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RE: Metal Stud Track Gage

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I haven’t seen an answer to your question, so I’ll throw in my 2 cents worth. 


Since the floor joists are bearing directly above the wall studs, there would be no vertical load to design to (well, technically, bearing… but that won’t control).  The track needs to be thick enough such that the track flanges can resist the wall stud lateral end reaction.  SSMA has a design procedure on their website for deflection tracks, but I haven’t seen anything for non-deflection conditions.  I believe the principles would still apply and you can perform a rational analysis… each track flange resists in cantilever bending ½ the wall stud lateral end reaction.  But, for most typical walls I design, I simply match the track thickness to the wall stud thickness and that is adequate. 


For the rim joist, I don’t know of a minimum thickness.  You might want to consider evaluating the rim joist with the weigh of a man at mid-span… assuming someone stands right at the floor edge.  But then again, typical floor sheathing will be spanning perpendicular to the joists and will carry this load.





-----Original Message-----
From: Rich Lewis [mailto:seaint03(--nospam--at)]
Monday, August 15, 2005 5:21 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: Metal Stud Track Gage


Are there rules of thumb, or maybe code requirements for the gage thickness of track for stud bearing wall?  Would the minimum track gage be a thickness or two lighter than the stud gage used in the wall?  I have a stud bearing wall supporting light gage metal floor joists.  The joists are aligned with the studs so technically there is not any weight supported by the track.


Similarly, the rim track/joist for the floor framing gage size.  I don’t have a bearing wall above the joist framing so the rim joist only supports a non-bearing stud wall above.  The floor joists are 12 gage and extend out to the outside face so really there is no load on the rim joist.  Is there a minimum gage for the rim?