Why you should consider floor trusses instead of joists for your building project.

There are many benefits to building using floor truss components in your residential or commercial building project, so we thought we'd highlight some of those:


· Engineered for spans and loading along with additional loading for materials and concentrated loads.

· Reduces movement ( bouncing )

· Allows for mechanical and electrical to be run through an open chase in the floor truss

· Eliminates crowns and humps in your floor.

· Reduces sound noise from one floor to the next

· In Residential, in most cases, eliminates the dropped ceiling and need for basement supports and allows for an open room concept in basements.

· Commercial – eliminates the need for a dropped ceiling, as all the mechanicals and electrical are in the floor trusses.

· Allows for longer spans vs. lumber material.

©Triangle Building Products
 

We recently came across an interesting article from The Washington Post by Tim Carter, of AskTheBuilder.com, where he talks about the use of trusses in his daughter's new house:


"I was recently downloading some photos from my fancy digital camera, and I stumbled across hundreds of forgotten pictures I shot while my daughter’s new home was being built on Mount Desert Island in Downeast Maine.


I was there every day for the first few months, capturing the framing of the home and installing all the plumbing, radiant floor heat and electric in the home. I did my best to capture each aspect of the construction. It was snowy, cold and windy, but that just reminded me of all the cold days I had worked on jobs during my building career. We didn’t have heated jackets back then and kept warm by constantly moving.


One of my favorite aspects of the construction of the home was the use of floor trusses instead of floor joists. I specified floor trusses for quite a few reasons, not the least of which is that they produce amazing flat floors with no bounce. My daughter wanted tile floors throughout the home because of a dust allergy, and flat floors with no bounce are a must for large-format tile.


Floor trusses borrow the same engineering principles bridge builders have employed for decades. There’s a very good chance you’ve driven across a Pratt truss bridge in your lifetime. This bridge is designed just like a floor truss, or vice versa. It’s got a flat top and bottom chord with lots of triangles in between.


©Triangle Building Products

Just as a bridge can span a river resting on two piers, one on each bank, floor trusses can do the same in your new home or room addition. The ends of the floor trusses rest on the parallel exterior walls. There’s no need for interior bearing walls in the center of your home. Imagine the possibilities of an open floor plan when you get bearing walls out of the way!


Let's talk about the traditional floor joists, which are are sawed from logs. They often have inconsistent crowns to them. A crown is a hump in the floor joist. Humps and floor tile don’t play well together. You have to be careful with the size and placement of holes you might drill into a joist to run pipes and ducts. Even if you use the strongest and highest-grade lumber floor joist, you can’t come close to the distance you can span using a floor truss.


Another reason I favor floor trusses is that they make it easier, and thus cheaper, for plumbers, electricians and HVAC people to install all the necessary utilities in your new home. The open web design allows copious room to run pipes, ducts and cables with ease. Electricians will think they died and went to heaven. They don’t have to drill any holes!


Drywall hangers love floor trusses, too. The drywall sheets meet on the wide dimension of a 2x4, not a narrow 1.5-inch-wide floor joist. There’s no need to install 1x3 furring strips as is common in some parts of the USA. You can work with the truss designer and make the floors as stiff as you want so there’s no bounce. To minimize bounce, the truss height is usually increased a few inches.


If you couple floor trusses with factory-built walls, you can minimize construction time and get your house under roof faster. The precision of these factory-built components is remarkable. I can assure you, the workmanship is far better than you’ll get from most carpenters stick-building your home."

 

Floor trusses have been widely used in America, especially outside the North East, but that is changing here too, and as a manufacturer of these floor trusses, we have seen first hand the growth in demand.


There has been talk about how they burn in a house fire vs a traditional joist. Recent testing has suggested that they burn at the same rate as a 12 x2 joist, especially as the structure of webbing and plates increases the strength. In commercial settings, sprinkler systems will help slow the fire risk and give more time for safe evacuations, the goal in any fire situation.


If you are planning a new development or construction project in Long Island, talk to Bobby Peters,VP of our component manufacturing, to discuss how we can help.


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