I am doing a kitchen/den remodel and spoke to an engineer beforehand about taking out some walls (he said it's safe to do as they aren't load supporting). On his way out he said I should get someone to figure out if my current remodel plans will need to supplement an 8" steel girder that has a clear span of around 19'. Off the girder are 16' floor joists spanning around 14' to the supports along the outside of the house. His concern was a large island I'm putting in. No problem, I will get the assessment. But I started thinking on this a bit. Even with the large island, I'm replacing everything in the current kitchen with lighter materials. I'm pulling up hardwood (3.1 psf) and installing luxury vinyl plank (1.8 psf); replacing 995 pounds of granite with 365 pounds of Corian solid surface; replacing 13 base cabinets with 14 base cabinets; and removing two walls. I tried telling him this but he was just focusing on the 'large island'. At one point he talked about supplementing the I beam, but then he talked bout supplementing the floor joists. Anyway, I drew up an illustration and I just wanted to get some opinions on if I'm thinking of this clearly or not. I have more detailed stuff with measurements, but these were just quick things to show what I'm doing. I added the I beam location in blue and approximate location of 16" OC floor joists. I know one of those joists around the middle is a triple joist (engineered?), the rest measure exactly 8.875" x 1.5". I haven't looked for wood species stamps yet as the basement is mostly finished and the utility room is really tight. He said the I beam is a W8x18.

Here's a link to the pics and totals of the weights going in and going out: https://i.sstatic.net/6Aflk.jpg

Thanks for any help you can provide! I plan to call around for some engineers to come out and look, but my brain will not let me rest until I know if I'm right or not, lol.

1 Answer 1


So the kitchen was originally 10’-8” wide and now the load is spread out over 13’-4” and you’re using an unusually sized floor joists. Hmmm… we’ll, the “2x8’s at 16” oc spanning 14’ will support about 80 lbs. per square foot (psf) and applies a load of about 560 plf on the steel beam. Code requires 40 psf plus dead load… which seems adequate, except for the refrigerator load. I’d add a joist for the refrigerator. The 8” steel beam can support about 10,000 plf for a 19’ span, which all seems adequate…just check the connections and bearing points.

  • I added a bit more detail and nearly precise locations of the joists in relation. Yellow circles are support posts for girder: imgur.com/a/8auiXvI. Original kitchen is around 13.3 x 11.37 and I'm making it more like 13.7 x 15.6. The new fridge location will be along the back exterior wall of the house that I believe it's sitting atop cross support for the ends of the joists. The wall between the dining room and kitchen will be brought back to the double 4x4 posts supporting the roof there.
    – aquaNoob
    Commented Jan 15, 2022 at 19:51
  • Is the wall on the right an outside wall for a sink?
    – Lee Sam
    Commented Jan 15, 2022 at 21:53
  • Not sure what you mean---but I did screw up and left a bunch of stuff on that last picture in the scratch space. Im using Visio. Here it is cleaned up: imgur.com/a/mBYPiH6
    – aquaNoob
    Commented Jan 16, 2022 at 0:43

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