Floor trusses are designed and manufactured in a factory using advanced computer technology. The trusses are designed to meet client specifications with regards to shape, size, and colour, among other aspects. A truss system consists of horizontal members that are connected using joiners. The floor system ensures the stability of a house and eliminates regular maintenance. Here are top facts for beginners to know about floor trusses for residential structures.
Trusses have become popular in flooring because of their large span, which eliminates the need for extensive joinery work. Span refers to the distance covered by trusses between supporting structures like foundation walls or beams. Different floor truss systems have varying span specifications that must be observed. Besides, you need to check with a local agency for building codes regarding the span of floor trusses. Factors that affect span include wood species, size and height of floor truss, and the grade of timber. Remember that too much span can cause a floor to bend because of heavy loads.
The load that will be exerted on a floor is an important consideration when determining truss span length and size. There are two types of weight to consider, namely dead weight and live weight. Dead load refers to the weight of building materials such as ceiling, roofing, flooring, subfloor, and joists. Dead load is calculated by aggregating the weight of building materials, which is then divided by the area covered in square feet. On the other hand, live load refers to the pressure exerted on a floor by furniture and occupants. Live loads are most commonly from 30 to 40 pounds per square foot. Live and dead loads have a significant effect on the size and span of floor trusses. For instance, heavy loads require large-sized trusses with a limited span.
Even with the ability to support a longer span, floor trusses are considerably lightweight. Therefore, they are easy to transport to a site in readiness for installation. Furthermore, the lightweight attribute means that you might not need a crane to install floor trusses. Besides, a small team can install floor trusses since members are identical and manufacturers provide an installation manual.
The main challenge with most timber flooring systems pertains the installation of ductwork for plumbing, heating, and electrical systems. You have to cut through joists to create space for such ductwork, which can compromise a structure. With a floor truss system, you don't have to cut through any components because the open web system allows ductwork to pass through a floor.