The generation of ultrasound in a metal plate exposed to nanosecond pulsed laser heating, sufficient to cause melting but not ablation, is treated. Consideration is given to the spatial and temporal profiles of the laser pulse, penetration of the laser beam into the sample, the evolution of the melt pool, and thermal conduction in the melt and surrounding solid. The excitation of the ultrasound takes place over a few nanoseconds, and occurs predominantly within the thermal diffusion length of a micron or so beneath the surface. Because of this, the output of the thermal simulations can be represented as axially symmetric transient radial and normal surface force distributions. The epicentral displacement response at the opposite surface to these forces is obtained by two methods, the one based on the elastodynamic Green's functions for plate geometry determined by the Cagniard generalized ray method, and the other using a finite element numerical method. The two approaches are in very close agreement. Numerical simulations are reported of the epicentral displacement response of a 3.12mm thick tungsten plate irradiated with a 4 ns pulsed laser beam with Gaussian spatial profile, at intensities below and above the melt threshold. Comparison is made between results obtained using available temperature dependent thermophysical data, and room temperature materials constants except near the melting point.