Novice Deck Builder and Joist Span Question

Can I use 2 x 6 joists for a deck with 7 ft. spans between beams?

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Oct 07, 2013
This should be fine
by: Gord

According to this joist span table at 16" o.c. you can span a 2x8 12'-5".

I can not imagine that you could not safely get by spanning 2x6s at 16" o.c. spacing over 7'.

That would be a very surprising difference. If you look at the drop in span distances when you go from using a 2x10 to a 2x8 its like 3 or 4'. But if you really need and exact answer you will have to look up a different joist span table.

May 14, 2010
2 X 6 joists
by: Mike in NC

The real answer depends on your local building code. The practical answer can probably be best answered with another question.

Why would you want to use 2 X 6 joists for any span? I highly recommend using 2 X 8 joists for most applications, and 2 X 10's if the span is greater than 10 feet. That assumes 16" on center joists. If you use 12" OC, you may get by with longer spans, but I still would never use less than a 2 X 8.

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