In timber framing, both bearers and joists play a vital role alongside timber frames and trusses in the overall durability and quality of a structure.   Without considering their proper load distribution and deployment, any timber framing project is doomed to fail, which in turn can cause significant property damage.

What are bearers and joists?

Both common terms in building or renovation projects but what exactly are bearers and joists? This article will focus on what they are, why so important  and what they do, the examples we are going to use are for timber-related construction projects.

Let’s begin:

Bearers are large timber members that are connected directly to the posts in the ground and provide support for the flooring structure.

Joists are slightly smaller timber members that are placed on top of the bearers.

Once the bearers and joists are secured, a board floor is then attached across the top of the joists.

Floor Joists
Floor Joist, a board floor is then attached across the top of the joists.

The structure that the bearers and joists forms is the base for a floor level or deck which means the size of both bearers and joists must be engineered carefully to guarantee correct load distribution.  If a construction project should come with a second level, another structure consisting of the two should be installed as the base of the second floor.