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Plan and Prep Before Building a Non-Bearing Stud Wall (page 2 of 2)

A stud wall is the most common way to divide a room. Find out what needs to be done before installing one.

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Securing the Frame to the Floor and Ceiling

Ideally, plates should cross joists. If they run in the same direction, build the wall on a floor joist. There may not be a ceiling joist aligned with this, but the ceiling plate must be attached to a solid fixture, not just to drywall. If you can't secure it directly to a joist, add blocking every 2 feet between two joists. Secure the ceiling plate to these. This method can also be used on the floor, for instance, if you cannot access ceiling joists from above.

Turning a Corner

A corner is two walls butt-joined. However, on one wall, an extra stud is added close to the corner. This provides strength, and is the securing point for drywall on the inside of the corner, because the main stud is inaccessible from that side. Ensure that the corner forms a precise right angle. Site all sole plates on or at a right angle to joists.

Planning a Metal Stud Wall

Metal is a modern alternative to wooden studs. Systems differ between manufacturers, but the basics are the same: metal channels and sectional pieces slot together to form a frame. Metal studs may be thinner than wooden ones, but they are just as strong. Preparation and layout for a metal stud wall is the same as for a wooden one. Drywall is screwed onto the metal channels, in the same way as it attaches to wood.

Channels and Tracks (image 1)
Channels form all the studs. They slot into the tracks (head and sole plates) and are easily positioned as required.

Sheet-Metal Screws (image 2)
Sharp, short screws make metal-to-metal connections quickly.

Tin Snips (image 3)
Use these to cut tracks and channels to size.

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