Many people choose engineered floor joists for their homes because of the environmentally friendly way they are built. The engineered floor joists are built by utilizing scrap pieces of wood, and other unused portions of lumber, instead of having to use up more of the natural resources. They add a lot of strength to the floors, and are easily installed. If you are thinking about installing engineered floor joists in your home, here are some tips to help you.
1 - Handle with Care
Engineered floor joists are very tender. They need to be handled with great care in order to retain their strength. When storing the floor joists in your home make sure that they do not come in contact with any type of moisture. They should also be stored in an upright position without any leaning. This can cause the joists to have a slight bow in them. Also, they must be blocked up so that they do not fall over and crack.
2 - Do Not Cut into Top and Bottom Flange
The strength of the engineered floor joists comes solely from the top and bottom flanges of the I joist. These flanges should not be cut into for any reason. The only situation in which you would cut an engineered floor joist is when you are cutting them to length.
3 - Do Not Carry Flat
This type of floor joist is very weak when it is carried in a flat position. This is because the entire weight of the joist is pulling it down with great stress on the middle. The joist should be carried to the job site by keeping the top and bottom flange upright.
4 - Block Joist to Prevent Rollover
When the engineered floor joists are used on a foundation wall, you must use some blocking on either side of the joist. This will help to prevent the ends from rolling over and warping the joist.
5 - Do Not Install in Exterior Applications
Since the engineered floor joists can not get wet, they must not be used for any type of exterior applications.
6 - Center All Holes
There will be times when you need to drill through the floor joists for running wires or pipes. When you do, make sure to center the holes in the web of the joist. This will help to distribute the weight and balance out the forces on the joist. Some engineered floor joists have holes already in them. If so, then you should use these instead of making new ones.
7 - Keep Holes Circular
Whenever drilling, or cutting, a hole into the engineered floor joists they must be completely circular. Always use the necessary tool to create the holes before cutting. It is also important to keep in mind that you should only cut a hole the exact size that you need.
8 - Determine Load Bearing
When setting the engineered floor joists into position you must take into account the span, and the amount of load stress it will be under. Generally, these floor joists have 1 3/4 inches of bearing on each end of the span. For larger spans, there should be at 3 1/2 inches.