Which Differences Between Steel Framing vs Wood Framing

Which Differences Between Steel Framing vs Wood Framing

BlogDate: 01-08-2023 by: Ngan Le

The load-bearing structure is considered the backbone of a building, so choosing an excellent structural frame for the project will be a necessity for contractors. Steel frame vs wood frame is currently being applied a lot in buildings. Both offer distinct criteria, such as longevity, durability, and different costs.

1. Overview of steel framing vs wood framing structure

The steel frame is the structure that has the primary loading function of the building and is composed of steel materials. Components in the steel frame consist of horizontal beams and columns linked to transmit forces together.

Wood framing with main components from bare wooden slats, including wooden planks, boxwood, and logs, joined together. When choosing a wooden structure for the building, it will be necessary to consider factors such as environmental humidity, the hardness of the wood, and the bearing capacity to create good conditions for construction.

2. The difference between steel framing vs wood framing

Steel framing vs wood framing are popular in the construction industry and have their own advantages and disadvantages in terms of durability and cost.

Advantages of the steel framing structure

  • Moisture resistance

In areas with humid climates all year round, it will often be harmful to construction buildings because high humidity will create conditions for bacteria to corrode structures.

Steel is inherently waterproof, so a building with steel framing will help minimize the moldy situation. Thanks to steel framing, the contractors can be safe about the condition of the project; it hasn't been corroded by the elements such as termites or fungi.


  • Anti-fire

Most of the steel for the structural frame is mainly from galvanized steel. The nature of galvanized steel has excellent fire resistance. So it will increase the safety of the work and limit the risk of combustion as possible. 

  • Lifetime durability

It's not surprising when it comes to the timeless durability of steel, the fact that numerous constructions built with steel framing are over 50 years old. The contractor can be completely assured of the quality of the work because the steel will not be warped after extended use, helping the structure to be in the most stable condition.

Disadvantages of steel frame structure

  • Poor insulation

Although steel possesses fire resistance, they are pretty poor insulation because of the nature of metal as a conductor of heat. When compared to steel framing vs wood framing, steel heats faster than wood. Users need to invest in additional cooling devices when the outdoor temperature is high.

  • The danger of electric leakage

Steel also has electrical conductivity, so when processing steel framing for a project, the builder must carefully calculate the location of the electrical circuit to avoid the risk of leakage of electricity or short circuit.


  • Not suitable for some exceptional environment

All steels, including galvanized steel or aluminum galvanized steel, are subject to corrosion and rust after a long time of use. Although manufacturers have improved steel and coated galvanized layers to reduce oxidation, they can’t prevent it altogether.
Therefore, projects near the sea with a high salt concentration will not be suitable for steel framing structures.

Advantages of wood framing structures

  • Easy to build

Unlike steel framing, which must be machined at the factory according to strict technical standards. The steps of designing and installing wooden structures will not require a large amount of labor or chemical treatment. Therefore, construction with a wood framing structure is much faster and easier.

  • Cool & warm condition

Wood is a natural insulator, so whether the weather outside is hot or cold, it will not affect the wood much. Therefore, wood buildings always bring users a warm and comfortable state.


Disadvantages of wood framing structures

  • Dampness and termites damage

The risk of wetness can occur at any time to wood if the environment has high humidity because wood can absorb water. In addition, high-humidity environments will also increase the rate of parasitic molds, and harmful corrosive agents such as termites are also very likely to occur.

  • Regular maintenance is required

After using a long time, wood often experiences fading, staining, and peeling of the surface paint. Therefore, they will need to be oiled periodically to prevent the above situation. Compared to steel, wood framing requires users to maintain them regularly to maintain a long life as well as restore the beauty of wood.


Through the above article, MRS Steel hopes you have amassed helpful information about the two types of structures in construction mentioned above. Steel framing vs wood framing structures have their own strengths, and the final decision is yours as long as they suit your interests and budget level.

Moreover, please check out our other articles for more detailed information on hot rolled coil, galvanized/aluminum galvanized steel, cold rolled steel, and other steel in the construction industry!