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This question is regarding the safest way of installing a heavy punching bag of 100 lbs from the basement ceiling. Above the basement ceiling is a wood floor. The goal is to sleep soundly at night knowing that we don't have to worry about damaging the ceiling/floor structure.

QUESTION 1:

Is one of these methods, or another method, the best and safest for hanging and using a 100 lbs punching bag and not having to worry about it damaging the floor structure or the floor above over time?:

(a)

  • Adding 3 or 4 beams parallel between the existing basement ceiling joists
  • Adding a perpendicular beam that will screw into those parallel beams (so that the weight is distributed amongst those beams)
  • Attaching the ceiling mount (Note 1) to that perpendicular beam

(b)

  • Adding a beam parallel between the basement ceiling joists
  • Attaching the ceiling mount (Note 1) to that one parallel beam

(c)

  • ?

Note: The ceiling mount is designed to absorb the shock produced by hitting the bag. The bag hangs from the ceiling mount, which is screwed into the ceiling beam.

QUESTION 2

What is the best way to secure/install the parallel beams?

QUESTION 3

My assumption is that hanging anything from the existing joists, or even making holes in the existing joists, is best avoided so as not to weaken them or tamper with the existing floor structure. Is this a valid assumption?

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  • $\begingroup$ Keep in mind the purpose of all these beams etc that you are thinking of adding, which is to get the weight of the bag into the walls. One (not very big) steel beam resting on solid wall at each end would hold a lot more than 100lb without looking ugly, and would be much easier to size correctly than messing about adding stuff to the existing floor structure (which is probably an unknown quantity, structurally).. $\endgroup$ – alephzero Jul 5 '18 at 16:10
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the response! So if I understand, you mean adding a steel beam (what size?) resting on solid wall at each end, joined by a wood beam going across the ceiling would be the smartest thing to do? Much appreciated $\endgroup$ – Mike Jul 5 '18 at 16:28
  • $\begingroup$ MIght get more responses over at diy.SE $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Jul 5 '18 at 17:16
  • $\begingroup$ You realize a lot of sound will go into the room above ? $\endgroup$ – blacksmith37 Jul 6 '18 at 2:50
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Its good that you are thinking through a structure change like this. The world would be much safer if people took the time to ask. That said, I would hope that the floor structure has enough safety factor to handle a small load like a 100lb punching bag. House floors are designed to handle water beds, refrigerators, and other large loads. The 100lb punching bag would easily fall under the live loading the floor was designed for. Remember that 100lb is a very small load as far as your house is considered. Most likely you do not need to add anything to the structure.

If your house is very old (1950 or older) and had questionable if any engineering, you may want to have the structure evaluated (bigger problem than just the punching bag). If issues are found, you would want to have the whole structure evaluated as the roof would probably even have bigger problems. You would need to hire a licensed Structural Engineer to do this evaluation for you. If you are concerned, I recommend you submit a new question specifically asking if the beams(floor joists) in your floor are adequate. Include a drawing with dimensions of the joist and some photos of the floor joists and connections. The civil/structural engineers on here would be able to recommend if you need to get the structure professionally evaluated or not.

When attaching your punching bag mount, I recommend attaching to two joists. This is to keep the bag from twisting the joist as it is impacted. The spacing on the mount is probably something standard like 16". If it doesn't line up correctly, you will need to box in between the joists with 2x6 or larger so no twisting will occur. For attaching the mount itself, predrill a hole the size of the root (the solid inside part) of the lag you have selected. Make sure the hole is centered in the bottom of the joist. This small hole and lack of splitting, ensures the floor joist's strength stays above 100% of its rated strength.

Without seeing your exact installation location, I would recommend using four 3/8" x 3" lag bolts with a 1/4" predrill.

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  • $\begingroup$ Agreed. It's worth remembering that people walk right over that beam on a daily basis. If you (who almost certainly weigh significantly more than 100lb) are comfortable walking and jumping on that floor, a measly punching bag won't be an issue unless you make a mess of the drilled holes. $\endgroup$ – Wasabi Jul 5 '18 at 19:15
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I assume you are living in US. My answer is in reference to conventional construction with light framing and what is known as Type v construction.

I recommend you open a small 16" wide by 6" high opening in a place near the top of the wall where you expect the floor joist will meet and be supported by the double-plate to check for moisture leaks, dry rot, termite damage or an unexpected sewer pipe which has eaten out most of the structure, basically general soundness of the structure, then if all seems ok proceed.

Try to hang the anchor within 1/3 span of the floor joists to minimize booming sound throughout the house, and the extra momentum to the beam. Do not attach the anchor directly to the joist but to a blocking of the same dimension as the joists saddling and connecting the two joists with appropriate joist fasteners which you can readily find at big box warehouses. Most of the anchors have their own fasteners and relevant instructions, try to follow them as best. Paint the ceiling in some kind of square chess pattern to give you a sense of aim and perspective.

And finally try to leave a half an inch gap at the ceiling entrance point( or what you judge the play of anchor would be) filled with caulking so as you don't worry about future cracks in the ceiling.

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