The Basics of Using I-Joists

Are I-joists right for your construction project?

I-joists are engineered wood products that have excellent strength to its size and weight. They are designed to eliminate issues that often occur with using conventional wood joists. Here’s you guide for the basics of using I-joists in your next renovation project.

The Basics

The first benefit of using I-joists that many carpenters rely on for installation is that they are lightweight. They can also span greater distances than 2x12s, making them incredibly useful in many building applications. Many come with knockouts that allow plumbing and wires to be run through them, which saves time and materials for drilling. In terms of their environmental impact, I-joists are also better for the environment as they save old growth trees by using smaller, recycled wood.


It’s important that building projects have a clear budget, with room for unforeseen emergencies and other unexpected expenses. Aside from that, builders, architects, and owners all need to be on the same page about what money is flowing in and out of the project. To that point, unlike floor trusses and other options, the price for I-joists remains relatively stable when compared to other dimensional lumber.

Factors to Remember

The first factor to remember when working with I-joists is that they require special design and layouts. The supplier will usually crate a special, engineered layout that displays sizes, spacing, and connections. The necessary special connectors and beams that need to be used within the floor will also be included. The inspector will need to see the plans that show the design of the site. In terms of fire safety, I-joists are known to burn faster than other options like traditional lumber. This can create a situation where they fail much faster than fire professionals are expecting them to.

Tips for Using I-Joists  

  • Ensure that all necessary components have been included at the point of purchase.
  • Use the design criteria of L/480 for deflection, to minimize bounce.
  • Review the cutting and notching details with plumber, electricians, and HVAC installers.

Offering Quality Materials From Johnson Lumber

With two locations across Maryland, the J.F Johnson Lumber Company is here to assist with all of your home remodeling needs. We sell everything from cabinets, sinks, and countertops to outdoor decks and doors, using only the best hardware and materials to do so. If you’re looking to remodel your home, you have come to the right place. We have been dedicated to providing our best service and products across Maryland for almost 100 years now and we are ready to help you build your dream home.

For more information regarding our products and services, please contact us or pay us a visit! Our Millersville and Edgewater locations are open Monday-Friday from 6:30am-4:30pm and Saturday from 8am-1pm. To contact our Millersville store, call 410-987-5200. Our Edgewater location can be contacted at 410-956-0400.

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