# Can I use bolts to attach a bed to the walls of my room?

I plan on mounting my bed to the walls of my room. You can say that it will look like a loft bed without the legs. To make it look like it really is floating, I won't be using angle brackets. Instead, I plan on mounting the frame using multiple relatively long and thick bolts.

The bolts will go through the frames instead of under it like with brackets. The house is made of concrete so I'm pretty sure the walls can take the load of the bed, me, and lots more. The wood that will be used will be wood that is normally used for making beds so I'm pretty sure it can handle my weight too.

## First Problem

My problem is if the bolts can withstand all the weight and transfer them to the wall. I will use thick enough and long enough bolts for these. How thick and how long exactly, I'm still not sure. Please look at the diagram below to see what I'm trying to say.

If you are wondering why I'm only bolting the bed on the short sides of the frame, that's because the back wall (which one of the long frames is touching) has a window in it (at best, I might be able to put a few more bolts near the corners). The bed frame is made using 1" x 4" pieces of wood. I also plan on making the frame capable of being disassembled.

Do you think this is feasible? If so, how long and thick should the bolts be? Is 3/8" thick enough? Is 4 inches long enough (I can get longer bolts if necessary)? What material should the bolt be made of? How many should I use?

## Second problem

My next problem would be is that the walls of my room are not parallel with each other so a rectangular bed won't be touching the walls on both the short sides. See the diagram below to see what I'm saying:

As you can see, the left side of the bed isn't fully touching the wall. While I can still attach the frame to the wall, I don't like seeing any space in between. I think the space in between would be an inch or so at its widest.

First thing I've thought of doing is to just make the frame adapt to the shape of the room. Can anyone suggest a better solution to this as I would rather have a rectangular bed just so that I won't have an irregularly shaped bed when I move it or convert it to a regular one.

Another solution I've thought of is to make a wedge that will fit the space. I'm not sure though if that's an easy task (by the way, I will hire professionals to make the bed). Another is I can just make a small piece of wood to cover the front side of the space. This is easier than making a wedge but I don't think it's pretty to look at from below or over the bed.

What do you guys think?

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1x4 is pretty thin stock. If it is really 1x4 it is actually 3/4 x3 1/2. Unless it is hardwood (and maybe even then) a span over six feet on the long sides seems like a lot for a thin piece of wood. It also may depend on the rigidity in the base below the mattress. unless that is very rigid, you are likely to have sag and possible failure. – bib Nov 12 '13 at 12:43

As long as the wood that you use to construct your bed frame is strong enough in its own right to be used as a bed frame you should have no problems supporting the frame from both ends by bolting into the concrete wall.

Bolts that are 1/2" in diameter should be plenty strong in shear to support a bed frame mounted in this manner. Three or four equally spaced bolts per end would give you an even distribution of support for the frame at each of the concrete walls. If you can penetrate the walls by two to three inches and install good quality anchors there should be no problems with the bolts staying tight and in place. Using a drop-in internally threaded anchor type should provide you the ability to use standard threaded bolts that can then be removed easily with the anchor staying in place in the wall. If you look at the RM-12 type you'll need 5/8 inch holes in the wall that are a minimum of 2" deep. This type of anchor also includes the need of a setting tool to expand the anchor into the concrete before installing the threaded bolts. The RM-12 offers a 3/4" thread depth.

For best application of the bed frame it would be recommended to build it to fit to the shape of the walls so that the end pieces can be solidly bolted up to the wall. If you elect to stay with the rectangular frame and then I would recommend that backer be placed behind the end piece where each bolt is located. Obviously a wedge piece, as you surmised, would be the best as a full length backer. If you do go with just backer blocks or the wedge one way to get a nice look would be to add an additional facer trim board as shown below. If the gap out of square across the width of the bed is only 1" you will never notice it once you get a matress and bedding up on the deck.

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Forgive me for being so naive, but are anchors really necessary? Say the frame will be built touching the walls, shouldn't the friction caused by the weight of bed pushing down the bolt be enough? Since there won't be any lateral movement (left to right movement in the diagram), the bolts should stay in place. – Victor Nov 13 '13 at 8:39
@Victor - In your scenario what do the bolts secure to? What would keep a bolt simply slid into a hole in the wall in place? Do you want to sleep and put your life at risk that the chance friction of the frame against the wall and some sloppy bolts will keep you safe? – Michael Karas Nov 13 '13 at 12:29

With 1" x 4" lumber for the sides, your problem will not be the anchors, but rather splitting of the wood with the grain. But you can get around this by putting bolts low on the 4" side, and backing them with something thicker (so you have 2 or more inches of wood for the bolts to bear on).

I'd have the bed built to match the wall, then have triangular baffle so the mattress does not slide. Perhaps you can make a cell phone or reading glasses pocket out of that space.

The project is 100% feasible as described.

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I believe the wood that's going to be used is pinewood. I've read that this is a soft wood but I see a lot of beds made using this wood. If the bed were to have a thicker frame, what dimensions of the lumber would you suggest? – Victor Nov 13 '13 at 8:27

If your walls are Brick, you will have no load problems at all!... IMO, your biggest challenge/consideration is the buckling of the frame. But if you are confident that the bed frame is rigid enough then bolting to the wall will not be a problem.

In terms of the bolts. I would recommend the use of Expanding Bolts (specifically M10(10mm) or 7/16) this will require a 12mm hole in the wall.

The benefit of this type of anchor is that it will anchor in the wall and as you tighten the bolt, will press the frame securely to the wall (this will mitigate the risk of frame buckle)

You will need only 4 bolts (two on each short side) but if I were you i would fit one extra on the long side.

Your problem with the angled wall is simple, just get a longer bolt and use a spacer to mitigate the angle. (see graphic)

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This type of anchor bolt will be easy to install but will later be very difficult to remove. Often removal requires sawing them off at the concrete surface which is not fun. – Michael Karas Nov 12 '13 at 9:27
Not if you use the original RAWL bolt, which uses a removable bolt - acefixings.com/rawlbolt-loose-m16-15l-box-of-10-p138 – Hightower Nov 12 '13 at 9:39
That "original RAWL bolt" is looking to be quite a different anchor than what you pictured in your posting. – Michael Karas Nov 12 '13 at 9:46
With a frame made of 1x4 lumber, you'll want to pre-expand the anchors. Tightening down the bolts to expand the anchors through the frame, will likely damage the frame. In a game of chicken between concrete, metal, and wood. The wood will almost always lose. – Tester101 Nov 12 '13 at 11:39
@Hightower, which sides of the frame do you suspect of being prone to buckling and to which direction? I don't think the frame would buckle downwards since the wood would be 4" thick in that direction. This is my first time working with such materials so correct me if I'm wrong. – Victor Nov 13 '13 at 8:19

I had a similar bed my Dad made for me after I fell in love with my friends as a pre-teen.

He attached only two sides by bolts to the walls, thick walls of redwood as a bed frame, to surround me in bed, the other two sides came out and met flush like crown molding. My bed was in a corner.

But the outstanding corner, where much of the weight was balanced resolved with a simple thick metal chain that went up through the ceiling and was anchored balanced up there in the attic.

Just a suggestion but to displace the weight, I really did enjoy the floating feel and one line going up disturbed very little. And I felt safe. I then had a couch and a desk with an aquarium on that, making for lots of living in a small space.

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