7th Dec 2022 -

If you are dry lining an existing wall, it is common to attach battens to the wall on which you can attach your plasterboards.

Unlike stud walls, battens are attached to an existing wall. It is a simpler process as you are attaching timber battens directly to the wall rather than having to construct an entire frame. If plasterboarding a solid wall, battening is far more time-consuming than the dot-and-dab method. However, it offers additional benefits, helping avoid dampness, and adding a layer of insulation to your wall. 

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the materials and tools needed to build a batten wall and the process of battening a wall for plasterboard. We’ll also look at your choices in terms of insulation, and the methods for battening a ceiling and battening around a corner.

What You’ll Need To Build A Batten Wall For Plasterboard

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How to Build A Batten Wall

Before starting it is important to properly measure your wall to establish how much timber to buy. You will need to fit timber battens along every edge of the wall. Also, you will need to install a vertical beam every 400mm across your wall. Any windows or doors will need to be surrounded by battens too. It is okay to use multiple battens for one line of your wall. 

Every piece of plasterboard you attach to your wall will need each of its edges to be secured to a batten. With this in mind, calculate how much wood you will need to allow for enough wooden battens for your wall. The battens for your far wall edges will need to be the true length of your wall, rather than a vertical length. Once you have measurements for all the battens you can cut the lengths using a handsaw. It is worth marking each piece of timber after cutting, to avoid confusion.

Before starting you should also use a spirit level to check that your wall is level. You can batten directly to a level wall. But if the wall has any slants or dips then plastic shims will have to be used behind those battens to keep the batten wall level.

Where to start

Start with the top and bottom battens, placing them on the wall and marking with a pencil evenly along the centre. Make 3 or 4 markings for a vertical beam in a normal room. A good choice for fixing masonry is hammerfix 6mm screws, which come with wall plugs. Then, at a workbench, use a drill with a 6mm wood bit to drill straight through each hole. The battens should then be placed against the wall and drilled straight through with a 6mm masonry bit. Hammer in the wall and plug into the hole in the wall. 

Then secure the screws using an impact driver. Do this across the batten to secure it to the wall. Next, do the side battens, and any window or door battens, before finally fitting the central battens. The central vertical battens must be completely level, unlike the battens on the left and right edges. Space a batten every 400mm across the wall, fixing the battens in place with screws. 

How to Choose and Fit Insulation For a Batten Wall

While insulated plasterboard panels are available, you can also install insulation into the gaps between battens. It can either be bought in slabs, sometimes called insulation boards, or in rolls, and can then be cut to size using a Stanley knife. Insulation batts are a great choice as they require no adhesives and can simply be wedged into your wall and plasterboard. Insulation on plasterboard batten walls is a great way to conserve heat in your house. You can also install vapour barriers behind your plasterboard. This helps to reduce the risk of condensation within your building. 

Timber stud walls in new build home

How to Batten a Ceiling

You can batten a ceiling using these same methods. You should use a stud tracker to check your ceiling for pipes and wires before drilling into it. While drilling into a ceiling make sure to wear a mask and eye guards to protect yourself from dust or debris. If your ceiling is flat it may be quicker and easier to dot and dab plasterboard with a plasterboard adhesive instead of battening.

How to Batten Around a Corner

In the corner of a room, you must place the battens on either wall specifically so that the plasterboard panels meet each other whilst being fully attached to the batten. This means that the battens will not be specifically at the edge of the wall, but it is necessary to seal the sheets of plasterboard.

Build your plasterboard batten wall with confidence

Explore our comprehensive range of plasterboard products tailored specifically for batten walls. These specialised plasterboard products are ideal for batten wall installations. They provide a smooth, durable, and easy-to-work-with surface. Plus, they are engineered to offer both versatility and ease of installation, ensuring that your batten walls not only look great but also perform exceptionally well.

If you are a trade customer building a batten wall, you will benefit from registering for a trade account with us. From competitive pricing to bulk purchase options and dedicated customer support, we are committed to helping you achieve your project goals. Building Materials Nationwide is your reliable source for plasterboard solutions, supporting both homeowners and trade experts in creating beautiful and functional batten walls. Sign up for a trade account online. If you have any questions beforehand, get in touch using the contact form below.

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