Pedestals: A Weighty Issue

Walnut Pedestal

One of the most common questions we receive is: 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 200 lb Buddha statue you just purchased? Can our pedestals safely support something so heavy? 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 200 lbs, 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 tip. Often times to help with this, we will either recommend a proper pedestal footprint-to-height ratio that is appropriate for the object you are displaying or we can 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. This provides for 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? Are there small children frequently near the object? Improper pedestal placement plus a tall, top heavy object is a recipe for disaster.  Our recommendation is to display your tall, heavy objects away from doors or entryways. 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. A pedestal on carpet can also compromise stability, but we can equip our pedestal with carpet spikes that fasten the pedestal down into the subfloor without damaging the carpet.
  • 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. 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 engineer 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 if our standard construction will bear the weight of the object you are displaying and can reinforce our pedestals as needed. “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 assured that your most prized sculptures will have a safe, elegant display pedestal for years to come.

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