When flooring installers have the chance to install a hard surface floor, they know that the finished product will only be as good as the sub floor. Joists are a critical part of the sub floor and are a big factor in determining how the flooring surface will be supported throughout the life of the material.
Joists are the horizontal beams that make a frame for installers to put a raised floor. They are raised so that plumbing and electric lines can go through the structure. Also, flooring placed on a raised floor doesn’t get as much wear and tear as one placed on a slab. However, this is just the first of many considerations in joist spacing.
Industry experts report that the spacing between joists will vary depending on the flooring type and the sub floor. This means there is no single answer, and the proper joist spacing is determined by a number of different factors. . Contractors need to look at the building codes for the structure they are working on to see what the engineers have determined is the proper space between the floor joists to support hard surface floors.
So, how far apart should the joist spacing be for hard surface floors? The answer depends on the flooring type and the sub floor, and should be reflected in the building code for the project. In general, the range should be no less than 16 inches between joists for some sub floors and flooring types, and up to 24 inches apart in other circumstances. Manufacturers will have recommendations for their own type of hard surface flooring, such as hard wood, laminate, tile or stone. It’s up to the flooring contractor to ensure that every step of the process is done right according to building codes and the manufacturer’s recommendations so that the client gets the best flooring possible.