# How far can a 2×6 ceiling joist span without support

How far can a 2×6 ceiling joist span without support | A 2×6 ceiling joist span

Span is determined by species, grade, dimensions, spacing, use, and load. The typical on-center spacing, according to the International Residential Building Code (IRC), is 12”, 16”, 19.2”, and 24”, which means the actual space between the ceiling joist is 10.5”, 14.5”, 17.7”, and 22.5”.

Standard industry ceiling joist spacing in inches are 12”, 16”, 19.2”, and 24” on-center, which means the actual space between the joist is 10.5”, 14.5”, 17.7”, and 22.5”. Depending on all contributing factors though, 16” and 24” are commonly used for most buildings. The wider the space between joist often results in joist of greater depth too.

In the construction world, span is a word used to mean the linear distance a board, joist, rafter, or roof must bridge or cover without bending or requiring support. The distance is determined by many factors and conditions.

A rule of thumb is 1.5 times a joist’s depth but in feet when spaced at 16” centers. In general, a 2×6 will span 1.5 x 6, so 9-feet. Based on all factors though, a 2×6 joist span is 14′ 5″ to 19′-6”

There are different factors that affect how far a 2×6 can span, including use or location, species of wood, grade, the spacing between joists or rafters, and load.

There are different depth of ceiling joist are used in floor construction such as 2×4, 2×6, 2×8 and 2×10 made of different species of wood (southern yellow pine & Douglas fir) and different grade such as grade – 1, grade – 2, grade – 3. Southern yellow pine is strongest species of wood that can span more distance compared to other species of wood. Grade 1 lumber have higher strength than other grade Lumber due to fewer knots.

## How far can a 2×6 ceiling joist span without support

A 2×6, #2 grade, Douglas fir-larch ceiling joist can span 19’ 6″ at 12” OC, 17’-8” at 16” OC, and 14’-10” at 24” OC without support at live load of 10 Psf and dead load of 5 Psf and deflection of L/240.

A 2×6, #2 grade, Hem fir ceiling joist can span 18’ 2″ at 12” OC, 16’-6” at 16” OC, and 14’-5” at 24” OC without support at live load of 10 Psf and dead load of 5 Psf and deflection of L/240.

A 2×6, #2 grade, Spruce/pine fir (SPF) ceiling joist can span 18’ 8″ at 12” OC, 16’-11” at 16” OC, and 14’-9” at 24” OC without support at live load of 10 Psf and dead load of 5 Psf and deflection of L/240.

A 2×6, #2 grade, Southern yellow pine (SYP) ceiling joist can span 19’ 6″ at 12” OC, 17’-8” at 16” OC, and 16’-6” at 24” OC without support at live load of 10 Psf and dead load of 5 Psf and deflection of L/240.

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Conclusion:

A 2×6, #2 grade, Douglas fir-larch ceiling joist can span 19’ 6″ at 12” OC, 17’-8” at 16” OC, and 14’-10” at 24” OC without support.