I have a brick(3 wythe) building and starting to plan a kitchen remodel. The floor in the kitchen is pretty slanted and the wood joists don't look too good. So I will need some way to level the floor. I'm thinking, since I will be stripping all the plaster and drywall, it might make sense to completely replace the floor and the joists as well.

I personally hate wood as building material(except for decoration) In my opinion, houses should be made of brick, concrete, steel and not wood. What are some alternatives for wood joists and floor boards in residential construction? What's the typical cost for those materials?

  • 1
    what aspect(s) of wood do you feel is inadequate? – DA01 Apr 13 '11 at 15:23

Other than engineered Joists, which are also made of wood products, the only alternative are steel I-beams with a wood nailer. That is of course you want to go complete commercial with steel and concrete panel floors. You better have a very fat wallet and an engineer to sign off for the modification in Mass. Such a deviation from standard residential practice will require a permit and prior approval, accompanied with a engineered comfirmation of conformity. I have had to supply this type of documentation every time I replace wooden beams with steel beams to eliminate support posts or lalley columns .

The other major consideration is how you plan to nest the steel, smaller joists into, or onto the lower supporting wall.

  • What's the typical practice if steel is used for load bearing walls in residential constructions? I can't beleive there aren't any widespread alternatives to wood in residnetial construction. – Vitaliy Apr 13 '11 at 16:58
  • many residential structures use light weight steel studs. However, other than using steel reinforced concrete floor panels with steel strut spans, such as in multilevel apartment buildings and commercial structures, it is very uncommon in small to moderate size homes. The reason is cost. You can design a house to these standards, but it will be much more expensive than wood, lam, or plywood I beam methods. – shirlock homes Apr 13 '11 at 18:41

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