Timber joist and deck floors - avoiding movement

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This Wood Information Sheet (WIS) gives guidance specifically intended to minimize problems of movement and noise in timber floors in masonry or timber frame buildings. The guidance relates mainly to dwellings although much is applicable to floors in other building types, such as timber compartment floors in flats.

This WIS can be used as a checklist for designers and site supervisors to ensure that timber floors give continuing satisfactory performance.

This sheet does not cover the design information readily available in documents, for example thermal insulation and ventilation.



  • Background
  • Timber joists
  • Strutting and noggings
  • Floor decking
  • Support of non-loadbearing walls
  • Ceilings for immediate floors
  • Squeaks, creaks and cracking noises


This WIS was updated in March 2021 with minor amendments, including the removal of references to BS 5268, now withdrawn by the BSI. 

Suggested Reading

Strutting in timber floorsnavigation-arrow

Strutting plays a useful role in promoting composite structural behaviour of the components that form a timber floor.

The effects of strutting are to:

  • reduce local deflections by transferring load to adjacent joists (load sharing)
  • improve joist stability by providing lateral support to joist edges
  • reduce the...

03/05/2022 |  Wood Information Sheet  

Wood flooringnavigation-arrow

Timber flooring is an effective way to add character to your home. Successful installation of a wood floor depends on the right selection of the type of flooring, the species from which it is made and its construction and appearance.

This Choose and Use sheet contains some best practice...

01/01/2012 |  Choose and Use  

Decorative timber flooringnavigation-arrow

Timber is an excellent flooring material and has been used for this purpose for centuries. Interest has increased in recent years and wood flooring is now popular both in residential and commercial situations.

This Wood Information Sheet gives guidance to designers and
specifiers on aspects which should be considered when...

03/05/2022 |  Wood Information Sheet