How to Secure a Safe to a Wood Floor

If you are looking to learn how to secure a safe to a wood floor but don’t know where to start, then you have come to the right place. In this article, we will discuss some insights that will give you a clear idea of how to do that.

Anchor Bolters for Securing a Safe to a Wood Floor

Most safes come equipped with special anchor bolts called “anchor bolters.” These are screws that require a hex wrench for installation. They have been specifically designed for anchoring purposes.

However, not everyone has an anchor bolter laying around in their toolbox or knows where they can get one from. Most store-bought anchor bolters only work on concrete and masonry surfaces, so if the floor is made out of another material such as wood or tile, they will not work.

The only problem with using bolts is the fact they must be screwed into pre-drilled holes on top of anchoring them. If you try to use bolts without drilling pilot holes first, you could end up cracking or splitting your expensive hardwood flooring during installation (if there are any). 

If this happens, then it really has the purpose of securing a safe to the floor in the first place. To avoid this, I’d recommend using lag bolts that are not only good for anchoring purposes but also have a hex head instead of being an Allen key bolt so you can use your regular drill driver to install them.

Essential Material to Know How to Secure a Safe to Wood Floor?

When it comes to anchoring, lag bolts are a great option that can easily be installed into wood floors. They could also be fitted through the flanges on a safe and fastened down by a regular drill driver. 

To secure a safe with a lag bolt, however, you will need two different-sized bits: one bit for drilling pilot holes and another bit for creating an oversize hole so the hex head of the lag bolt will fit snugly in place.

I recommend using brass or standard steel lag bolts which measure 3/8″ in diameter and at least 2″ long to anchor most safes down onto wood floor surfaces. 

These types of bolts should work perfectly fine when securing a safe made out of lighter materials such as 14-gauge sheet steel. Heavier safes made out of 16- and 18-gauge materials should be secured with 5/16″-diameter x 2″ long lag bolts instead (these are most commonly available in hardware stores).

For making an oversized hole in wood floors to accept a hex head lag bolt, I recommend using a standard 1/2″ masonry drill bit from any home improvement store. For drilling the pilot holes for lag bolts, you’ll want a special masonry drill bit called a “hammer drill chuck.” 

These bits will save your arm from getting tired! In addition to that, they can also create cleaner holes since there is less vibration when compared to the traditional twist-style masonry drills. 

The best hammer drill bit to use for drilling pilot holes in wood floors and other non-masonry surfaces would be a masonry drill bit made by Bosch: The Bosch Bulldog 2-1/4″ x 12 mm SDS Plus Rotary Hammer Drill Bit.

How to Secure a Safe to a Wood Floor?

Step by step guide on how to secure a safe to a woof floor with lag bolts

To simplify the process of anchoring a safe down to wooden floors, I’ve included below an easy three-step plan: 

Step 1: 

Plan ahead and locate wall studs or support beams so you know where to drill pilot holes. 

If there is no place near where the safe will be anchored, try drilling through additional supporting members such as kickboards – these boards could be found under cabinets and countertops.

Once you find a good location for drilling pilot holes, mark the spot with your pencil (be sure not to drill through any wires or electrical equipment since this could result in serious injury).

Step 2 

Drill pilot holes using the hammer drill bit. Once you’ve marked the location for it, switch out your drill bit and use the 1/2″ masonry bit to drill pilot holes. 

Make sure that you push firmly against the safe to keep it stationary! If possible, recline the safe at an angle so that gravity will work with you rather than against you. Keep turning until you reach the full depth of the pilot hole – this should be about 1/8″.

Step 3 

Attach lag bolts into predrilled pilot holes by hand or using a powered screwdriver if there’s enough clearance space. 

Once you screw in the lag bolt it should be snug against the surface of the safe, but not too tight. If it is too difficult to turn by hand using a wrench or socket wrench, place another wrench over the head of the fastener and try again.

Step 4 

Tighten each lag bolt until they are completely secure against the subflooring. Make sure that all six of your lag bolts are securely attached to the floor before moving on to locking down your safe! 

After installing all six lag bolts you can then proceed to lock down your safe. You will want to go back with your drill later on and fill up any holes left by pilot holes with wood putty so that it matches what you have done on other parts of the floor.

For an added measure of security, you may also want to remove all remaining exposed screws or nails by using a nail punch prior to installing the lag bolts.

If you happen to have some leftover wood putty on hand (and nothing else needs to be done with it) feel free to spread it around your pilot holes before inserting the lag bolts into them. 

This will further secure the bolts in place and make them that much harder for someone else to remove. Just note that if you do not have any leftovers then there is no need for doing this step!    

How to Secure a Safe to a Wood Floor – Conclusion

Hopefully, this has helped you understand how to secure a safe to a wood floor. The pros of installing a safe this way will be that no one can pry open the door or damage the floor when moving it, and you don’t need to drill into concrete to make it super secure.