Span Tables


When it comes to building with Southern Pine lumber, ensuring the structural integrity requires careful understanding how to use the lumber. That’s when you break out the span tables.

Lumber span tables are valuable guides which provide the maximum allowable spans for different types and sizes of Southern Pine and pressure-treated lumber under various load conditions. They help you determine how far a wooden beam or joist can span between support points, such as walls or beams, without compromising safety and structural integrity.

The lumber industry conducts ongoing testing and invests millions of dollars to provide the most accurate and reliable design values for structural lumber, including Southern Pine. The Southern Forest Products Association’s (SPFA) span tables are a result of that investment.

These tables are essential for ensuring safety and reducing the risk of structural failures that can lead to accidents, injuries, or property damage. They are also important to consult to ensure you are complying with building codes, optimizing material usage, and maintaining consistency in the construction industry.

Southern Pine

Span Tables

Below you will find 12 tables for selected Southern Pine visual, machine stress rated (MSR), and machine evaluated lumber (MEL) grades intended for use under dry-service conditions. 

Treated Southern Pine

Span Tables

SPFA provides three tables for pressure-treated Southern Pine visual grades No. 1 and No. 2, intended for use under wet-service conditions (floor/deck joists) where moisture content (MC) exceeds 19 percent.

For other grades, loading conditions, and on-center spacings, refer to the SFPA’s Maximum Spans for Southern Pine Joists and Rafters publication.

Joists and Rafters

SPFA has created 46 simplified maximum span tables based on common load conditions for floor joists, ceiling joists, and rafters for selected visual and mechanical grades of Southern Pine lumber in sizes 2×4 thru 2×12.

Headers and Beams

Below you will find 38 tables for maximum size selections for various beam spans and loading combinations for the following applications:

These tables only apply to Southern Pine lumber and glued laminated timber used under ordinary ranges of temperature and dry service conditions.


The Southern Forest Products Association does not test lumber or establish design values. Accordingly, neither SFPA, nor its members, warrant that the design values on which the span tables are based are correct, and disclaim responsibility for injury or damage resulting from the use of such span tables. The conditions under which lumber is used in construction may vary widely, as does the quality of workmanship.

Neither SFPA, nor its members, have knowledge of the quality of materials, workmanship or construction methods used on any construction project, and accordingly, do not warrant the technical data, design, or performance of the lumber in completed structures.