DIY Network

How to Install a Top Floating Wall

With garage remodels, ceilings are often a concern. One way to solve this issue is to build a top floating wall. Learn how to build and install a top floating wall with these easy step-by-step instructions.

More in Remodeling

  • Time


  • Price Range

    $2,500 - $5,000

  • Difficulty

    Easy to Moderate


Step 1: Cut Filler Pieces

Tip: Typically, floating walls are built to withstand natural movement in basement floors. But if you're building a wall in an attic, a top-floating wall will handle any movement from the roof and prevent your drywall from splitting and cracking later on.

Cut filler pieces to fit in between the floor joists and the ceiling joists, and secure them in place with nails.

Step 2: Secure Top and Bottom Plates

Secure top and bottom plates to the joist pieces.

Tip: Build the frame separately, measuring the slope and keeping in mind an inch and a half gap between the top plate and the frame.

Step 3: Plan Your Frame

Draw the frame measurements onto a large sheet of plywood. This will help with square and plumb.

Build the frame on the board starting with the top plate, then the bottom plate and sides. Attach the elements using a framing gun.

Step 4: Finish the Frame

Cut the studs to length and attach them at 16" on center, keeping in mind the slope (Image 1). Attach with a framing gun. A hatch for the attic is optional.

Dry fit the frame to make sure the gap is consistent (Image 2).

Nail the frame to the base plate with a framing gun, then drill holes between every other stud to fit large nails into the top plate (Image 3).

Step 5: Finish up the Floating Wall

Drive nails into the upper plate and check with plumb as you hammer.

Add insulation and drywall the new wall.

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