How far can you span a 2×6 Without Support? Have you wondered how far can you span a 2×6? A 2×6 is a flexible piece of structural lumber that can be used for a variety of structural purposes, from decking beams to roof rafters. While a 2×6 can be utilized for a variety of applications, calculating how far can you span a 2×6 when used for structural framing can be tricky.

When used as a rafter, a 2×6 placed 16 inches apart can span a maximum distance of 13 feet 5 inches, 10 feet 9 inches when used as a joist, and 6 feet 11 inches when used as a deck beam to support 6-foot span joists.

What Is the Definition of Span in Construction? How far can you span a 2×6

When building a house, a shed, or a deck, the term span comes up frequently. The span of a piece of structural lumber refers to how far it may travel before needing to be supported by a foundation or support post.

When span guidelines are stated, they are referring to the distance between the centers of two supports. In the case of deck beams, span refers to the distance between the centers of one support post and the next.

The span of a floor beam refers to how far it can span before needing to be supported by a post or piling. The span of a deck joist dictates how far it can travel before requiring support from a supporting beam. Read here more on how far can you span a 2×6.

What Factors Affect the Length of a 26?

The maximum span is determined by a number of parameters that go beyond the lumber’s simple dimensions. The weight that the structural timber is bearing, as well as the wood species and quality, all have an impact on how far a 2-6 may safely span.

Species of Wood

Depending on the species, wood has varying levels of strength. Other softwoods, such as redwood, cedar, red pine, and douglas fir, are weaker than southern pine, which is likely the most popular wood used for structural lumber.

Quality of the Wood

Even the same kind of wood is not created equal. Anyone who has ever rummaged through a stack of 2x4s or 2x6s at a home improvement store understands how different the quality of wood can be from one board to the next.

Load some 2x6s must support heavier loads than others, depending on their intended purpose. Because it must sustain a bigger load, a deck or floor joist may be able to support more weight than a roof rafter. In northern areas, however, a rafter may need to be stronger to support significant snow loads. Still, wondering how far can you span a 2×6? Let us tell you.

How much weight can a 26 horizontally support? How far can you span a 2×6?

When spanning a distance horizontally, a 26 can be bearable to 50 pounds per square foot of weight with not sagging, with a maximum span of around 12 feet at the time standing vertically. This figure takes into account both live and dead weight. So this is your answer to how far can you span a 2×6.