Have you ever heard the term “gauge” when referring to metal panels? Gauge is the term used to define the specific thickness of a metal panel. Like all materials used in construction, metal panels come in a wide array of sizes, shapes, colors, and gauges. One of the first decisions a person considers IMPs will have to decide on is what gauge they would like. So what exactly does that mean and how do you determine the right gauge for your project?
Range of Gauges
The thickness of metal panels can range anywhere from 22-gauge to 29-gauge, with 29 being the thinnest and 22 being the thickest. These gauges are associated with a decimal range. For example, a 26-gauge steel panel can range anywhere from 0.0179” to 0.0217.” This also means that a 26-gauge metal panel from one manufacturer may not be the same thickness as a 26-gauge metal panel from another. Although those seem like small numbers, they represent a noticeable difference in panel stiffness and strength.
When to Choose a Thinner Gauge
Almost all homes have a layer of plywood or something similar, covered by a weather-resistant barrier. In this case, the metal panels will be affixed to the sheathing as opposed to serving a structural role. A quality 29-gauge panel is more than adequate for this situation; which is why it’s used on nearly 80 percent of homes with metal panels!
When to Choose a Thicker Gauge
When a building needs to remain structurally sound without the support of sheathing, a thicker gauge is the best option. These gauges are also more forgiving in the event of an installation error, such as over-tightening screws. Thicker trim pieces also lay more accurately. A common combination amongst contractors includes 29-gauge roof and wall panels, accompanied by a 26-gauge trim. However, you can expect to pay more for thicker panels. The cost of a 26-gauge product will be about 15% higher than a 29-gauge with the same profile from the same manufacturer.
Wondering what gauge of metal panels is right for you? Our qualified team of professionals would be happy to help you! Contact us today at 519-451-7663 or email@example.com.