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Re: stud wall double bottom sill plates

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Jerold,
 
        I've personally never seen anything other than single bottom plates myself.  As for nailing, one plate is as wide as any stud plus it's location is well known regardless of which side of the wall you are standing on.  Also, you can nail it to the floor as many times as you want so there is no way it can move around.  furthermore, it's general practice where I work to provide a joist (or more often a double joist) under any wall so the possibility of wall studs bearing between joists (for support) is non existent.
 
        Top plates are a different matter.  The possibility of cross lapping plates at wall intersections increases stability at least during construction.  Also, loads from ceiling (or second floor) joists are frequently applied between studs so the top plates are loaded in bending.
 
        I think the key to whether or not you need a double bottom plate depends upon whether or not you have the possibility of having the bottom plate loaded in bending between floor joist supports.
 
Regards,
 
H. Daryl Richardson
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, October 24, 2006 6:33 PM
Subject: stud wall double bottom sill plates

Perhaps this is an easy question, perhaps there is some "local history" as to why this is .... but in North Carolina, we use a double 2x sill (bottom) plate for the connection of the stud wall to the foundation system.  I have heard that we are the only state to do so (IRC stating a single 2x sill plate for instance).  
 
Does anyone know why NC uses a double sill plate? 
Is there a reason NOT to use it(double instead of single)? 
It would seem, simplistically, that a double 2x would be stronger, plus provide a larger nailing surface for the sheathing to attach. 
 
Also, I attended a wood design seminar in another state and mentioned this unique requirement in North Carolina and was told (without explanation) in essence " ...  don't be surprised if that requirement goes away during the next Code upgrade ... " (FYI - NC uses the IRC with NC Amendments).
 
Thanks
 
Jerold Taylor PE SE
 


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