Sill plate alternatives when *not* using pressure treated wood?


I'm not sure if ipe is a great choice for this, but I think it deserves an honorable mention because I've never seen insects eating it. The trouble with it would be needing to predrill holes (because it's so hard), and it's a bit more expensive than oak.

Regarding insect control, use borates. That's the only think that will really work out in the long run. I wouldn't trust cedar to be strong enough for a sill plate, but even if it was, I've seen bugs eating it (cedar shingles and siding). Yeah it's better than pine for resisting bugs (for a while), but bugs will attack any soft and chewy wood... and cedar will eventually lose it's protective oils. Treated lumber uses ACQ (Alkaline Copper Quaternary), but they had to abandon the use of arsenic because of tightened regualtions. Treated lumber just isn't as protected as it used to be... hence the growing popularity of alternative decking materials (like ipe and composite).

Oak is a good choice (tried and true). Ipe is as...

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The following answers both your questions. In either case, you can confirm with your Local Build Official.

W/T is wood treated. International Residential Building Code says "it must be used whenever wood is in contact with concrete and/or masonry". This would also include furring strips applied directly to a vertical block wall unless you use the vapor barrier behind it.

Most municipalities will indicate on their handouts, in a statement similar to that used for "Basement Requirements", that "All wood in contact with concrete or masonry must be treated for direct contact or be wood of natural resistance to decay. (redwood or cedar)"

W/T - Wood Treated - used for homeowners is wood preserved with inorganic arsenic. Generally, southern yellow pine is the choice of pressure treated wood for home owner use.

All pressure treated woods are preserved to resist damage caused by moisture and termites. Residential grade treated wood comes...

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A sill plate, or mudsill, is a board that is laid horizontally over the foundation of a building. The vertical members of the framing called studs can then be constructed on top off the sill plate, which is anchored to the concrete foundation. This allows a flat, even surface for the construction of the framing and a buffer between the framing and the foundation. As concrete tends to let moisture through, a treated piece of lumber below the framing can help keep the studs from rotting.

Many houses do not have a mudsill, and of those that do, there are several ways of installing it. Commonly, the plate is anchored to the foundation with an anchor bolt, a large bolt with either a hook or expansion wedge at one end and threading for a nut at the other end. The hooked end of the bolts are placed at measured intervals in wet concrete and left while the foundation hardens. Holes are then drilled into the sill plate at the same intervals so that when the board is laid on the...

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I work with my father, a professional home improvement contractor, and recently bought a house. We discovered termites and rot / water damage to one wall -- something that the inspector missed.

We opened up the wall today to understand the extent of the damage, and it extends from the sill plate (on the slab) up to a leaking window on the 2nd story.

We're selectively removing the damaged plywood and non-load-bearing 2x4 framing and replacing individual pieces one by one.

We replaced the piece of wood at the sill plate with a pressure-treated 2x4, as well as 3 studs. Since this is an area of moisture damage, we're going to continue using pressure-treated studs.

Is there a reason NOT to do this? I've done some Google searches, and it seems like pressure-treated wood is often recommended in areas of moisture or termite damage. My father thinks it's fine, but I like to get a wide range of opinions from other contractors, in case there's something in...

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Code requirements for wood-concrete contact treat the symptoms of rot, not the cause

Last week we talked about moisture meters, and I asked readers why the wood in the picture was wet. As it turns out, that photo was taken in the same house on the same day as the two pictures at right.

Why is one bottom plate sitting on concrete “dry,” and the other one “wet?” I admit that this week's top photo was taken in the basement and last week's and the bottom photo were taken in the crawl space, but the location is not the cause of the different moisture readings. The reason is simple: sill sealer. The light blue sill sealer installed between the bottom plate and concrete (most likely for air sealing) in the top photo is closed-cell foam. It's meant to be an air-sealing gasket, but it also is working as a capillaryForces that lift water or pull it through porous materials, such as concrete. The tendency of a material to wick water due to the surface tension of the water...

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Advice on safety precautions when using treated wood. October 25, 2006

From Professor Gene Wengert, forum technical advisor:
Wood is treated under pressure and vacuum with a variety of chemicals that are insecticides and fungicides. Such wood is called pressure treated wood. In past years, almost all PT wood had a green color from the copper used; the treatment chemical was called CCA. Political pressure and poor technical information stopped widespread use of this chemical a few years ago. Your local home store or lumberyard is now selling lumber treated with amine copper quat (ACQ) and copper azone (CA). CCA is still being used in certain marine and industrial applications since it is still the best preservative available at the present time.

Special concerns:
• The sawdust from PT pressure-treated wood is an irritant to the nose, eyes, and skin. Use of a dust mask and eye protection is highly recommended. Avoid contact with the skin as much as...

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Joists sit horizontally on edge on cinder block, crawl space foundations or basement walls to support the floors of a home. You can use engineered I-beam trusses as joists or choose to use 2-by-12 or 2-by-10 lumber as joists, according to your building's blueprints and local building codes. Ensure the lumber used meets the span distance between the two walls. The maximum spanning distance of lumber is relative to the building's weight loads, the type and dimensions of the wood used and the spacing between joists.

Install anchor bolts with the threads up in the wet concrete in the gaps of the cinder block. Set them evenly spaced at the intervals indicated in your blueprints or building code requirements, such as 16 or 24 inches on center. Start the installation of the bolts more than 3 inches in from the end to make sure the bolts won't fall in the same location as the joists. Leave at least 1 3/4 inches on the outer edge of the sill plate to install the rim joist. Bolts...

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Latest News

March 17, 2017
84 Lumber® Introduces Ecolife™ for Above Ground Treated Wood
84 Lumber® Co., one of the nation’s leading lumber dealers, is now selling Ecolife™ Stabilized Weather-Resistant Wood for above ground applications in decks, fencing and similar projects. Read more

November 30, 2016
Viance announces Clarification and Enhancements to Above Ground Treated Wood Warranties.
Viance Lifetime Limited warranty coverage includes Above Ground treated wood framing members that are critical to the safety and performance of the structure, including joists and beams.
Read more

November 2, 2016
NEWSnote from the SFPA:
Treated Wood Infographic Finalized With a recent approval from the AWPA Executive Committee
Read more

July 21, 2016
D-Blaze® Fire Retardant Treated Wood (FRTW) Earns GREENGUARD Gold Certification
Read more

June 24, 2016
Viance LLC Continues to Offer Lifetime Limited...

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Originally Posted by

Mark Reinmiller

Am I missing something in the code, ...


(bold and underlining are mine)
From the 2012 IRC (but it has been this way for a very long time)
- R317.1 Location required.

- - Protection of wood and wood based products from decay shall be provided in the following locations by the use of naturally durable wood or wood that is preservative-treated in accordance with AWPA U1 for the species, product, preservative and end use. Preservatives shall be listed in Section 4 of AWPA U1.
- - - 1. Wood joists or the bottom of a wood structural floor when closer than 18 inches (457 mm) or wood girders when closer than 12 inches (305 mm) to the exposed ground in crawl spaces or unexcavated area located within the periphery of the building foundation.
- - - 2. All wood framing members that rest on concrete or masonry exterior foundation walls and are less than 8 inches (203 mm) from the exposed ground.
- - - 3....

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All measures that are taken to ensure a long life of wood fall under the definition wood preservation (timber treatment).

In moist and oxygenated soil, there are few treatments that enable vulnerable wood (softwood here) to resist for long against bacterial or fungal degradation

Detail of sample in photo above

Apart from structural wood preservation measures, there are a number of different (chemical) preservatives and processes (also known as timber treatment, lumber treatment or pressure treatment) that can extend the life of wood, timber, wood structures or engineered wood. These generally increase the durability and resistance from being destroyed by insects or fungus.


A modern wharf piling bored by bivalves known as



As proposed by Richardson,[1] treatment of wood has been practiced for almost as long as the use of wood itself. There are records of wood preservation reaching back to ancient Greece...

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The sill plate, as shown in Figure 1, is the first piece of lumber that is attached to a masonry foundation. It is a critical part of the structural integrity of a building. Whenever there is a transition from a masonry foundation to a wood structure, a house, addition or garage a sill plate must be installed.

Note: The masonry foundation can be poured concrete or concrete blocks.

The sill plate should be pressure treated lumber. As a masonry foundation is porous it will draw moisture towards the piece of lumber that is used as a sill plate. Years ago a piece of tar paper was placed between the sill plate and the masonry foundation to protect the lumber from the moisture. Today, the use of pressure treated lumber eliminates the need for the tar paper.

The chemicals used in pressure treated lumber also provide protection against termites and other wood eating insect infestations.

Between the masonry foundation and the pressure treated lumber sill plate a...

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A pressure plate is a non-solid block that can be used to detect players, mobs, items, etc. It has four variants:

Wooden: Can detect all entities, giving out a maximum signal strength. Stone: Can only detect players and mobs, giving out a maximum signal strength. Light weighted: Can detect all entities. The signal strength increases as more entities are added Heavy weighted: Similar to a light weighted pressure plate but requires much higher quantities to be activated.

A wooden pressure plate can be mined using any tool, or without a tool, however axes are the fastest. All other types can only be mined with a pickaxe

A pressure plate will also be removed and drop itself as an item:

if the block beneath it is moved, removed, or destroyed if a piston tries to push it or moves a block into its space

Crafting[edit | edit source]

Natural generation[edit | edit source]

Pressure plates used as tables in a



One stone...

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Floor framing consists of a system of sills, beams, girders, joists, and subflooring, all properly sized and connected together. Floor framing provides support for floor loads, and gives lateral support to exterior walls.

Fasteners and Connections

Proper design, specification, and installation of fasteners and connections is crucial to the long-term performance and structural integrity of any structure. Nails, used alone or in combination with metal framing anchors and construction adhesives, are the most common method of fastening framing lumber and sheathing panels. Nail joints provide best performance when loads are applied at right angles to the nails. Nailed joints with the load applied parallel to the nail (in withdrawal) should be avoided. Metal products in contact with pressure-treated wood must be corrosion resistant.

Sill Plates on Foundation Walls

Sill plates resting on continuous foundation walls (stem walls) are generally of nominal...

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Lessons in "Outdoor Wood"

Pressure-treated wood is truly a "wood for all seasons"... a rugged exterior building product that's rot and insect resistant. If Noah's ark was made from this stuff, it would still be cruising the Mediterranean!

Treated wood is used for decks, mailbox and light posts, swing sets and playscapes, picnic tables, landscape ties, underwater dock pilings, oceanside boardwalks, telephone utility poles and, believe it or not, residential building foundations in some parts of the country!

You can purchase pressure-treated (PT) wood as lumber, boards, posts, and even plywood! Its unique ability to fend off decay makes it ideal in any high moisture and/or ground contact installations.

Yet, there is much misinformation, and, in some cases, disinformation concerning pressure-treated wood, its maintenance requirements, and its safety in common use. Let's explore the story of pressure-treated wood, and together seek out the...

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By Mark Clement

Removing and Replacing a Rotten Sill Plate.

A rotten sill plate is a common occurrence in old houses—and a big problem. The sill is the piece of wood closest to the ground, either on a foundation or piers, and is usually a “timber-sized” board:...

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Order your wood. If the framing for the building will be 2x6, allowing fewer members and deeper insulation, you will need a 2x6 sill plate. Since sill plates have an indoor application, 'pressure treated' wood is not necessary. For almost half the cost you can get a termite-treated board called 'borate'. It's apple-green, but will eventually weather to gray.


Cover the wood with a tarp. The sun will warp and twist your boards all over the place - especially something as wet as borate.


Measure the distance for the sill plate with a tape measure.


Cut the length of board - use a handsaw or a circular saw.


Place the cut board into position on top of the J bolts. Typically, sill plates are laid flush with the outside edge of the stem wall or slab. This is so water will not collect on an exposed lip of concrete and migrates into the dwelling. However, if it seems counterintuitive to you to put the...

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In Canada, use of treated wood is regulated by industry standards and by building codes. The Canadian Standards Association (CSA) produces the O80 series of standards for treated wood. The National Building Code of Canada (NBCC) is our model building code, adopted and/or modified for use by the various jurisdictions across the country. The NBCC contains requirements regarding the use of treated wood in buildings.

CSA O80 Series

The Canadian Standards Association is a private, not-for-profit organization certified by the Standards Council of Canada for the development of standards. The CSA Technical Committee on Wood Preservation oversees revisions to the O80 series of standards. This committee comprises representation from chemical manufacturers, wood treaters, government regulators, researchers, consultants and users of treated wood products. The CSA O80 series refers to a number of American Wood Protection Association standards for analytical standards and most...

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The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) has developed this web page for both residents and municipal authorities in response to several inquiries on how to manage pressure treated wood used for decking, swing sets, picnic tables, landscaping and other applications at homes and public playgrounds.

What is pressure treated wood?
What preservatives are used to pressure treat wood?
How are children exposed to arsenic from pressure treated wood?
When was pressure treated wood found to present health risks?
Have the manufacturers of pressure treated wood been required to stop production of the wood?
How do I know whether my play set or deck is made of pressure treated wood?
How can I lessen the risk from exposure to arsenic from pressure treated wood?
Will any kind of sealant work to reduce risk?
Should I remove my backyard play set or deck?
If I decide to remove my backyard play set or deck, how should I...

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Today I want to cover the first and, to newbies, most intimidating step of framing a basement. Buying lumber! If you've done this before then just skip right past this article.

But if you're like I was, this was sort of a stumbling block. I had a lot of questions and the books that I had did not cover this basic but important basement finishing step.

Parking & The (lumber) Cart

When I was just starting to play around with framing a wall I bought all of my lumber at Home Depot. The lumber is usually on the side of the store with the covered area that's for loading material onto your vehicle. Park near that side so you don't have to push the lumber across the parking lot. You are probably used to parking near the flowers and yard stuff but now you're going big time, park near the wood!

You need to get one of the big metal carts that have the side rails. Despite their unlimited supply of WD-40 Home Depot seems to have no desire to fix the extremely loud...

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