A joist is a horizontal structural member used in framing to span an open space, often between beams that subsequently transfer loads to vertical members. When incorporated into a floor framing system, joists serve to provide stiffness to the subfloor sheathing, allowing it to function as a horizontal diaphragm. Joists are often doubled or tripled, placed side by side, where conditions warrant, such as where wall partitions require support.
In structural engineering, the open web steel joist (OWSJ) is a lightweight steel truss consisting, in the standard form, of parallel chords and a triangulated web system, proportioned to span between bearing points.
In the framing of a deck or floor system, a rim joist is attached perpendicular to the joists, and provides lateral support for the ends of the joists while capping off the end of the floor or deck system. Rim joists are not to be confused with end joists, which are the first and last joists at the ends of a row of joists that make up a floor or deck frame.