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Installing flush beam in ceiling to replace bearing wall

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  • Installing flush beam in ceiling to replace bearing wall

    I am removing a bearing wall between the living room and kitchen for a customer and want to replace it with a beam in the ceiling so the ceiling has a smooth transition all the way across. I am going to cut back the floor joists and install the beam over a 16' span and joist hang all the floor joists to the new header( will probably be a paralam or double 2x10LVLS) Of course I will get an engineer to spec out all the load calcs etc. Does this sound plausible? It is on the first floor. I believe I did this 7 years ago as an apprentice and it worked very well.

  • #2
    Re: Installing flush beam in ceiling to replace bearing wall

    I do it all the time, any specific question you have in mind?

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    • #3
      Re: Installing flush beam in ceiling to replace bearing wall

      Cole,

      It sounds very plausible, as long as it is engineered, and you build temp support walls on both sides. Watch out for the joist hangers sticking below the joists and the possible "hump" this may cause. I would strip the ceiling way back on both sides to ride over this, or ask the engineer if you can notch the bottom of the joists to recess the hangers to be flush. Also, I would run the drywall over the beam, that is not splice it on the beam, but float over it - not screwing in to it. This would allow for any shrinkage stress of the beam to not affect the drywall.

      Just my opinion.

      Good Luck,

      RJC
      Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it. Autograph your work with quality.

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      • #4
        Re: Installing flush beam in ceiling to replace bearing wall

        If you only have 9.25 inches of depth available, I'd expect that LVLs alone will not be enough for the deflection limit you should use. My guess is that a steel beam will likely be needed. It can be padded with wood infill and the joists hung with metal hangers just as you would for the all wood beam.
        16 feet is a bit long. I'm just saying, don't be surprised if steel is needed.
        Of course, all will depend on your engineers design and the total loading that you will need to support.

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        • #5
          Re: Installing flush beam in ceiling to replace bearing wall

          Originally posted by houseboy View Post
          If you only have 9.25 inches of depth available, I'd expect that LVLs alone will not be enough for the deflection limit you should use. My guess is that a steel beam will likely be needed. It can be padded with wood infill and the joists hung with metal hangers just as you would for the all wood beam.
          16 feet is a bit long. I'm just saying, don't be surprised if steel is needed.
          Of course, all will depend on your engineers design and the total loading that you will need to support.
          I've installed many 3-1/2" x 18" LVL's that were flush with the bottom of the joists and we cut into the studs on the second floor. In fact I'm bidding on one right now like this.
          Joe Carola

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          • #6
            Re: Installing flush beam in ceiling to replace bearing wall

            I've Never seen that, Joe. Always been that it would have to hang low, just try to dress it up.

            I imagine that if the upper wall is load bearing, it would have to be temp. supported on both sides.

            Glenn

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            • #7
              Re: Installing flush beam in ceiling to replace bearing wall

              I'm sure you noticed I said IF you only have 9.25 inches of depth available. I may have missed the specifics but I do not know if there is the ability to push the beam up into the space above. I have had cases where I would have wanted to do that but there was a door in the wall above
              On the subject of an 18 inch beam up into a wall, I wonder how you can brace the top portion (compression zone) of the beam. If the beam stresses are sufficiently low, I guess that would perform satisfactorily. There is a point at which a beam will want to roll over. I'd be especially cautious of that with a wall resting directly on top of the beam.

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              • #8
                Re: Installing flush beam in ceiling to replace bearing wall

                Originally posted by Joe Carola
                I've installed many 3-1/2" x 18" LVL's that were flush with the bottom of the joists and we cut into the studs on the second floor. In fact I'm bidding on one right now like this.
                Originally posted by Tashler
                I've Never seen that, Joe. Always been that it would have to hang low, just try to dress it up.

                I imagine that if the upper wall is load bearing, it would have to be temp. supported on both sides.

                Glenn
                It's done quite often around here, just like Joe said.

                No reason to temporary support it. It's part of the floor below.

                Originally posted by houseboy
                On the subject of an 18 inch beam up into a wall, I wonder how you can brace the top portion (compression zone) of the beam. If the beam stresses are sufficiently low, I guess that would perform satisfactorily. There is a point at which a beam will want to roll over. I'd be especially cautious of that with a wall resting directly on top of the beam.
                The beam is tied into the floor joists when it's running perpendicular to them and tied into the rim joist when running parallel to them.

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                • #9
                  Re: Installing flush beam in ceiling to replace bearing wall

                  Originally posted by houseboy View Post
                  On the subject of an 18 inch beam up into a wall, I wonder how you can brace the top portion (compression zone) of the beam. If the beam stresses are sufficiently low, I guess that would perform satisfactorily. There is a point at which a beam will want to roll over. I'd be especially cautious of that with a wall resting directly on top of the beam.
                  What's there to be cautious of?

                  The joists are nailed perpendicular to the beam and are nailed in with hangers. Where can the beam go?

                  Sometimes you have a situation where you can stick a wider beam in but it's shorter in height.

                  I have a job to do where I'm using a 5-1/2" x 14" microlam but the difference is that I'll keep the micro flush to the inside of the second floor wall and 2" of it will be sticking past the outside of the wall. That's alright because I'm also adding an addition on the first floor and a piece of steel to sit that micro on top of. There will be a shed roof covering the micro, so that 2" doesn't matter. The beam is supported at one end by the steel and the other end from the new addition wall.
                  Joe Carola

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                  • #10
                    Re: Installing flush beam in ceiling to replace bearing wall

                    [QUOTE=Joe Carola;239978]What's there to be cautious of?

                    The joists are nailed perpendicular to the beam and are nailed in with hangers. Where can the beam go?

                    With 2x10 joists and an 18 inch tall LVL, only the bottom half of the beam is heald in place. I agree that the LVL does not have much of a place to go but the wood coade specifies that a beam should be prevented for rotating by bracing to the TOP of the beam. such retraint is most important at the bearing ends. For intermediate bracing, if it is not practical, there are provisions that basically reduce the beam capacity. I'm just saying that this is a consideration and that it seems especially noteworthy when the beam is not only UNBRACED over the span but may actually be subjectd to out of plane (perpendicular to the beam) loading from a wall that is bearing directly on top of it. The wood code prohibits such "sideways bending" in wood. That i to say that it has no allowable capacity for that.
                    Don't get nme wrong, I don't remember the last time I saw a beam roll over in such a situation and I think I know what you are describing. I'm just sayin the beam stability is not to be overlooked and just because the bottom of the beam is braced, that isn't necessarily the only thing involved.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Installing flush beam in ceiling to replace bearing wall

                      make sure you check the width of your floor joist, they could be 2x8 it's happened before that architects think they are 2x10's and you go to put up this great beam and wham they are 2x8's. Happened last year to us..

                      Bjorn

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