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Selecting the Right Strut Channel

As strut channels are so versatile, knowing which channels and accessories to select for a job can be confusing, even for experts.

This guide should make things easier — covering a selection of both strut channels and the accessories needed to assemble them.

5 Things to Consider When Selecting the Right Strut Channel

Width, Height, and Gauge
A 1-5/8" x 1-5/8" profile is the most bought and used channel. As with all strut channels, it is available in various height profiles. To discuss these, why not get in touch with our experts at White Cap?

This profile is produced in higher volumes than most strut channels, which means it is available almost anywhere you purchase your trade supplies. It is cost-effective, especially for larger jobs, and parts and accessories that fit this size of strut channel are also widely available. If you need to move fast on a job and order many strut channels, a 1-5/8" x 1-5/8" will probably prove most practical.

Another option is 1-5/8" x 13/16", though this is less common. All heights and widths of strut channels are available in 12 gauge, 14 gauge, or 16 gauge. For heavy-duty projects, 12 gauge is advised.


The length of the strut channel you select will depend on your job. Most jobs will require a variety of lengths, and since components are designed to be flexible and reusable, shorter lengths can be used dynamically.

Strut channels come in three lengths, as well as custom-manufactured options:

  • Standard 10ʹ, which is short and easy to handle.
  • Standard 20ʹ, which is practical for longer runs.
  • 6ʹ8ʺ, as this is the typical commercial joist distance.
  • Custom-manufactured lengths can typically be ordered in any size from 4" to 24'.

If you're looking for custom lengths, drop us a line and request a quote from White Cap.

When deciding on the perforation, take into account the load your strut channels will have to bear and the bolts, rods, and fixings you'll be utilizing.
Standard perforation options are:

  • Oval or half slot, which is 9/16ʺ x 1 1/8ʺ x 2ʺ on center
  • Long or elongated slot, which is 13/32ʺ x 3ʺ x 4ʺ on center
  • Round hole, which is 9/16ʺ Diam x 1-7/8ʺ on cinter
  • Knock out, which is 7/8ʺ Diam x 6ʺ on center
  • Solid, which has no perforations and offers the most load-bearing support
The most commonly used strut material is carbon steel, which can be used for indoor or outdoor structures, offers some resistance to corrosion, and can be finished in various ways to increase that resistance.

Extruded aluminum is a lightweight and cheap option for indoor and outdoor use, but it can bear less weight than carbon steel and become soft in extreme heat. It is popular for perimeter guarding and temporary storage structures.

Stainless steel is ideal for outdoor applications and is very resistant to corrosion. It is suitable for use around chemicals, salt water, and humid environments.

Finally, fiberglass can be used in and outdoors and is very lightweight. It is extremely resistant to corrosion but not as strong as other options. If you use fiberglass strut channels, you will also want to use fiberglass accessories.
Strut and Strut Channels
Image courtesy of Unistrut Midwest

Finally, you need to consider the finish of your strut channels. If you have chosen to use steel channels, you have the options of: 

  • Plain untreated steel
  • Pre Galvanized: can be sprayed or painted post-install
  • Perma-Gold: yellow zinc electro galvanized
  • PVC coated: can be applied over a plain or galvanized finish and offers additional protection
  • G90 Zinc coated: long-term protection against corrosion
  • Hot-dipped galvanized: offers protection for constructions in or around water or corrosive materials and longer life if used outside
  • Green: This powder-coating is heat cured and topical, protecting against chalking, fading, and corrosion

Special orders or considerations
Before ordering your strut channels from White Cap, think about any special orders or custom cuts or finishes you might need. We also offer atypical finishes and custom colors and can create custom packages or bundles. We can also cater to COO requirements for government contracts or subcontracts.

6 Questions to Ask When Selecting the Right Strut Accessories

Depending on the fit you are carrying out, you may need a wide variety of strut accessories. Here's what to ask to find out exactly which fittings and hardware you'll need for a job.

Do I need threaded rods?
Threaded rods are used for:

  • Fixed connections to strut channels
  • Through-Channel connections
  • Hanging
  • Angled Hanging
You will need flat washers and hex nuts to secure your rods, no matter what you use them for. You may also need rod couplers and swivels.

Will I be securing fittings within my channels?

If so, you should order some variety of strut channel nuts. These include:

  • Spring nut or top spring
  • No spring
  • EZ (conical-shaped)
  • Threaded (various sizes)

What fittings and accessories do I need to secure my structure?
You will need to choose the correct fittings to connect your struts. Options for mounting and connecting struts and installing structures fit for this purpose may include:

  • Flat plates
  • Angled brackets
  • Post bases
  • Flat corner brackets
  • Wind brackets
  • Z fittings

You might also want to use conduit clamps, particularly if you are on the job in a factory or industrial setting.

What am I securing my structure to?
The brackets or braces you'll need to affix your strut channels to a surface will depend on what is being built and what you're affixing it to. Specific brackets and braces are available for:

  • Stair, ladder, and wall
  • Shelves
Clevis hangers are used for hanging strut channels from above, while knee and tube braces strengthen corners.

For pipe or strut hanging in industrial settings, you might need strut concrete inserts. These are designed to attach piping, framing, or other equipment to concrete structures.

What sort of endcap or closure works best for my build and budget?
Endcaps and closures are both an aesthetic and a safe choice. They cap off or round off the raw ends of strut channels.

They're available in PVC or steel and can either match or offset the finish of your strut channels.

PVC caps are cheaper and more lightweight than the steel option, but steel blends in better aesthetically unless you have a PVC coating on your struts.

Do I need roof blocks to support my structure?
Roof blocks support pipes, HVAC systems, rooftop walkway systems, ducting, conduits, cable trays, and more. You will often need them if your strut structure isn't raised/fixed to a wall or ceiling.

Everyone who works at White Cap is an expert in the construction industry. Many of our team members have industry experience. We offer streamlined invoicing and 30-day credit to eligible buyers.

We carry struts and accessories from all major manufacturers, including US-based companies.

White Cap has 220 stores across the US and online shopping options. If you're interested in buying or renting from White Cap, visit our site today for quotes, information, and more.
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