The size of beam needed to span 32 feet will depend on various factors, building code, construction requirements, design, locality, types of beam including the load it needs to support and the spacing between supports.

You have many option to select types of beam on the basis of material. Either may be an RCC (reinforced concrete) beam, structural wood beam made from dimensional lumber, LVL (Laminated veneer lumber), Glulam (Glue laminated timber) beam, engineered wood beam, RSJ or Steel beam. You can select any one out of these on the basis of construction requirement.

The beam is generally made of reinforced concrete providing with reinforcement Steel or made of timber, wooden structure or Laminated veneer lumber (LVL) or Glulam is one of the most widely used engineered wood products for constructional applications.

The beam is load bearing structure and flexural member of concrete that vertically transfer all the incoming dead load, live load and self load of rcc slab to the column via column beam joint through development length of structure element.

The size of beam generally depending on span between two support and all the load acting on it. Beam is structural member subjected to flexural stresses and shear forces. The size of the beam (width and depth of beam) are governed by the different type of shear forces and stresses.

When the beam is subjected to loading the bending moment is developed and the moment carrying capacity of the beam depends mainly on the depth of the beam.

How the size of beam could be decided?, in case of RCC beams an appropriate width of the beam is assumed on the basis of experience, the magnitude of maximum bending moment and in some cases on the basis of the width of the wall present below the beam. This width of the should be sufficient to provide rebars with sufficient side cover and spacing between the bars. After assuming the width the effective depth of the beam is calculated based on the bending moment and then the overall depth of the beam is determined by adding effective cover to the effective depth calculated.

Beam is different types like cantilever beam, continuous beam, simply supported beam, fixed beam, overhanging beam, lintel beam, primary beam and secondary beam. A cantilever beam is a rigid structural element that extends horizontally,one end is free and is supported at only one end. Simply supported beam is supported at two end and continuous beam is supported by more than two support end.

Beam is provided with the top bar which experience compression and bottom bar which experiences tension. Mainly tension bar encounter the bending moment and stirrup of which are provided to incounter the shear forces.

We can always take the standard size of the rcc concrete beam size at least 230mm x 230mm (9” x 9”) in which width and depth of beam is 230mm (9″). The depth of the beam increases or decreases according to their span and applied load on the beam. Now there is remarkable question “what size beam do i need for a 32 foot span?”.

**There is various method to deciding beam size its width and depth of beam. 1) IS 456:2000, 2) Thumb rule method**

**1) According to IS 456:2000** for designing of minimum size of RCC column for 2- 3 storey building its recommendation is:- a) for cantilever beam span to effective depth ratio is 7 (span/effective depth=7), b) for simply supported beam span to effective depth ratio is 20 (span/effective depth=20) and c) for continuous beam span to effective depth ratio is 26 ((span/effective depth=26).

**2) Thumb rule method:**

If you have a 32-foot span, it is important to know just how long a beam you will need for support. There is a good rule of thumb for this: divide your span (in inches) by 20. So, if your span is 32 feet (or 360 inches) you would divide that by 20 to come to 19.2 feet, rounding it as equal to 20 feet, width is generally between a third and half of your overall depth.

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**What size beam do i need for a 32 foot span**

Typically for a 32 foot span, you would need something like 12″×24″ RCC beam, ISMB 500 or UB 500×180 or W20 steel RSJ beam, 5-1/4″×18″ LVL or Glulam beam, or 4-2×18 dimensional lumber.

**RCC beam size for 32 feet span**

Typically for a 32 foot span, size of reinforced beam, using thumb rule, is about 12″×24″ in which beam width is 12″ and beam depth is 24″, providing with minimum of 4 nos of 16mm bar at top, 4nos of 20mm bar at bottom and 2 nos 16mm as crank bar of Fe500 with Stirrups T10@6″C/C and M25 grade of concrete ratio (1:1:2) with clear cover 25mm. You can reduce the size of rcc beam by increasing reinforcement and concrete grade.

**Steel beam or rsj size for 32 feet span**

As per general thumb rule, for 32 feet span size of steel beam or universal beam or w beam or I beam or UB’s or hot rolled section or Rolled steel joist (RSJ) should be ISMB 500 or UB 500×180 or W20 used for residential building or projects or construction in which depth of section of beam is 500mm (20″) and width of flange or width of beam is 180mm (7″). This is ideal, standard and most suitable size of steel beam or RSJ beam used for 32 feet span under normal load condition.

**LVL beam size for a 32 foot span**

As per general thumb rule, for a 32 foot span, size of LVL beam or GLULAM should be 16 to 18 inches deep and 4 inches wide, thus you need something like a 16-18″ GLULAM or LVL to span upto 32 feet and can use simple 2×18 dimensional lumber at 16″ apart from centre as floor joists used for residential building or projects.

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**What size steel beam for 24 feet span**

**What size steel beam for 22 feet span**

**Conclusion**:-

For a 32 foot span, size of reinforced beam, using thumb rule is 12″×24″ or 16-18″ GLULAM or LVL, 4-2×18 dimensional lumber/wood beam, ISMB 500 or UB 500×180 or W20 can span upto 32 feet that used in residential building.