Is it over-built? Under-built? Or just right?

In specifying a residential floor assembly, satisfying code mandated strength and deflection criteria may not always result in an optimal floor performance. Calibration of the floor assembly to prevent rattling glassware, a bouncy floor, or other signs of questionable floor performance can involve numerous variables.

Where to start? Just imagine all the components a home builder must consider when balancing budget and floor performance: floor joists (i.e. type, spacing, depth), floor sheathing thickness and attachment procedure, ceiling membrane attachment, perpendicular partition wall locations, mid-span blocking, and many more.

For a starter home or a low-traffic area such as a bedroom, it may not always make sense to build to the same standard as the living area or kitchen. Even building to tighter specification than code minimum deflection criteria does not always guarantee a winning floor. What’s the best way for a home builder to target a budget-smart floor design that meets the customer’s expectation?

There is no perfect answer. Floor performance is highly subjective. A first-time home buyer will likely be far more forgiving than a seasoned home-buying veteran. But there is a solution available today that takes the guesswork out of floor specification by utilizing complex algorithms developed from field and laboratory research conducted on over 600 floor assemblies.

It’s called TJ-Pro™ Rating.

TJ-Pro Rating, which is specific to Trus Joist products, is a numerical predictor of floor performance ranging from 25 to 65. As one might expect, the higher the rating, the more likely the homeowner will be happy with the floor. However, achieving a perfect TJ-Pro Rating of 65 is seldom a practical objective nor should it be the minimum requirement in home-selling situations.

TJ-Pro Rating makes it easier to gauge buyer outcomes by predicting floor performance based on variables mentioned earlier, such as sheathing thickness, joist depth and spacing, and support conditions. TJ-Pro Rating is calculated in Forte®, a free software program offered by Weyerhaeuser for sizing single members such a joists, beams, posts and studs.

For example, a home builder can use the TJ-Pro Ratings to quickly assess the effects of:

  • Floor topping
  • Joist depth
  • Sheathing thickness

Home building today remains more builder instinct than science. TJ-Pro Rating takes the guesswork out of achieving an ideal balance between performance and cost and reduces the likelihood of callbacks and a tarnished reputation. To learn more about the TJ-Pro Rating system, click here. To download Forte (there is no charge), click here.