Safes have a long history, during which time they’ve evolved into many different forms.

They can be used for similar purposes such as keeping important documents away from prying eyes or to protect loose jewels. If you live in an unsafe neighbourhood, they can also be a good way to hide emergency cash.

Two of the most popular and secure types of safe are wall safes and floor safes.

Despite their similarities, they still carry some unique features and advantages over one another.

Let’s explore the similarities and differences between them.

What are wall safes?

Wall safes are a common type of safe used in private residences, businesses, and elsewhere.

As their name suggests, they are installed into walls. This generally at least partially conceals them. To add to this advantage, they can be completely concealed when hidden behind paintings, furniture or other objects.

A wall safe should be installed professionally to prevent damage to the structure of a property. The size and depth of the wall will define the dimensions of the safe that can be used.

Wall safes vs vaults

The main difference between wall safes and vaults is scale – wall safes are much smaller than vaults.

Vaults typically take up whole rooms, floors, or even buildings. And like safes, vaults come in a variety of forms, including bank vaults, art vaults, seed vaults, and more.

This typically means vaults have larger capacities and are more secure than wall safes.

What are floor safes?

Floor safes are typically safes encased in floors. They come in two main types:

  • Underfloor safes: These are often encased in concrete and built with shuttering around them
  • Floorboard safes: These are attached to joists that sit between floor and a ceiling or the ground

They typically require professional installation to both avoid floor damage and the risk of the safe not being fully secured. And they can be partially or fully concealed by furniture, carpets, etc.

Wall safe vs floor safe: Similarities

1. More secure than free-standing safes

Wall safes and floor safes are often much more secure than regular safes. This is because, whether they are encased in a concrete floor or bolted down, they are more difficult to move than regular safes.

They are also easier to conceal than regular safes. This concealment, such as behind a painting or other art, can also serve as a further obstacle (should the safes be discovered) to thieves.

2. Require professional installation

Professional services are typically required for installing both of these types of safes. Incorrect instalment could damage floors or walls, or even negatively impact the structural integrity of buildings.

The installation process obviously costs money. However, once fitted, each solution can – unlike with regular safes – help with storage space usage.

Wall safe vs floor safe: Differences

1. Costs

Generally costs can vary for both types of safe, depending on the level of protection desired.

However, overall, wall safes are usually cheaper as they are smaller, have thinner walls and can be more easily installed. A starting price is about £66 (/$83 USD approx.) for a basic wall safe.

Floor safes tend to be larger and heavier and cost more to install. Their starting price is about £115 ($145 USD) for a basic floor safe.

Different costs for different features

Choosing among the various available features will help you make the right choice of safe. This will also affect the total cost of protecting your assets.

For example, a business may want secret security compartments or a particular lock mechanism. A range of locks can be implemented, from key-operated to biometric or digital keypads. Locks that do not protrude are better for concealment.

Or a resident considering home security might simply need a basic secure place to store and conceal a few items such as loose jewels.

2. Level of security

Floor safes can often provide a higher level of security than floor safes.

Some wall safes can still be accessed with the right tools by thieves. When they are installed, some are attached to drywalls with wooden studs. This can be easier for (determined!) thieves to break through.

Floor safes, on the other hand, are often encased in concrete. They are also often heavier and have thicker doors than wall safes.

3. Convenience

Wall safes are more convenient than floor safes. Their installation process is simpler and requires less time and resources than floor safes.

Furthermore, floor safes require bending down or kneeling for access. This is not ideal for regular use, especially if the objects concealing them need to regularly moved and put back.

Also, most (underground) floor safes hold more items than wall safes. The former are often not as limited by space as the latter, which are restricted by the depth of walls.

Wall safes can often be relocated, too. But once a floor safe is installed, it is harder to move it as it becomes part of the building structure. This makes floor safes a more permanent option for a house or office.

How to choose between wall and floor safes?

There are a few main factors to consider when choosing between wall and floor safes.


On average, floor safes cost more than wall safes to buy and install.


For many buyers, floor and wall safes are limited by space on premises. Where exactly either option can go depends on several factors, including:

  • Tenant agreements. In situations where the individual, business, or organisation does not own a property)
  • Materials used on a property. Concrete flooring, for example, is quite different to work with than wooden flooring or carpet.
  • Positioning of available wall or floor space. Safes should be placed in appropriately private quarters (back offices or studies, for example). Therefore it’s the walls and floors there that matter.

Frequency of use

For businesses, cash management processes vary. Some frequently accept and process coins and banknotes, whilst others rely solely on cards and mobile payments instead.

In the former scenario where cash is frequently moved about, a wall safe is likely to be more convenient. In the latter, when a safe is more likely to store digital records or other valuables, a floor safe can be considered.

Value of stored goods

Floor safes are suitable for storing higher value items than wall safes because of their relative security.

When they are installed underground, they are even easier to conceal and harder (for thieves) to gain unauthorised access to.

That said, a wall safe can also be a wise investment. It still provides a high level of protection and can be concealed well.


Wall safes and floor safes both provide a higher level of security than regular safes.

The decision between the two hinges on factors such as cost, available space, frequency of use, and the value of items to be stored. Don’t forget to also consider the building materials used in the room where it is to be sited.

Ultimately, whether you opt for the concealed convenience of a wall safe or the fortified security of a floor safe, the primary objective remains safeguarding valuables. Safes are available to accommodate small valuable items from boxed jewellery and important documents to emergency cash.

It is therefore essential to carefully assess the unique features and benefits of each type of safe before making a decision that aligns with security requirements.

Wall Safes Vs Floor Safes: A Comparison