shed plans, Shed Floor Joist

Shed Floor Joist Calculator [Guide]

When I turned into constructing my first shed, I turned into curious approximately the right shed ground joist spacing. When doing so, I bumped into numerous questions concerning what lumber length I need to use and what’s the fine method to getting the activity executed correctly.

How Far Apart Should Floor Joist Be for A Shed?

So, what’s the right shed ground joist spacing? Spacing joists for your shed 16-inches on middle will come up with a less attackable experience with much less leap and growth the weight ability of the ground. While you’ll be OK with the joist span at 24 inches the ground could be maxed out to the limits.

Many different elements and concerns can rise up while building your first shed, under are a number of the opposite questions and troubles I encountered for the duration of the development of my first shed. Hopefully, this short manual could make this assignment a stroll withinside the park for you.

So, how a ways aside ought to ground joist be for a shed? The solution is that it relies upon on numerous elements. The quantity of weight as a way to be at the ground goes to be a large issue while figuring out your joist length and joist spacing. Also, you can have constructing codes to stick to that may play a position to your universal joist spacing as well.

Some of the largest issues you want to don’t forget with joist spacing are elements which include the lumber length, lumber grade, load, and timber species. In maximum cases, pine could be your timber of preference utilized in construction.

Building codes are typically established primarily based totally on engineering requirements. In many circumstances, sixteen inches could be your fashionable spacing for shed ground joist, however that is only a hard guideline.

Two alternatives that get up can be your wider 24”and your narrower 12” alternatives for spacing. 2x8s are used regularly for those projects. 2×8s come fashionable at 1-¾ inch thick. In this situation, your ground joist could be required to be 12 or 24 inches aside on center.

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Other elements additionally come into attention while building the framework to your shed. Let`s dive into a number of those.

What Size Floor Joist Do I Need?

The maximum not unusualplace alternative in your ground joist is your fashionable 2×6. A 2×eight will offer some extra advantages and feature a few advantages, however overall, the 2×6 is the maximum typically used and budget-pleasant alternative for building your shed ground.

To get extra specific numbers you may use tables and calculators that will help you slim down a extra unique size. When the use of a calculator, input the important data approximately the ground width, ground duration and the on-middle separation. This size will most effective come up with the range of joists you need. It`s an amazing start, however extra is important.

How Can I Calculate the Floor Joist Spacing for My Shed?

A calculator can help you with the basic part of the equation. Now we need to handle the actual joist spanning/spacing part of the equation. To start with, here’s a great calculator that can calculate the joist spacing based on species of wood, joist size, and joist spacing.

In addition, this calculator will also allow you to calculate the total number of floor joist needed to complete your shed based on the measurements you provide.

Other considerations can also come into play such as span and lumber grade. After making these determinations, you should be ready to crunch and dive into the numbers for your spacing with more ease.

2×4 or 2×6 or 2×8 for a Shed Floor: Which is Better?

Determining what size dimension lumber to use for your shed floor may also be intimidating. Should you use a 2×4, 2×6 or 2×8? In most scenarios, you will use a 2×6 or 2×8, but there are exceptions.

The size also depends on the load. What do you plan on putting in your shed? If you intend on storing hefty objects, you need a larger floor joist such as the 2×6 or 2×8. If you are storing lightweight items, then you can go with a smaller dimension.

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Note, the 2×4 option is rarely used unless your plans include a very small shed with no intentions of heavy storage.

So before making the ultimate decision on which size, ask yourself, “what do I intend on using this shed for, and what do I plan on storing inside the shed?” This should help bring you to the right selection.

What if My Shed is Constructed on A Concrete Slab?

If you build a shed on a concrete slab, you do not need to worry about the construction and planning for your floor joist. If, however, your shed is on a different foundation such as concrete piers, deck blocks, concrete blocks, or skids then you can stick with a 2×6 for optimal results.

How Far Can You Span a 2×6 Floor Joist?

Again, this depends on the factors of species of wood, grade, and the intended load on the wood all come into play.

However, when running SPF 2×6 floor joists into the floor joist calculator referenced above, you get a maximum span of 9 Feet 8 inches with a minimum bearing length of 3 inches at each end on 12” centers. This a rough guideline. The rule of thumb is 6-foot span with a 2×6 on 16” centers. The heavier the load, the closer together the joists should be..

How Far Can You Span a 2×8 Floor Joist?

Apply the same rules and make sure you add all necessary calculations to the equation. With everything being equal your maximum floor span using SPF 2×8 will be 12 feet 8 inches with a minimum bearing length of 4 inches at 12” centers. The rule of thumb is 8-foot span with a 2×8 at 16” centers.

How Much Weight can a 2×8 Hold?

The amount of weight a 2×8 can hold is going to depend on the span of the joist and the distance to the next joist. Since you can span 13′ with a 2×8 SPF joist on 16 inch centers, but you ultimately decide to only span 8 feet with your joist on 12 inch centers, the weight bearing increases. Doing this is going to increase the weight the 2×8 can hold from a maximum load of 30 lbf/ft² to 60 lbf/ft²; a significant increase!

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Variables come into play with maximum loads. For example, other items such as the total spacing, the floor material, and if additional mid-length supports are added affect your maximum values. Another consideration is dead load vs live load. A stationary load is different from one that moves.

Take your time, make sure you consider every angle and aspect of the project to ensure you are completing the project in a safe, compliant and up to code manner.

Should I use Pressure Treated Wood for a Shed Floor?

You may be wondering should you use pressure treated wood for a shed floor? Yes, pressure treated lumber is the best option for your shed floor. Keep in mind, however, that this doesn’t make it a requirement. You can still use non-pressure treated wood.

The problem you could run into if you don’t use pressure treated wood for your shed floor is how long it will last.. A floor close to the ground won’t last as long using non-pressure treated wood.

Be sure also to use ground contact pressure treated wood for any framing that will touch the ground. Pressure treated lumber is also essential for exposed areas of the shed that may be exposed to the weather and water.

Related Questions

Can I use 2×4 For My Shed Floor? It’s only recommended to use a 2×4 floor if you are constructing a tiny shed with no heavy-duty storage use planned in the future.


Many variables come into play when deciding your shed floor construction and joist spacing. However, following general guidelines and checking with the building department is always a great start. Base your decision on all the factors discussed in this post, as well as how you plan to use your shed. Best of luck on your project!

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