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Partition Walls: How to Build A Wall

Learn how to build a partition wall

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A partition wall can be built to add more usable space. Framing a wall is not an easy task as it requires tools, skills and basic knowledge. However there are so many things that are overlooked when a partition wall is build and that’s why we try to instruct on how to build a partition wall.

Partition Wall Components

A partition wall will require a top plate, the floor plate and the wall studs. Wall studs shall be spaced 16 inch apart, of center to center distance. The framing wall, unless otherwise indicated, that we are trying to build here is a non-bearing partition wall. It is not designed to support the ceiling if the upper floor. Where nonbearing partitions run parallel to floor joists, the joist under the partition is doubled to support increased loads frequently occurring adjacent to the partition.

Build a Partition Wall: Cut the Plates

Start by cutting the top plate and floor plate that will be used on the partition wall. These plates shall be made by using long lengths of lumber, 12 or 16 foot length. Be sure to measure the floor plate and remember that it will not run through a doorway. Once the top and floor plate are cut, mark the desired stud distribution, 16 inches on center. A 24 inch on center distribution can also be used.

Build a Partition Wall: Install the Plates

Using a chalk line, mark on the floor where the plate will be installed. Nail the floor plate in position. Using a 3/16 masonry bit, drill a hole through the wood into the concrete. Drill another hammer drill holes every 16” along the plate, near the center of the board. Follow through with an impact driver. Use the impact driver to drive a 3” concrete screw into each hole .Now that the base plate is attached to the floor, use a ling 2 x 4 to position the top plate directly above the bottom plate. Be sure to level the 2x 4 before nailing the top plate in place.

Build a Partition Wall: Top Plate

If the partition wall runs across the joists in the ceiling, nail the top plate to each joist. If that’s not the case, then you will need to install bridging of 2 x 4 between the joists to provide a solid surface that can be used to nail the top plate. Bridging shall also be installed on 16 inch centers and attach them to the joist using two nails on each end of every bridging piece. You can ensure proper alignment of the top plate by hanging a plumb bob.

Build a Partition Wall: Studs

To build the partition wall faster, all studs and top plate shall be assembled on the floor as a single piece. By doing this you should be able to nail the top plate straight into the top of each wall stud. Place them about 4 feet up, end-on between each stud. Sometimes studs may have different lengths, so in such cases, install the top plate and toenail each stud in place. The right toenailing shall consist of driving two-16d nails into the side of the stud, nailed at 45 degree angle so nails can penetrate the plate.

Build a Partition Wall: Openings

Toenail the studs to the bottom plate. Door openings shall be three inches wider and just over 1.5 inch wider than the actual size of the door. Install additional 2x 4’s on both sides of the door opening, and nail a top header. Remember to nail a short cripple stud between the header and the top plate.

Build a Partition Wall: Blocking

Nail 2 x 4’ horizontally between studs at the midpoint of the partition wall. It is recommended that blocking may be staggered so pieces can be nail from the end. When finished, cover the partition wall with paneling or drywall and done.

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