A wall plate, also known as a raising plate or top plate, is a horizontal structural member used in timber framing to support and distribute the load from joists, rafters, etc. It is typically made of wood or metal and is installed along the top of an interior or exterior wall.
Wall plates serve several important purposes in building construction:
Wall plates distribute the weight of the roof or floor framing over a wider area of the wall, preventing excessive stress on individual points.
ANCHOR POINT FOR FARMING MEMBERS
Wall plates provide a secure anchor point for joists, rafters, and other framing members.
PROTECTION AGAINST WIND UPLIFT
Wall plates help to prevent the roof from being uplifted by strong winds.
There are two main types of wall plates:
SOLID TIMBER WALL PLATES
These are typically made of a single piece of lumber, such as a 2×6 or 2×8.
BUILT UP WALL PLATES
These are made from two or more pieces of lumber that are laminated or strapped together.
MATERIAL FOR WALL PLATES
Wall plates are typically made of wood or metal. Wood is the most common material for wall plates, as it is strong, lightweight, and easy to work with. However, metal wall plates are becoming increasingly popular, as they are stronger and more fire-resistant than wood wall plates.
INSTALLATION OF WALL PLATES
Wall plates are typically installed by nailing or bolting them to the studs or masonry wall. They should be installed level and plumb, and they should be securely fastened to the wall.
WALL PLATES IN MODERN CONSTRUCTION
In modern construction, wall plates are still an important part of timber framing. However, they are sometimes replaced with other methods of load distribution, such as steel straps or trusses.