Your Guide to 16-Gauge Metal in Construction Projects


When general contractors, architects, and metal fabricators come together for a metalwork project, one of their primary concerns is in selecting the appropriate material to get the job done. There are many different types of metals available, measured in thickness, or gauge.

Higher gauge = thinner metal. Lower gauge = thicker metal.

In this article, we will do a deep dive into what 16-gauge metal is and which projects it is best suited for based on its properties and application benefits.


What is 16-gauge metal?

16-gauge metal ranges from 0.0598 to 0.0625 inches in thickness. To give you an idea of where this falls on the metal gauge scale, gauges for sheet metal typically range from 7 to 30. So 16-gauge metal falls on the thicker side of the spectrum, lending itself to considerable durability while maintaining flexibility.


You Should Use 16-Gauge Metal in Your Next Project…

1. If you need the metal to support something heavy.

As mentioned, the thickness of a 16-gauge metal sheet is ideal for a project demanding durability. Our team gets many requests for a “weathered aesthetic”. Selecting a 16-gauge natural hot rolled steel allows the material to rust over time and achieve the desired look.

2. If you wish to shape and form your metal sheet.

16-gauge metal is flexible in the way it allows itself to be formed, bent, or shaped however your contracting team wishes. If your project requires a good bit of precision, 16-gauge metal may be a safe bet.

3. If the budget for your project is tight.

The rule of thumb tends to go — the thicker the sheet metal, the more expensive. 16-gauge still falls somewhere in the middle of the spectrum (although leaning thicker), meaning this is still an affordable option if you seek that intense durability, but on a budget.


What are common projects for 16-Gauge Metal Sheets?

Due to the strength of this metal and its ability to support heavy objects, you’ll often see this used on buildings, bridges, and industrial facilities. Since 16-gauge metal is also malleable, it’s not uncommon for it to be used with decorative accents or facade panels to structural beams and columns.



16-gauge metal falls right in the middle of the spectrum, meaning you get the best of both worlds. It maintains an affordable price point while offering superior strength, durability, and flexibility to be shaped for your project. If you’re looking for advice on the thickness or thinness of metal for a project you’re working on, reach out to us here.

A headshot of Viotell's COO and Partner, Anthony Ortega.

Anthony Ortega, COO & Partner

Anthony Ortega is a dynamic and results-driven executive with a proven track record of fostering growth and innovation. With extensive experience in business operations and high-functioning business acumen, Anthony has consistently demonstrated his ability to integrate and optimize complex business processes.

As the Chief Operating Officer of VIOTELL, Anthony oversees all facets of the company’s operations, finance, fabrication, vendor relationships, and client success. His strategic leadership and expertise in operational excellence have been instrumental in driving the company’s sustained growth and competitive edge.

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