The structural significance of floor systems cannot be overstated as people often notice when there are issues with floors, such as loose floorboards. A floor system not only supports occupants, but it also helps in resisting lateral weight exerted by flood or wind forces. Notably, a formidable floor system made of trusses transfers such loads to walls (in a multi-storey building) or the foundation. Furthermore, floor trusses avert torsion racking of the structure, which contributes to the integrity of the building. Here are top facts about floor trusses for residential floor framing.
Floor Framing Systems -- The use of floor trusses is becoming commonplace in residential floor-framing systems. Floor framing entails dimensional timber, which spans an open area. Such engineered timber products are favoured when extended open spaces are preferred below an elevated floor. The difference between joists and trusses is that the latter consists of smaller members that support the weight of the building while the former comprises hard dimensional wood. Therefore, trusses are easy to install because of their lightweight attribute.
Components of Floor Trusses -- Typically, floor trusses comprise an extended bottom and top chords coupled with short timber members between them. The resultant structure is a web design similar to a triangle, which makes floor trusses robust in supporting a floor system. The chords are usually oriented as 4x2 inches to give more room for the web design even at a shallow depth.
Engineers design flexibility and Speed of Installation -- Floor trusses with specific documentation on installation procedures. Trusses are usually produced off-site in a truss plant to match the floor plan. Therefore, floor trusses are flexible in design. For example, you can provide a continuous span to cover an entire building by splicing trusses with steel connectors. Also, you don't have to cut the trusses because they are sized according to standard, which contributes to quick installation. Moreover, the open web system enables plumbing, electrical, and ductwork installations to pass through the trusses without the need for drilling or modification because openings are created during the design phase.
Installation Considerations for Floor Trusses -- Remember to adhere to a manufacturer's installation guidelines when using any engineered floor framing product like trusses. It is recommended that you should never flip trusses 180 degrees. The reason is that installing trusses is akin to putting a puzzle together -- both follow a particular format. Even though the ends of trusses look alike, you will find ends that have been numbered, and which must face the same direction. Placing the trusses in the opposite direction can compromise the load-bearing ability of a floor system. Therefore, always consult the services of a licensed contractor if you are not skilled in installing floor trusses.