The Most Common Types Of Metal Decking For Industrial Construction

April 11, 2022 in Blog / Decking

If you’re in the construction business, you’ve probably heard about steel, metal, q, and pan decking. You’ve likely also heard about how useful they are in structure construction. As such, you may consider purchasing some for your next project.

However, while you’re in the middle of shopping, you can run into a problem. There are many different types of metal decking, both for the roof and floor. With all these choices, it’s difficult to choose the right one for your project.  If you want to learn the difference between these types, then read on. This guide will teach you all that you need to know.

What Are Metal, Steel, Pan, and Q Decking?

A metal deck is a type of metal sheeting. It appears corrugated, which means that it has grooves or ridges within it. Oftentimes, the depths of these grooves separate different steel decks from each other. Industry experts refer to metal decking by many other names. These include the aforementioned steel, q, and pan decking terms.

These terms used to apply to different decking types. Q decking, for example, referred to the specific types of metal deck used by the company HH Robertson. Nowadays, this is no longer the case. Some terms are used in certain regions more than others. You will hear ‘steel deck’ more often on the East Coast. ‘Metal deck’ is more of a West Coast term.

Purposes and Types of Metal Decking

Workers place decking in two locations in a building structure. These include the roof and the floor. Both roof and floor decking are constructed and used in slightly different ways. However, these two components share a similar purpose. Workers place them both over and affixed to joints or beams. Once there, the decking strengthens the building’s structure and makes it more durable.  Form decking has a different use. This will be explained further in its section below.

Roof Decking

Workers use roof decking where its title implies. Once they install the beams and joists of a building’s roof, they place roof decking over it. The metal sheet is then affixed to the building structure by welding, screwing, or fastening. After they finish this, they place other roof components on top of the decking structure. These include such features as insulation, shingles, and lightweight concrete.

You might also find this decking type used for steel canopies, trash gate enclosures, and mezzanines. When it’s used in this way, workers usually leave the decking structure bare. B Deck and N Deck are the two types of roof decking most commonly used in construction. A Deck and F Deck are available as well, but these are older, lesser-used models. The latter two tend to find use only in specialized construction projects.

Type B Deck

The grooves of a Type B Deck or B Deck measure 1.5 inches from the valley to peak. Single sheets of this type measure 36 inches wide. The shallower grooves of this deck make it weaker than the N Deck. This is why this deck is used for roof systems that span 10 feet maximum.

Type N Deck

The grooves of a Type N Deck or N Deck measure 3 inches from the valley to peak. Single sheets of this type measure 24 inches wide. The deeper grooves in this deck structure make it stronger than B Deck. Therefore, construction professionals use this type for roof structures that span more than 10 feet

N and B Deck Customizations

N and B Deck types can also have many different customizations. These include different finishings and additions. For example, we offer our B and N decks coated with galvanized or prime paint finishings. We also offer acoustic versions of these deckings that help to control sound.

Type A Deck

The grooves of a Type A Deck or A Deck measure 1.5 inches from the valley to peak. Single sheets of this type measure 36 inches wide. While this type sounds similar to the B Deck, there is a key difference. Each valley only measures 1 inch wide. B Deck valleys are 2.5 inches wide. Construction professionals do not usually use A Deck for new construction projects. Rather, they use it for repair jobs. We sell an A Deck made of steel which conforms to ASTM A653.

Type F Deck

The grooves of a Type F Deck or F deck measure 1.5 inches from the valley to the peak. Single sheets of this type measure 36 inches wide. F deck valleys are also different from B Deck. They measure about 1 7/8 inches wide. Like A Deck, professionals only use Type F Deck for repair work. We do not sell a Type F metal deck

Floor Decking

The main difference between floor decking and roof decking is the embossments. These are trenches placed on the sides of each valley in the decking. With these, floor decking can more easily bond with heavier concrete. This feature makes it better for flooring. Once workers attach this decking to the beams of the house, concrete can be poured on top of it. The result is a strong floor that won’t collapse.

1.5, 2, and 3 inches

Like with the B and N Deck, the main difference between these three types is strength. Deeper grooves mean stronger decking. 1.5 inches is recommended for a 10-foot floor span; 2 inches for 12 feet; 3 inches for 14 feet.

Form Decking

Form decking is not as strong as floor and roof decking. As such, construction professionals shouldn’t use it where support is required. It should instead be used as a form to support concrete slabs while workers erect them. We offer several patterns of this decking type. These have been made to reduce the volume of fill and decrease erection time.

Decking Type Is Important

The differences between the types of metal decking may seem slight. However, choosing the wrong type for your construction project could lead to a collapse. Be sure to double-check the abilities and requirements of different decking to prevent this.

If you have questions about our decking types, please contact our customer service. We’ll be happy to help you as best as we can.

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