How Much Weight Can a Sideboard Hold? (Capacity Explained!)

Sideboards are a popular choice of furniture that can be used in basically all rooms in your house, despite being perceived mostly as a dining room fixture.

Since it is a piece of utility furniture, meaning you generally use it to store and keep items on and in it, how much weight they can hold is crucially important to know.

How much weight can a sideboard hold?

The structure and the material of the sideboard essentially determine how much weight it can hold. On average, a wooden sideboard can hold up to 70 kg. The thickness of the material also determines the weight a sideboard can hold, so it can be significantly more or even less depending on it.

As mentioned earlier, material, its thickness, and the structure it holds limit the weight it can hold. But there are always exceptions where the mixture of two will trump the third. 

For example, a table made of balsa wood will support less weight than a table made of mahogany that has the same thickness. Even a lightwood honeycomb panel with a better structure can hold way more weight than something made of plywood but with weaker assembly.

Why is it called a sideboard?

Sideboards are pieces of furniture that have been warming our houses times for a long, long time. Historically they were long tables meant to be used for smorgasbords though now they have evolved their usage for storage or narrow side table pieces.

Mainly meant to be a utility piece, sideboards were designed to maximize storage and be easy to serve food off of them.

Traditionally it is supposed to hold plates, side dishes, decanters, and any or other accessories needed for a meal. Occasionally they can contain cupboards and drawers for easier access.

This piece of furniture has been around us since the middle ages, named as an alternative to a “side table”.

That name grew around, matured, and changed to the sideboard, and it makes sense when you think about it since it is a piece of stepped furniture kept at the side that was used for display and using evidently valuable eating utensils.

Different types of sideboards weight capacity

Whilst sideboards were usually kept in the dining room, it has evolved now to the point where it can be used pretty much everywhere in the house.

There are low sideboards, high sideboards, the freestanding kind. There are also different kinds of sideboards made specifically for dining rooms, living rooms, hallways, and even for bedrooms. It makes sense to think these different types have different weight capacities as well.

It should be noted that before anything else, the structure, material, and the way the material is used and crafted that determine how much weight it can hold.

Wooden standard sideboard

A standard, basic wooden sideboard weighing around 110 pounds can hold heavy glass and brassware on it without showing any signs of stress. So safe to say, a standard sideboard can hold half or more of its body weight without buckling out.

Hallway sideboards

A hallway sideboard weighing 145 pounds can hold more than 4 racks of wine bottles on it, as well as storing other items on its drawers and cupboards. Ideally, the weight capacity should be around 50 to 80 lbs.

On the other hand, there are some 70-pound sideboards that can carry 250lbs on them.

Living room sideboard

A standard wooden living room sideboard made of pine and plywood weighs around 95 pounds. Usually rectangular, this type of sideboard can hold more than their body weight and have a capacity of around 270 pounds.

Bedroom sideboard

An average sideboard meant for the bedroom made of engineered wood and steel typically weighs 80 pounds.

This rectangle bar cabinet style sideboard can hold 75lbs on top, 40lbs in the cabinet and the cubes should be able to handle 5lbs each. So combined the weight capacity can be around 130-150 pounds.

As seen by the types of different sideboards, they usually weigh around 100 pounds and can hold at least half our body weight, up to almost double their weight. It is always a good idea to check their capacity before putting something particularly heavy on it.

How much does a sideboard weigh?

Sideboards come in versatile styles and designs, which will understandably change their weight. However, we can look into an average weight to know what to expect.

A wooden sideboard with the dimensions of 1.5 x .5 x 1 m can be expected to weigh somewhere between 90 to 120 kgs. It should be noted that different types of sideboards will weigh differently. Lounge sideboards are known to be quite light, weighing about 20 to 35 kgs.

How to increase sideboard weight capacity?

There are a couple of ways you can increase your sideboard’s weight capacity. It should be mentioned that with these methods you can only increase capacity around 10 to 20% of what it was before, so expecting anything more than that is rather unreasonable.

Architecturally it is called “sag”, where sagging is depicted when the object starts to give way to the weight and starts to bend.

Thicken the material

You can try adding a thicker layer of material to the top of the sideboard so the weight is being distributed more accordingly and smoothly. You can also try adding them by fastening them to the front edge of the furniture.

Reinforce the joints

Try reinforcing the leg joints by adding diagonal braces from the leg to the top, which is also a good way to reduce the span distance and so increasing the way the sideboard can handle more weight.

Consider using a stretcher base

Stretcher bases used to be used in taverns or pubs which helped to stabilize the frame. This can also be applied for sideboards and can also increase or even improve the design feature.

Add more legs

Add more legs to the furniture to improve how they can handle weight since each leg will help to disperse the weight which will, in turn, improve the weight capacity.

These methods can be done on their own as a DIY but if any of them feel too complicated, you can always look up tutorials. And if everything else fails, there is no shame to ask for help from customer service or professionals who will determinedly do a good job on it.

Why size matters with sideboards’ weight capacity?

To understand why size matters with how much weight a sideboard can handle, we just have to look into basic physics. It is understandable that bigger things have the capability to hold and handle more weight on and in them. The same logic follows for sideboards as well.

As mentioned earlier, the material an object is made of determines how much weight it can handle or how much support it can provide. How much weight it can support is dependent on the material and how thick it is, as well as the way it is structured.

How big should a sideboard be?

To understand what can be the limit of something, we must know its most average or standard form so we know how to expand upon them. For sideboards, the standard size dimension goes something like this-

The front-to-back depth or the width of the furniture is somewhere around 20 to 22 inches. 

Height-wise, it can vary since there are high and low and even wall stuck free-standing ones. But usually, the height is somewhere around 36 inches, so it can match the kitchen counter.

Lengthwise, it is expected to be 60 inches, but you can find 48 inches variants as well.

Centimeter-wise, it goes followingly: width being 50 to 220 cm, the depth being 30 to 90 cm and height being 60 to 120 cm.

Since they can always come in different sizes, you can rest assured you will find one to your liking.

Can you put a fish tank on a sideboard?

Since sideboards are capable of handling quite a significant amount of weight on them, we can assume that a fish tank can be put on a sideboard. However, it is always a good idea to look up the weight capacity before putting on something rather very heavy on it.

It is deemed safer that if you want to put something heavy on it, a flat bottom will distribute the weight better than two or four legs since the weight will be dispersed only on them.

Sideboards are a unique yet popular form of household fittings that can be a statement piece whilst also providing utility. Since it is expected to put objects on and in them, it is recommended to know how much weight they can handle.

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