Pedestals: A Weighty Issue

Walnut Pedestal

Color. Size. Shape. These are the common variables that we get the most questions about when customers are ordering our pedestals.  We also receive many inquiries about options such as turntables, toe kicks and finishes. But outside of those, one of the most common questions we receive is this: How much weight will one of our pedestals hold? A quick glance at our website suggests that all of our products are sturdily built, but what about that 200lb Buddha statue you just paid a pretty penny for? Will it be safely displayed with no worries about whether or not your pedestal will support the weight? The last thing you want is for your piece to be compromised by a weak display pedestal.

The truth is, it’s rarely an issue for most of our customers.  For example, our Black Laminate Pedestal can easily hold up to 200lbs, and that’s a conservative weight rating.  But for some customers, it is a concern. Here a few things to think about when displaying a very heavy object on one of our pedestals:

  • Is it a tall object or sculpture?  Often times the issue becomes one of top-heaviness, and no matter how much weight the pedestal will hold, the issue at hand can be how easily the object can be tipped.  Often times to help with this, we will put an easily removable false bottom into the pedestal that will allow the customer to place something such as a sand bag into the pedestal to give it extra weight and mass.  Replace the false bottom and you’ve got a much more stable center of gravity for a tall, heavy object.
  • The next consideration plays off of the first: Where is the object being displayed? Is it a high traffic area? Will it be tucked in a corner or displayed free standing in the middle of a room? Are there small children frequently near the object? A high traffic area where a pedestal can be easily bumped coupled with a tall, top heavy object is a recipe for an accident.  Our recommendation is to display your tall heavy objects away from doors or entryways into rooms to avoid such problems.  If small children are present, you may need to consider anchoring the piece to a nearby wall or ceiling, or anchoring the pedestal to the floor if possible.
  • And lastly, what is the weight distribution of the object like? Basic physics tells us if the weight of a heavy object is focused onto a small point in the center of the pedestal, the top could possibly be compromised. Whereas if the weight is distributed more evenly across the entire surface of the pedestal, it is more than capable of bearing the weight load.  Most sculptures have a big enough base to distribute the weight to a reasonable level with no worries.

So how do you know when heavy is too heavy? That’s where our customer service team comes in.  Our team works closely with our designers and production team and are skilled at anticipating your needs; solving the problems you didn’t even know you had!  We can often  easily determine with a few questions if our standard construction will bear the weight of the object you are displaying. If not, our pedestals can be modified with extra bracing to support your treasured piece. “We really are about service, we’re not just order takers. And we’re not just sales people trying to close the deal. We want to know that you’re getting what you want and need”, says Pedestal Source/Xylem Design CEO and founder Greg Glebe.

Pedestals are a fairly simple product, but there are a few things you have to get right. One of them is being sure it will hold the weight you are putting on it.  With a few questions and considerations, you can rest easy that your most prized sculptures will have a safe, great looking display pedestal for years to come.

Here’s a video we made a while back demonstrating the weight capacity of one of our pedestals.

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