Dressing steel beams - how does that work?

Steel girders do not always look very nice when they are open. For this reason, you can dress them accordingly - but you have to pay attention to a few things. What is important, which panels are suitable, and the role of fire protection, read in this post.

Fire protection requirements

A cladding of a steel girder must always be considered where the girder fulfills a static bearing function. All statically load-bearing steel girders must be equipped with appropriate fire and heat protection.

The reason for this is simple: even at a temperature of around 100° C, steel beams lose part of their strength. This temperature is very low, in a fire usually occur significantly higher temperatures. To prevent the steel girder from giving in immediately in the event of fire, and the building collapsing, it must be protected as much as possible from the effects of heat.

Suitable coverings

Accordingly, a carrier may only be clad with suitably suitable materials. For example, GKF boards (refractory gypsum plaster boards) are suitable for increasing the fire resistance period. Which fire resistance class must be achieved depends on the installation location of the support and the local conditions. There are fire protection class F 180 (180 minutes fire resistance) and fire protection class F 90 (90 minutes fire resistance).

If you opt for a (fairly unproblematic) cladding with plasterboard, you can also resort to already prefabricated cladding systems from different manufacturers. These systems can be designed either with or without metal substructure, the planking of the substructure can either be clamped or screwed.


In the execution you have to make sure that it is done professionally. This can also have insurance or safety consequences. In some cases, it is better to have such linings carried out by a qualified person.

thermal insulation

To insulate a steel beam is only necessary when it is warm and in contact with cold external surfaces. Since metal is a very good conductor of heat, such a carrier must be necessarily insulated, otherwise it is a cold bridge, and there is a risk of condensation.

Loose rockwool is very good for the insulation. Rock wool also has an additional fire-retardant property, which is generally advantageous in the casing of carriers. Styrofoam as an insulating material should be better avoided indoors, such insulation is not very professional and in many cases not allowed.

Covering non-load-bearing components

If a carrier does not fulfill a supporting function, the cladding can be made according to your own wishes. Finished cladding systems make sense, however, because of their ease of use. Otherwise, a double-planked cladding with GK or GKF is recommended.

Tips & Tricks

There is no need to worry about the dimensions of a finished cover. All steel profiles are completely standardized in their dimensions, there are no different dimensions. So you will always find the right cladding system without problems.

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