DIY Network

Walls: Interior

Host Jeff Wilson explains how interior walls form the rooms and spaces inside the house, and framers will use the blueprint to see where the interior walls will go.

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interior walls form rooms and spaces inside home

What Goes Inside the Interior Walls?

  • Framing has to accommodate plumbing, electrical features and heating and air conditioning.

  • The standard width of an interior wall is determined by using 2" x 4" studs, however, in some instances your builder may choose to go with 2" x 6" studs, which is wider to accommodate more but are definitely more expensive.

  • If you plan ahead, during the framing stage it's easy to allow for recessed cabinetry. You also can add braces to the studs where you plan on mounting things, such as hanging cabinets, later on.

  • To obtain privacy, soundproofing the walls will come into play. The key in soundproofing is that sound travels through air, and the more surfaces that decrease the air flow or vibration of the sound, the more opportunity there is to deaden the sound. There are several ways to effectively soundproof a wall:

    • Put in regular fiberglass insulation.

    • Install special sound bats that are essentially fiberglass insulation as well.

    • Double up the gypsum board on the outside to make a denser wall.

In addition to providing privacy, interior walls define spaces by their placement and height. The standard wall height is usually 8' but some luxury homes go up to approximately 9' or 10'.

You can have half-walls that define a space visually, or you can have a full-height wall that defines a space acoustically.
Or you may choose to forgo the use of interior wall altogether. In this case, weight bearing columns are used in place of load bearing walls. Non-weight bearing columns can also be used as decorative statements. For example, if you have a large living area that you would like to leave open that has a span underneath that must be supported, you'll have to put a load bearing column underneath. This will take a small amount of space and can be decorated in a number of ways.

Note: These columns come equipped with a base and a capital — the base is on the bottom and the capital on the top. A column commonly can be encased in your choice of wood, fiberglass, aluminum or molder concrete.

You can take this "open" concept a step further by eliminating load bearing walls. This is where the rooms are not defined by other spaces, which means there are no separate rooms. The key to the open concept is in the use of truss framing. Trusses allow your builder to eliminate load bearing walls. It's made of floor trusses and roof trusses joined by studs, which allow the interior to be free of load bearing walls or posts.

A truss frame is often used to span a longer area than a rafter or floor joist can span, thereby enabling an interior space to be free of walls requiring load bearing.

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