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What is the maximum span for 2x8 joists?

Our house has 2x10 joists under the 1st floor, 2x8s under the 2nd, and 2x6s under the 3rd (all rough sized). The same wall runs perpendicular to the joists on all 3 floors, but not the basement. I'm trying to figure out whether this is a load bearing wall. The span where the joists meet the staircase is approximately 13 ft, and where they run across the entire house is approximately 16 feet. They are one piece running the whole way. What is the typical maximum span for 2x8s? Is there a way to ascertain whether or not this is load bearing without an expensive engineering consultation?

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Manage My Life
Here are some broad rules of thumb for floor joists on 16 inch centers:

two by sixes can span about nine feet

two by eights can span about twelve feet

two by tens can span about fourteen feet

two by twelves can span about sixteen feet

Because the lumbering your house is full size, it can span a little further. If there is no beam in the basement, and at the first floor joists span the entire width of the house, without support, the wall between the firstand the second floor is helping to spread the load of the second floor joistsdown to the first floor joists. The wall is acting as a pseudo bearing wall. The same is true on the floor above.
by Manage My Life
April 26th, 2007
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