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#375431 - 05/24/07 11:43 PM Is a 2x4 stud wall just as strong as a 2x6 studs
New_Climber Offline
Super Handyman

Registered: 04/27/03
Posts: 2286
Loc: Kalama, Washington
I am hoping someone can tell me if I am right or wrong...

A friend and I were having this debate about a shed kit he was looking into. It was built with 2x3 which he stated was cheap and flimsy, where as a shed built with 2x4 stud walls were much more stable and stronger.

My argument was that 2x3's standing on end with top plates, bottom plates and OSB sheathing on the outside is just as strong as a 2x4 stud wall. So this is my first question is this thinking correct??

This lead into another debate, about houses being built with 2x4 or 2x6 stud walls. I said that the only reason for 2x6 walls, is due to the needed depth for insulation, and maybe noise is you lived by a freeway or railroad tracks. Is this also correct....

When looking at this from a strength stand point, will 2x4 and 2x6 stud wall, built correctly at 16"oc carry the same load?? Or am I completely out in left field....

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#375432 - 05/25/07 05:49 AM Re: Is a 2x4 stud wall just as strong as a 2x6 studs [Re: New_Climber]
Just_Bill Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/27/02
Posts: 23711
Loc: Wilmington, Delaware
Yes, a 2x4 is stroger than a 2x3 as is a 2x6 stronger than a 2x4, but using one over the other does not necessarily make the structure stronger, it just may be overkill. 2x3 in a shed may be perfectly OK, it's not supporting a lot of weight and it keeps the cost down. The plywood plays a bigger roll in strength of the walls. Using 2x6 in house construction is often as you said, to allow for more insulation.

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#375433 - 05/25/07 08:05 AM Re: Is a 2x4 stud wall just as strong as a 2x6 studs [Re: New_Climber]
zimpal Offline
Concert Grand

Registered: 02/20/04
Posts: 602
Loc: Edmonds WA
2x3 studs will easily support the roof of a shed. And they add (slightly) to the net square footage inside (vs. 2x4s). The "flimsy" notion is because a 2x3 will allow more horizontal deflection than a 2x4.
2x3 studs sheathed with CDX, OSB or T-111 make a very strong wall for a shed.

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#375434 - 05/25/07 01:38 PM Re: Is a 2x4 stud wall just as strong as a 2x6 studs [Re: zimpal]
EAP Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/23/03
Posts: 11064
Loc: The HEARTland - Ohio
Look at it in a more simple way (perhaps), floor joists are often 2x10 or 2x12 or some similar product. Not a 2x4. These sized joists hold more weight. Also more economical as someone else pointed out to go with what is needed than just guessing or overkill. I hope that made sense.

Although, newer engineered I-beam-like joists are constructed using two pieces of wood similar to a 2X3 with OSB sandwiched in between the two.

That's my two cents worth.
_________________________

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#375435 - 05/26/07 10:12 PM Re: Is a 2x4 stud wall just as strong as a 2x6 studs [Re: EAP]
sportsman Offline
Handyman

Registered: 08/14/04
Posts: 819
also distance between joists can deteriimen size,like 2x8 at 16 inch on center could be fine on floor but if it is at 24 inchs, no..
putting cross bracing between the 2x8 also firm it up..

i am seeing many new homes with 2x8 joists and they seem fine after built..2x10 is very solid but 2x8 on 16 ioc,is douable..

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#375436 - 05/26/07 11:13 PM Re: Is a 2x4 stud wall just as strong as a 2x6 stu [Re: sportsman]
ront02769 Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/03/04
Posts: 10197
Loc: New England
you all appear to be missing the difference between walls and floors. you'd never use two bye ten in walls. don't need it. but you'd never either use two bye four in floors. just wouldn't work.

the difference is between compression lengthwise (what happens when a two bye four stands on end and something heavy is put on top) and compression width wise (when a two bye is supported on both ends and weight is placed in the middle.

very important to keep in mind that wood strength differs depending on the direction of the forces on it. a two bye four that is 8' long, supported on both ends by blocks might break if you stand on it. same board standin on end would never break if you stood on it. and even LESS chance of breaking if you the forces are trying to PULL it apart (e.g. collar tie).

ront

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#375437 - 05/27/07 02:16 PM Re: Is a 2x4 stud wall just as strong as a 2x6 studs [Re: sportsman]
Clint_Robbins Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/19/01
Posts: 11264
Loc: Akron, OH
Quote:

i am seeing many new homes with 2x8 joists and they seem fine after built..2x10 is very solid but 2x8 on 16 ioc,is douable..



The required size of joist depends mostly on the span - 2 x 6's can be adequate for short spans while 2 x 12's (or engineeered joists) might be required for very long spans.

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#375438 - 05/28/07 11:16 AM Re: Is a 2x4 stud wall just as strong as a 2x6 studs [Re: Clint_Robbins]
New_Climber Offline
Super Handyman

Registered: 04/27/03
Posts: 2286
Loc: Kalama, Washington
Exactly what Ront said is the basis of my question, walls not floor joists.
I understand that floor joists spanning a given distance, the size would be determined by the length of the span. My interest is about lumber being stood on end. I see may pre-drawn house plans that you can purchase on line where they call for 2x4 walls. I am guessing this would be used in an area where wall insulation would not be needed as thick? But if one wanted to re-cycle lumber, (possible for a remodel where demo was done), would be OK from a strength point to just fur out these 2x4's to get your needed wall stud depth for insulations but still have the needed strength in your wall with only 2x4 studs being these would be standing on end?

This I guess would also lead into an opinion...if it would be allowed would you build a house, garage or an addition to a house this way??

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#375439 - 05/28/07 12:06 PM Re: Is a 2x4 stud wall just as strong as a 2x6 studs [Re: New_Climber]
brooksnb Offline
Super Handyman

Registered: 03/03/07
Posts: 2143
Loc: New Brunswick , Canada
Quote:

My interest is about lumber being stood on end. I see may pre-drawn house plans that you can purchase on line where they call for 2x4 walls.




For many years 2X4 walls have been built, however if you want to use plans that call for 2x4 and you decide to ammend that to your desires it might be something that you will need engineer approval for approval and confirmation.

Quote:

would be OK from a strength point to just fur out these 2x4's to get your needed wall stud depth for insulations but still have the needed strength in your wall with only 2x4 studs being these would be standing on end?





I find it hard to see what you are trying to ask here....if you wanted to build a building from 2x4 stud wall plans but prefer to have 6" thick walls it would only serve to be a stronger structure providing that you have a proper foundation (in my area there's no difference). If you want to use 2x4 lumber for the stud wall and add to the 2x4 instead of using 2x6 in the first place then I would expect that a building inspector would voice concern...but as to wether or not it would be as strong...of course it will be as strong or even stronger than a 2x4 stud wall(but probally not as strong as a solid 2x6 structure) although a whole lot of extra work.

Here's where I have a question...what do you plan to use for top and bottom plates...2x6 ???
_________________________
Dennis Just another trouble making Canadian....

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#932812 - 02/13/18 06:53 AM Re: Is a 2x4 stud wall just as strong as a 2x6 studs [Re: New_Climber]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I just checked and found that a 2x3x8 at Lowes is $2.39 and a 2x4x8 is $3.57. That is $1.18 difference.
If you are framing a 10x10 shed you will need 32 (roughly) wall studs. That is a saving of $37.76. That is not much money when considering the cost of that size shed. I believe I would prefer the extra strength of the 2x4. Especially if you intend to nail anything (such as shelves) on the inside of the walls.

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