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Indianer 06-04-2008 03:56 PM

Ceiling joists spans drywall in a basement?
I am finishing a basement and one of the rooms measures approx 17' x 20'. The ceiling is almost 10' to the bottom of the floor joists upstairs (1st floor). I am planning on framing out the ceiling in that room at 8', since there is ductwork that needs to be covered below the floor joists.

Should I use 2x6s and run them 17 ft long. Will 17' 2x6s 16" OC be strong enough to support the drywall without sagging? Or should I make a beam with a triple 2x6 and divide the room into two 10'x17' sections, then run 10' 2x6s in each direction?

Also, It may be possible to use 2x8s in some areas, but not in all areas because of the ductwork.

Termite 06-04-2008 04:06 PM

17' is just a touch long for some species, so most #2 lumber would be overspanned. You might consider 12" centers, which will buy you a couple feet of span and will definately work.

Your beam idea won't work. Here's why...
3-2x6's will not yield a strong enough beam to take the tributary dead load from all the ceiling joists you're hanging off of it. You're probably talking something in the neighborhood of a double 11-7/8" LVL spanning the 17' carrying 10' ceiling joists from each side.

jogr 06-04-2008 04:50 PM

If you really want a lower ceiling why not support the 2x6s from the existing joists rather than count on them to span the 17 feet.

But I'd rather just box in the ducts and enjoy the 10' ceiling height.

Indianer 06-04-2008 05:26 PM

There is to much in the way of ducting to have a 10' ceiling. It is only possible in one small area, so that is why I'm making the entire ceiling 8'.

If I were to put two triple 2x6 beams 16" apart, so that each beam is only carrying half of the dead load (one beam would support ceiling joists running one way, and the other beam would support the other side) would that work? 20' boards are expensive, and I was just trying to think of a way to minimize materials. It is only going to be supporting drywall. Plus the ceiling joists can be tied to the floor joists above.

The alternative is to use SYP#1 17' boards 12" OC. But that is a lot of cost and I would probably have to use strapping to prevent twisting.

AtlanticWBConst. 06-04-2008 05:41 PM

Why don't you use 2x6's. Install vertical supports up to the overhead floor joists approximately every 24". Use 3/8" sheetrock, instead of 1/2" or 5/8"?

There is not a tremendous load you are dealing with here.

We have done this many times even using 2x4's.

Indianer 06-04-2008 07:50 PM

I just don't want the drywall to sag or the joists for that matter. I'm probably making it a lot harder than it needs to be, but I do tend towards overkill.

The ceiling joists above are I-joists. Is there some type of metal strapping that I can use to hang from them to support the 2x6s? Or should I just use 2x4s to tie them to the I-joists above?

Maintenance 6 06-05-2008 06:18 AM

I'd use metal track suspended from the joists. Install your track perpendicular to the joists. Install your drywall to the track and save a bunch of weight.

AtlanticWBConst. 06-05-2008 07:13 AM


Originally Posted by Maintenance 6 (Post 127987)
I'd use metal track suspended from the joists. Install your track perpendicular to the joists. Install your drywall to the track and save a bunch of weight.

To the OP:
You could actually install the track as stated (on it's side for rigidity), with vertically track attachments up to the joists. You could then install hi-hat steel (steel channel) to the track -(it's like "strapping" for steel).
You find your level reference for your ceiling framework using a laser, or the old fashioned way, with a string level.

Such steel ceiling framework (with the sheetrock) is installed this way, all the time, especially in commercial applications that call for a suspended Gypsum (GWB) ceiling.

Indianer 06-05-2008 07:07 PM

That's true, I hadn't thought of using metal studs.

In the interest of saving time. I will probably use 2x6s. Half of the room is only 15' wide, so I will probably just run them from one side to the other. In the section that is 17' though, would I be able to use just one support in the middle of each ceiling joist? I was thinking of putting blocking in between the floor joists and ceiling joists. Would one support in the middle of the 17' span work or should I use more?

buletbob 06-05-2008 09:31 PM

I agree with Maintenance and Atlantic
Go steel ,Its straighter lighter and stronger, not to say faster. and No sag, if you use 2x6's what is going to keep the wood from twisting away from the Sheetrock, Are you going to install some type of strong back?

Indianer 06-05-2008 10:32 PM

I was going to put some blocking in to keep it from twisting. I guess my question is, can I use the 2x6s for the 15' section and support them in the middle from the floor joists above? And for the 17' section do I need more than one support per ceiling joist?

If so, then I probably will use aluminum studs, if that is what you mean. Although, I have never worked with those aluminum studs, and it would probably take me longer, since I don't use them.

Im thinking 2 supports on each 17' ceiling joist and one on each 15' joist. If they are spaced every 16" that should be sufficient, right?

Maintenance 6 06-06-2008 05:57 AM

I'm not talking about metal studs. What I'd use is a T track that is made to suspend drywall ceilings. I almost looks like a suspended ceiling T but without a finished surface. Suspend it with tie wires and it takes up very little space.

Indianer 06-06-2008 03:24 PM

I'm not familiar with that product. Where can I find it, and is there a website for the product so I can check it out?

Sounds like a great suggestion.

Also, I need to be able to install recessed lights in the ceiling, and maybe hang some things from the ceiling, so will this T track work for this application?

Maintenance 6 06-09-2008 07:08 AM

Most places that supply metal studs or ceiling grid should have it.

You should be able to install anything you want in it.

Indianer 06-09-2008 02:51 PM

Thanks for the help. I'm considering using it. I might stick with conventional framing though. I've never liked working with metal for one, and I think I could do it faster with wood. The T track would take longer for me, since I am not familiar with it.

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