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removing cross braces

I'm gutting a two floor house in the country, probably built in the teens or twenties. After removing the plaster board ceiling on the first floor, my wife decided she like the look of the exposed beams: real 2x10 [petrified] oak beams spaced 2 feet apart with a 16 foot span. The flooring above is 6 inch tongue and groove. My question is, can we remove the cross braces-- have they served their purpose?

Re: removing cross braces

If you are talking about cross bracing between the joists, no you should not remove them. Their purpose is to distribute weight across more than one joist. If you remove them the floor above could become springy and you could even end up with sagging.

Re: removing cross braces

As Jack mentioned, I would not remove them. I had my reference book out this morning for another reason so I looked up your scenario in the span tables. If your beams are the full 2" x 10", at 2' centers, assuming a 1.6 modulus of elasticity (conservative number for oak not knowing exact species or condition of beams) a span chart I referenced indicated the span to be about 17' (1/360 deflection at 40PSF live load). Pretty close to your 16' span. How bouncy are the upstairs floors now? Removing the cross braces will only make it worse.

Re: removing cross braces

Thank you for the responses. Yes, the cross bracing between the joists. The upstairs has a very slight bounce and now that I'm looking closely, some of the cross braces are damaged and should be replaced. Thank you again for the advice.

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