What is a sleeper in construction? Things must know [2021]

What is a sleeper in construction? A sleeper is a type of structural component used to support the deck or flooring system above. Sleepers are typically made from timber and can be either solid or built with voids for insulation purposes.

The purpose of this article is to explain what sleepers are, how they work, and their uses within the construction industry.

This article will provide you with all the information you need about sleepers so that you can make an informed decision when it comes time to purchase them for your next project.

What is a sleeper in construction?
What is a sleeper in construction?

What is a sleeper in construction?

A sleeper is a horizontal strip of wood that is used to support other pieces or materials. For example, if you wanted to add some extra height to your bed, you might put a couple of sleepers under the legs at each corner.

The term ‘sleeper’ sounds like it would be for people who are tired and want to go to sleep, but it’s not. It’s about wooden pieces of wood. Sleepers are only used in carpentry, not in any other kind of construction like bricklaying or plastering.

Generally speaking, the sleeper is usually placed directly on the ground, although there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if you were making a deck, you’d usually place the sleepers on joists that were already nailed to the floor.

What Are Sleepers When Installing a Deck?

Sleeper System
Sleeper System


Material thats is less dense or that has a lower strength rating than other materials in the same space.

In construction, sleepers are typically large, heavy and hard pieces of wood (or sometimes stone) used to support something such as railroad tracks or a deck.

The two main types of sleepers used on railways while the track is being laid are ballast and ties. Sleepers can also be used for building a deck, though they are the more difficult to find at home improvement stores.

The first type of sleeper was a wooden bush or beam, simply placed on top of the rails. When coal was used to power locomotives, these sleepers would catch fire and burn out over time. In 1841, inventor John Birkenshaw decided that metal should be used for railway track construction – the trend only increased from here.


The lumber used as “sleepers” underneath a deck floor is called joists.

A roof rafter, truss or beam uses the lower end of the joist to rest on and support the weight of whatever rests atop it. The upper end of a joist may be angled; this is done with an angle brace that connects both legs of the angle, helping to support any load placed on it.

The system of laying sleepers with the outside surface upwards is known as “sole plate”.

The other side, which rests upon the ballast, is called the “back” or “riser board”, and that part towards the centre of the railway is known as the “face.” Steel ties are now in universal use on American railroads, and in some parts of the United Kingdom.

In North America, wooden ties are still common on smaller railroads and subway systems. In addition, many older urban rail transit systems have been replaced with wood ties only where the cost of a complete replacement is prohibitively expensive.


A sleeper deck is an easy and affordable way to build your own screened porch or sunroom.

With sleepers, hardwood lumber can be used without having to support it with frame members because they come pre-built on the ground so you don’t need all that extra wood!

You may even want one someday if building codes require fully framed decks in certain areas where there could otherwise just be a soft surface like grass below grade level instead.


Renowned for its durability and water resistance, pressure-treated wood is often chosen as sleepers in decks due to their affordability.

However the chemicals used during production make them dangerous when touched by humans or pets who spend a lot of time near them according to EPA standards (especially children).

It would be wise not only cover up with decking but also keep it off limits around food preparation areas where fumes from these harmful products can easily accumulate before you’ve even realized what has happened!

Sleepers for framing – How to use

Where do we use sleepers over regular framing?

There are two main types of framing systems, regular and modular. With regular framing there is a beam on top with joists resting underneath it in order to get the desired height during construction without any concern around airflow or obstructions for how high your deck can be if you want one that’s really tall (like 30 feet).

Modular means each piece has its own supports so no matter where they’re placed within an apartment building or house – even if someone wants their rooftop deck at ground level because there was some obstacle blocking access upwards–they could still do this type!

Installing sleepers

Using Sleepers For Framing
Using Sleepers For Framing

To avoid any problems with installing the sleepers and decking, we made sure they were installed flat. This eliminated using traditional joists hangers which can damage your house’s framing during installation because of how much pressure it takes on those nails as you raise them up through each level in order to fasten one board onto another higher than itself – effectively making our job easier!

Instead though there is now an even stronger bond holding everything together: pocket hole screws that go into both sides at pre-determined depths before countersinking so no matter where a screw goes its not going anywhere unless someone wants more weight pinning something down below

Waterproofing the frame

In order to keep your deck safe during the winter months, you should treat it with a pressure-treated wood preservative.

It will protect from moisture and rot much better than non-pressure treated boards as long as each board is prepped before application of this treatment – which penetrates 1/8″ into each surface after brushing for protection against environmental elements like snow or rain splashes that would otherwise destroy parts of a structure made mostly out untreated lumber.


What is a sleeper in carpentry?

In brief, sleeper is a common term used to describe railroad ties (railroad sleepers). Railroad ties are wooden beams that hold the rails in place on which trains run.

Sleeper construction has evolved over time into different forms, but the purpose of all types is to keep the track in good condition – keeping it moving smoothly and safely.

What does a sleeper wall do?

A sleeper wall is also called a “foundation wall”. A sleeper walls job is to support the floor joists of the upper level. If you’re building an island home, chances are you will need one for some parts where the house rests on the ground (like in some corners).

Sleeper Walls can be made up of any type of material. In most cases, it is recommended that you use wood for this type of wall as it’s the easiest to work with and use as a foundation source for your home.

What is a sleeper beam?

A sleeper is a railroad tie. Railroad ties are the large pieces of wood that are laid perpendicular to the track so they don’t come up through it. They are usually treated with creosote, which makes them rot-resistant.

They sit on two wooden beams called stringers, and at least two steel rails rest on top of them.


The term “sleeper” is often used to describe a piece of wood that is not visible at first glance. Construction sleepers are typically made from cedar, pine, or redwood and they provide the foundation for any type of building project.
These types of boards are traditionally 2x8s but can be cut to size depending on the needs of your construction site.
They are placed side-by-side in rows along with other pieces called joists which give them stability and support as well as creating an air gap between each board so moisture doesn’t accumulate too quickly. If you’re curious about how this process relates back to tech terms, think about all the data centers being built around Silicon Valley these days!

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