Building with engineered wood floor systems allows wider spans, greater strength, and far more design possibilities than traditional sawn lumber. Using engineered wood is somewhat more complex, though. Here are some recommendations for engineered wood floor system installation.
Use the manufacturer’s recommended hangers and fasteners
Joist applications can vary, and there are hangers and fasteners for many different load conditions. It’s definitely not one size fits all. Given that most structural failures happen at connection points, it’s better to play it safe. Use the manufacturer’s recommended connectors.
Confirm your design using the manufacturer’s literature/software
Parameters such as spans, load conditions, joist spacing and deflection are interrelated. Building codes don’t dictate Spans or joist spacing, however, they do specify load conditions and deflection. Confirm your design by checking all four of these factors with the manufacturer’s literature (span charts) or software.
The manufacturer can help you validate that the combination of products used in the design meets minimum requirements, and also help you create a better design.
Consider reducing deflection beyond code requirements
Deflection is the up and down movement of a floor system under load. Reducing that movement can increase perceived quality of the floor system. There are a few ways to do this: you can reduce on-center joist spacing. You can also increase the joist depth or use joists with a larger flange or chord. Decreasing deflection below code recommendations can increase comfort and reduce the possibility of occupant complaints.
Use joists that enable easy MEP installation
Joists with an open design such as Triforce® allow for much quicker plumbing, electrical and HVAC installation. Tradesmen have more freedom in choosing their piping or wiring runs. Triforce® also eliminates the need to drill holes through individual joists and thus reduce possible weakening or damage.
Floor system installation at its best