Which Type of Engineered Floor Joist Should I Use?

May 11, 2022 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Wood has been the material of choice for residential construction in North America for centuries. Over the last four decades, builders and engineers have had access to types of construction lumber to use in their construction; traditional wood or engineered wood. In most new buildings today, both types of wood are used. When it comes to the floor, we recommend using engineered wood floor joists for your construction. The three primary types of engineered floor joists commonly utilized for floor systems are I-joists, open web trusses, and hybrid joists. Here’s a guide to which type of engineered floor joist you should use.

1. I-Joists

I-joists are dimension wood held together at the top and bottom with chords and OSB web. These engineered floor joists are the best option for high-volume construction that features a standard layout. This is because they are more affordable, and their length can be adjusted on-site without the engineer’s approval. 

On the downside, I-joists cannot achieve the spans that open web trusses can reach. Moreover, they are somewhat more challenging to install mechanical, engineering, and plumbing through because of the OSB’s paneling properties. Although these manufactured joists have some pre-defined hole locations for MEP pass-through, they are typically too small. You should know that for any additional holes to be made on I-joists, strict guidelines have to be followed so as not to compromise support. 

2. Open Web Trusses

Open web trusses are made of wood webbing held together using metal plates. These engineered floor joists have a significant advantage for constructing more complex and rugged flooring as they have a longer span than I-joists. Moreover, their open web design enables them to easily accommodate most HVAC, plumbing, and electrical configurations with great flexibility for installation. This saves both time and money at the construction site.

These manufactured joists come in specific lengths; thus, you can’t trim them, and this is their primary disadvantage. An engineer must provide their approval for the length of open web trusses to be adjusted. If the authorization isn’t granted, the open web trusses will have to be replaced with others of a suitable length. This complexity usually results in project delays, increasing the already high construction cost. Moreover, the metal connectors on open web trusses usually puncture electrical wiring during installation, presenting a fire hazard. 

3. Hybrid Joists

The hybrid joists invention has been quickly gaining momentum in residential constructions as it combines the advantages of both I-joists and open web truces. They don’t have metal connectors and feature a trimmable OSB end panel. Additionally, hybrid joists can span up to 30 feet in length. 

Are You Looking for Fabricated Steel Manufacturing Services in Indiana? 

Welcome to Benchmark Fabricated Steel; we are a premium metal and steel fabrication and manufacturing services provider based in Terra Haute. We have been operational since 1971, and our services include structural framing design, value engineering, connection design, design-bid-build, and target value design. We also do field and shop drawings. Benchmark Fabricated Steel uses the highest qualified manufacturing equipment, and we have a competent team of highly knowledgeable staff. Call us today.

Categorised in:

This post was written by admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *