Reinforcing Floor Joists for Plumbing
The joists are an important part of the structure of your home. You don’t want to cut through them, but you might have to install large pipes. In such cases, you can reinforce floor joists with doubling and shimming. To reinforce floor joists for plumbing, make sure they are solid and that their bearings are in contact with the beams. Diagrams are useful to help you visualize the process. how to reinforce floor joists for plumbing
When reinforcing floor joists, make sure you adhere to the International Building Code, applicable state and local regulations, and other codes and standards. In addition, you should consider the type of reinforcement that will best serve the joists. You can use blocks of 1/2-inch plywood or 3/4-inch plywood, but 3/4-inch plywood is overkill. The other common method of reinforcing floor joists is blocking. In this method, you use lumber that’s similar in size to the joists and fits perpendicularly between every joist. Blocks are typically installed in rows, depending on the length of the joists.
To use bridging, measure the distance between two joists and mark it on the joists. If the bridging is too short, it might be time to use bridging between joists. A nail gun or a pneumatic palm nailer will work best for this job. Ideally, you should use 8d nails, but you can also use structural screws. The screws should be sized appropriately for the application, and you should avoid using standard construction screws.
Using a joist hanger to attach the old joists to the new ones is also a good idea. This way, you can use them as temporary support to temporarily stabilize the new floor joists. You can then use the same type of hangers to attach the old joists to the new ones. Then, the joists can be positioned up to 200 mm/8 inches further apart.
Before starting your work, make sure that the hole will be placed at a point where it can deflect and not break. The notch should not be deeper than a quarter inch, and should not be closer than two inches to the joist’s edge or any other notch. The depth of the notch should be less than 1/4 inch. You can use the same rule for notches if the joist is two inches or less thick.
To reinforce floor joists, use steel bridging. Steel flitch plates, either one-half or one-quarter inch thick, sandwiched between two joists. Steel flitch plates are used in this way, but they limit the depth of holes. Another alternative to strengthening floor joists is sistering, but it limits the drilling through the joists.
You can use a number of different methods to strengthen floor joists for plumbing. If the problem is in the weight-bearing joists, you might have to sandwich them between two new joists. This is an alternative method that allows you to add additional support without adding a lot of extra cost. Moreover, this option can save you a lot of money. So, if you have the time, you might consider doing the floor joist repair yourself.
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