I have a bearing wall (2x4 studs) which is 13 ft. long in my living room which I am thinking of tearing out and replacing with a beam. (2 story house - living room first floor.)
But looking at "span tables", this is looking like it would need a solid wood beam like 4 x 10? Well a 10" beam would come down a bit far and not look so good...
So how about a steel I-beam? I looked at span tables for I-beams and it looks like a "W6x9" would do the trick? This would come down less and look better.
Anyway I don't know a thing about steel I-beams. Does "W6x9" mean 6 inches wide and 9 inches high?
Is there a smaller I-beam which would work for this span?
And I have 2x4 walls that this I-beam would connect to on each side. Would the I-beam just rest on say 4 x 6 wood posts? Or have holes drilled in the bottom of the I-beam and lag screw it to the wood posts?
And how would I fasten the joists resting on the top of the I-beam to the I -beam?