Graphical Construction Glossary >> Roofs and roofing. >> Roof Features >> ceiling joists

Ceiling joists
A wooden or steel beam supporting a ceiling. Usually running the shortest span and sat on wall plates.
Jack joists
Short joists at hip ends of hip roofs, running at right angles to the main c-joists.
The overhead interior lined surface. It can be level or raked (sloping).
Ceiling battens.
Supported by and running at right angles to the c-joists the battens typically timber or roll formed metal support the actual ceiling lining material.

ceiling joists
A simplified layout of joists in a hip roof.

On a gable roof the joists are straightforward. Crossing the narrow span from wall plate to wall plate and in standard framing they are either connected to every rafter, or every second rafter depending on the rafter spacing.

In a hip roof there is no room under the sloping rafters to fit in the last joist or joists depending on the pitch of the roof. In this case jack joists are introduced, fixed to the wall plate and the first continuous c-joist at each hip.

roofing terms ceiling battens

The ceiling battens run under and across the joists and directly support the ceiling lining.

In a gang nail truss roof there is no need for c-joists as the bottom chords of the trusses perform the same function.

Likewise raked ceilings that follow the pitch of the roof do not use ceiling joists.

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