 5 slots. I however use an T for my slats. I take 2” wide slat 4/4” cut a 1/2” dado down the middle and glue/screw a 1.5” Vert to create a beam. I’ve got a large foam bed (heavy) and she’s never sagged.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/22447246@N06/11913000793/in/set-72157632472603837

Not my design though. This is how Charles Neil does it.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

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