Structural Steel vs. Light Gauge Framing

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Steel makes the best choice for setting up the frame and structure of buildings. However, not all buildings need the same type of steel; some need Structural steel, while others are good to go with light gauge steel. However, it is better to always select one as per your application.

What is Structural Steel framing?

This type of framing is made with hot rolled steel in its molten form. Rolling in molten form and then hardening makes it extremely strong. It is often used with durable materials like concrete, providing better structural strength.

Advantages of using structural steel framing

The best advantages of this type of framing include the following:

Good for any type of structure

It is thick and strong, making it a great choice for any structure. However, it is best when used for heavier structures and tall buildings. While you can use it in light and small units, it would be more overkill for those structures.

Better flexibility and weight bearing

This type of framing has better flexibility and load-bearing capacity. It is used in bridge construction since it can deal with heavy traffic loads. It is also a better choice for bigger buildings that need to bear a heavy weight on upper stories.

Great at heights

Framing with structural steel works better at height since it is stronger than concrete and lighter than that.

Efficient for modern designing

Modern construction design has bends, curves, and folds that concrete cannot withstand. Combining concrete with this framing makes things work.

What is Light Gauge Framing

This type of framing is made with cold-formed steel. It is made when steel sheets are rolled through rollers and given shapes that can bear heavy loads. These are usually made in shapes similar to timber.

Advantages of light gauge framing

The best advantages of this type of framing include the following:

Good for light structures

It is only good for light structures like residential units and small commercial buildings. Light gauge framing makes a cheaper option here.

Similar to wood

It is similar to lumber, making it easier to cut and install. The wastage while construction is also less, making cleaning less costly and better for the environment. While having such benefits, it does not rot or become food to the termite.

Self-tapping screws bring benefits.

Most workers use it with self-tapping screws, which bring the benefit of quick Installation and reliable yet faster construction.

Easier moving around.

Moving around by hand on a construction site is easier since it does not weigh like structural steel. It also helps manage the weight of the building better.

Differences you must know before choosing one.

The major differences between these two framing materials include the following:

  • Structural steel is stronger and more expensive.
  • Light gauge is cheap but only good for small buildings
  • The light gauge does not bear the fire.
  • The light gauge is not great for soundproofing and does not keep out the external temperatures.

Learn more about the framing requirements of your next project.

Structural steel makes the better option in multiple aspects, but there are some cases where the light gauge is more than enough for your requirements. So, to spend your budget in the best way, it is better to see which fits your needs better.


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