7th Dec 2022 -

Although plasterboard is the most common component of a dry-lined wall, it wouldn’t be anything with the stud frame it’s attached to. A stud-framed wall is a type of wall partition system, which is used to build a new room within an existing space - such as in an office or commercial building. The ‘footprint’ of a typical structure does not necessarily reflect the desired rooms of its layout, which is where stud partition walls come into play - helping to separate the spaces. 

Stud frame partitioning is a building method used for both commercial and large-scale residential projects that don’t require load-bearing walls. A stud partition wall may be built with timber, metal, glass, brick, plaster slab or even concrete.

What is a Stud Partition Wall Used For?

Stud partition walls are most commonly used in the following settings: 

  • Offices: The most common area where you will see partition walls is in offices. Commercial offices benefit greatly from partition wall systems due to their flexibility and relatively cheap construction process. Large spaces can be fitted with partition walls at very low costs.
  • Flats: The internal walls of flats are usually made from partition walls, sometimes using special plasterboards with properties suitable for kitchens, bathrooms or the walls between bedrooms. The extra privacy of creating a new internal partition is very important for people living in a flat. 

Partition walls are highly durable and can be capable of supporting the weight of large fixtures - such as those for an industrial kitchen or commercial washroom. 

A new or refurbishment stud partition can deliver the following useful performance features in an internal wall: 

  • Fire resistance: Better fire resistance will more often be achieved by using metal frame systems, but there is still a great benefit to fire safety with a timber frame. This is helpful for stud wall partitions in kitchens within an apartment or house. Many buildings also require high-quality fire-resistant plasterboard.
  • Sound insulation: Sound insulation is a big issue in commercial settings, and this is a key reason why a stud partition wall is quite likely to be used. Offices often use specialist acoustic boards to lessen the sound of meetings, music and other annoyances within the space.

These are the two major benefits of stud partition walls, but there are also plasterboards for moisture resistance and vapour control.

What Are the Main Parts of a Stud Partition Wall Frame?

A stud wall consists of lengths of stud, which form the main supporting elements of the frame system. Although there are multiple parts to the frame system, many people will simply say ‘stud wall’ - as it is the studs that are the most important component in the wall’s structural integrity.

The other main parts of a stud wall include the following:

  • Floor plate: The floor plate is the piece that runs along the floor. Floor plates are an important part of the frame - aside from the studs - as they fix the frame to the floor. Sometimes they are also called a ‘soleplate’.
  • Ceiling plate: Also called the ‘head’ or ‘top’ plate, this part of the stud wall fixes the frame to the ceiling. When used in houses, this plate is screwed into the ceiling joists above, creating a sturdy, solid wall frame.
  • Noggins: The small parts between the studs are called noggins. These are a key part of the frame, as they brace the structure and support the studs.

If you have to make room for a light switch you can simply add another piece of framing with enough support - usually timber or metal. Although timber stud walls are more lightweight, they provide almost as much support as most types of metal frames.

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Frequently Asked Questions and Useful Information 

The following are some frequently asked questions when it comes to stud partition walls:

What is a wall stud?

A wall stud is a part of the partition wall system, it is essentially the vertical upright part of the wall frame. These are the most important pieces in the frame as they will support the plasterboards. See below for a picture of a wall stud. 

What is a wood stud wall?

A wood stud wall is another less common term for a timber stud wall. Timber stud walls may or may not be partition walls, but this is the most common use in the UK.

Timber stud walls in new build home

What is a double-stud wall?

A double-stud frame uses two studs next to each other, to create much thicker support capable of holding up a ceiling. Partition walls are non-load-bearing walls, so this method is much less common and may be unnecessary.

What is the stud spacing for a wall?

You should place studs every 400 to 600 mm, which translates to about 16 to  24 inches - along the entire length of the frame.

When you measure and cut your sheets of plasterboard, depending on the size of the boards you are using, you will have a clearer idea of the spacing that will be best. You should always try to fit the boards to each stud evenly but will most likely have to cut some pieces to fit around corners or obstacles.

If you run into any problems when you are installing the plasterboard due to the spacing of your studs, you can use extra noggins between the studs. This will give you more support when you need it at the very edges of the boards.

What is the width of a stud wall?

The average width of any type of stud wall is likely to change depending on the plasterboards you select and any final decoration choices - for example, a skirting board can be quite thick. However, the studs themselves are typically 75mm or 100mm thick.

What are the Regulations and Specifications for Stud Walls?

Most internal stud partition walls are not subject to much in terms of Building Regulations, provided that the wall is not load-bearing. There is also no standard wall thickness either, but as partition walls are typically used internally in an office building they do not need to be very thick at all. 

Stud and Track Materials Delivered Across the UK

A stud partition wall is the most common element of partitioning and is used for creating new areas within an existing internal space. To get the best quality building materials, and by extension the best results for your wall - only ever rely on a quality merchant.

Signs of good quality building materials suppliers include the following:

  • Fast delivery times
  • Flexible collection options
  • A wide range of products
  • Receptive communication, some offer dedicated trade accounts 

Building Materials Nationwide offers a range of quality stud and track materials through our website, with timber and metal options. For professionals, our trade accounts unlock expert product sourcing, lightning-fast UK delivery, and trade pricing. Sign up today, or tell us what you need through the form below.

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