Floor trusses differ from joists in that they allow a building's heating, plumbing and electrical materials to run inside the floor, rather than below it.
Floor trusses create squeak-free floors, reduce framing time and produce less waste. Complex home designs make installing floor joists a major challenge, but floor trusses provide design versatility, making a complex job much easier.
Floor trusses utilize 2-by-4-inch lumber, wide side up, for a wider work surface and stronger flooring support. The wider nailing surface means builders less often miss while nailing the subflooring. Missing nails rate as the most common cause of squeaky floors.
Floor trusses, spaced at 24 inches on center and built in long spans, reduce the need for bearing walls, columns and beams while greatly cutting construction time and costs. Typically constructed 12 to 24 inches deep, trusses can be built strongly at nearly any depth.
The Wood Truss Council of America conducted an experimental project -- The Framing the American Dream -- that showed one of each floor type constructed side by side, 2,600 square feet in size. This project showed that using trusses instead of joists saved 26 hours of construction time and over 1,100 feet of lumber.
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