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How Far Can a 2×6 Span Without Support? (Read This First!)

Depending on the wood quality and use, a 2×6 span would cover an ample space. You have to be sure about the wood species, weight, dimensions, and other related stuff. While constructing your house or building, the 2×6 span will be an excellent fit limber.

It has versatile use and will fit most areas. If you buy the best quality span lumber for your house, it will last for ages without getting damaged or broken down.

How far can a 2×6 span without support?

A 2×6 can span a maximum of 20 feet and a minimum of 1 foot and a few inches without support. It depends on several factors, including the weight you will use on it, surrounding space, quality of wood, and more. Also, the span of the limber will depend on where you use it.

You can span more than 20 feet with support, but it’s not the usual fact unless you have to build a large rooftop and a factory building. If you plan to build a factory or large building, you need to put support under the 2×6 lumber to span more.

Let’s look at some places where we use the 2×6 limbers and see how far it can span without the support.

Roof rafter:

A 2×6 lumber will span a maximum of 18 feet on the roof rafter without support. If you want to enlarge the space, you have to go for support.

But the thing is, you should not use the maximum distance; instead, use less coverage distance. It will be more robust and will last for a long time.

Floor or deck joists:

If you use the 2×6 lumber on the floor or deck joist, it will span a maximum of 12 feet and 6 inches without support.

It’s an average distance coverage of the best quality limber. If you want more coverage, you have to support it.


A 2×6 can span around 20 feet and 8 inches without support. You have to use the best quality wood to protect the ceiling. The entire structure of the house will be damaged if you can’t ensure the quality limber on the ceiling.

You cannot expect to span a 2×6 lumber too far without the support. But the decent coverage will be there. In a nutshell, you can span a 2×6 about 6 feet one inch for the header without support.


A 2×6 can span around 8 feet for the beam without any support. Don’t forget to purchase the best quality wood on the market. Otherwise, you will not get the maximum coverage and can’t rely on the beam construction.


To get the best support from the lumber, you can expect to span a 2×6 for about four feet without the support. It can be more. If you want, you can span 6 feet; however, it will depend on the quality and space.

How far can a double 2×6 span without support?

A double 2×6 can span up to 20 feet without support. But it will depend on how you add the double limber. Are you increasing the thickness of width? The proper answer will depend on your answer.

If you increase the thickness of the lumber and use double 2×6, it will increase by 25%. On the other hand, adding the lumber to increase the width will increase by at least 80%. It’s a super way to span the existing lumber.

But the requirements might require thickness. And the ratio will depend on the surface or area where you want to use the double 2×6.

If you want to increase the span of the joist on a floor, you will get up to 100% spanning opportunity. It will depend on the area where you put the double lumbers.

Maybe you will get only a 20% increment on other parts of the house using the double 2×6 lumbers. It will be an excellent choice to add the extra lumber to increase the width to get the maximum coverage.

How far can a triple 2×6 span without support?

A triple 2×6 span will not span like double lumber or single lumber. You should not expect to span it more than 10 feet. When you add three lumber all together, it will become tough to span and get the maximum coverage.

Typically, a triple 2×6 can span a maximum of 12 feet without support. But, 10 feet will be the best option for you. And, it will be enough to build your ceiling or another part of the house with the triple 2×6.

If you use the support under the triple 2×6 lumber, it will go longer and cover the maximum areas. And the ideal way to get the maximum span area from the triple 2×6 is by using extra support. It will work better than anything else.

If you use the triple 2×6 to increase the thickness, it will not span more. But if you want to increase the width, it will give you the maximum span coverage.

How far can a 2×6 span on a deck?

A 2×6 can span 24 inches to 9 feet. It will vary on deck board, joist, beam. You will have different spans in different areas. For instance: the 2×6 will span only 24 inches on the deck board. You should not expect to span it more than the standard.

Then comes the board joist. You can span a 2×6 for about 9 feet and 11 inches on the deck joist. It will be better to stick to the 9 feet and not go for the maximum span.

After that, the deck beam will require another standard for the 2×6 lumber. You will get the maximum span from on the deck beam. Typically, the 2×6 lumber can span around 8 feet and a couple inches.

So, you get an entire idea what’s the maximum span area of the 2×6 lumber on the deck. Now, it will depend on how you need to customize the size. You can make your own decision.

How much weight can a 2×6 hold?

A 2×6 can hold up to 900 lbs. weight. It will depend on the quality of the wood and the type of wood. Usually, the role is 53lbs is the standard weight capacity of every linear foot. It might vary from wood to wood and sizes as well.

If you want to know the exact and the safest amount of weight for the 2×6 for a top-notch wood, it would be 600lbs. 900lbs is the highest capacity of a 2×6 lumber if you use it under or on the side of the house.

Moreover, the 2×6 is medium size lumber. If you go for the large one, the weight capacity will be bigger. So, the weight holding capacity depends on two things. One is the wood quality, and the other is the lumber length.

So, if you have options and want to ensure the highest weight capacity lumber, you should go for the bigger one.

How to calculate 2×6 load capacity?

Depending on the wood quality and other related factors, you can calculate the load capacity of your 2×6. It will be easy to calculate but challenging to measure. The load capacity will depend on where you use the 2×6.

Feet Measurement/Beam Size:

First, you have to get the beam size. Typically, it is 9 to 12 feet. If you use the customized beam or lumber, you have to know the true length of the beam or lumber.

It will be easier to get the beam span area to calculate the load capacity. It will be effective since we will use the beam size to calculate the ultimate load capacity of the 2×6.

Divide by Total Load:

when you know the length of the beam or lumber, you need to know the total load-bearing amount. How do you know it? The engineer will help you to get the actual load-bearing capacity.

Load Capacity/ Result:

Now you have the length of the limber or beam, and you also get the total load. Divide the total load by the limber or beam size. You will get the load capacity for each lumber.

The beam span size is 9 feet, and the total load is 810 pounds. In that case, the load-bearing capacity would be around 90 pounds.

It is not the universal method to calculate the weight capacity. You can manually determine the load capacity by using the total load and the beam size.

Final Thoughts

A 2×6 can span from a maximum of 20 feet to a minimum of a few inches. It will depend on some external factors. If you use the regular limber and the small one, it will not span that much. However, the span will also depend on the wood quality. You have to keep them in mind then calculate them all.