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Building a Stud Wall

If you want to divide a large room into two smaller ones a stud wall can be a relative easy and cost effective way to do it.


Decide where you want your wall to be and mark out with using your tape measure, level and pencil the exact spot your stud wall is to be erected. Start with your base plate. When fixing your base plate to your floor you must check to ensure that are no pipes or wires below the floor that you might drill into. (A useful tip for this is e.g. if you are fixing to a wooden floor and the thickness of your floor is say 22 mm and the thickness of your timber plate Is 47 mm adding the two gives 69 mm. If your screw is no bigger than 69 mm you should be OK (but please keep in mind that some pipes and wires maybe notched into the top part of your joists).

If you are fixing the plate to a concrete floor you use your drill and plug for this but again make sure there are no pipes or wires that you might drill into. To be safe it might be better to fix your timber down using a solvent glue, like a grab adhesive (e.g. “no nails”). Apply to both the floor and timber, position correctly, tap down & slightly wiggle the timber into place. This will help ensure a good contact between both the wall plate & the floor. Allow to dry following the instructions for your grab adhesive. You might want to put some heavy objects on the floor plate to will help to further secure it to the floor while the grab glue goes off.

When the wall plate is secure fix your two wall plates to your walls using screws and wall plugs. Make sure both are level and have sufficient fixings. Also use some fixings where the wall & base plate meet by inserting your screws diagonally (it’s often best to pre drill for these).

Now affix the ceiling plate. When cutting your ceiling plate, over cut it by about by 2 - 3 mm. This will allow the plate to be “softly wedged” and free your hands to allow you to get a good fixing. When fixing the plate to the ceiling locate your joists (by tapping) and screw into these (providing they run the opposite way to your plate). Again be careful, there there might pipes or wires above or running though these joists. If your existing joists run adjacent rather than opposite to your plate then place some noggins in between the joists at around 600 c/c. Now you can fix your ceiling plate to these.

Once all the plates in place you can add the studs. Where they are located depends on several factors, the length of your wall, if you are having an opening, if your stud wall has a corner etc. After taking these factors into consideration you should position studs at 600 mm intervals as plasterboards are generally 2400 mm x 1200 mm or 1200 mm x 600 mm your plasterboard should be in the centre of the stud at each end.

Next measure up from the floor allowing an extra 25 mm so depending on the plasterboard you are using this will either be 625 mm or 1225 mm high, (the 25 mm extra is to compensate uneven floors). Once you have marked each wall plate run a chalk line between your two measurements. This gives an accurate line on all the studs for the centre of your noggins. Make sure you measure the noggins accurately, especially if you are have an opening, because if its wrong it will affect the opening you have made by making it un-level or bowed.

Finally affix you plasterboard cutting to suit - then you are ready to call in a plasterer to skim coat it for you if you donít feel confident to get a nice finish yourself (and this is the bit to get professional help - the finish is everything and this is the hard bit).