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re: 16" stud spacing

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As interesting as the width of a horse's rear might be to some, the
real answer to this seems to have been given in an earlier post (w/o
documentation though).  Here is the rest of the excerpt from
the webpage

"If you were to ask anyone in the construction field younger than 50 why
wall studs are spaced 16 inches on center, they will likely tell you because
16 inch centers offer the best support for wallboard. Well, that is only
part of the answer. This spacing standard came about because wood laths were
cut in lengths of 48 inches. This necessitated spacing studs and floor
joists at 16 inches on center to provide adequate nailing without cutting a
great deal of laths. This also explains why in many older houses the stud
and joist spacing is 12 inches or 16 inches while the rafter spacing is
often 2. The unfinished attics did not require lath and therefore the
on-center spacing was determined by the applied roof loads, not the nailing
requirements for lath.

As exterior wall sheathing began to develop with the first sheet of plywood
in 1905, it was logical to mill the sheets into four foot widths so that
they would be compatible with the stud layout for the interior lath. As new
products were developed, such as gypsum lath and gypsum wallboard,
manufacturers wanted their products to be compatible with the existing
construction standards and therefore 48-inch- widths were a logical
dimension. Now it is common practice to space studs and joists on 16-inch
centers. This standard spacing has gone unchallenged for years until the
development of TGIs, floor trusses, and other engineered deck systems that
use 19.3- or 24-inch centers."

Now you know.

David L. Williams, P.E.
Vice-Pres., Snyder Engineering, Inc.
409 Vandiver Drive, Bldg. 5, Ste 203
Columbia, MO  65202

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