7th Dec 2022 -

Timber-framed stud walls are mainly used as part of the framework within the walls of a partition system. The stud is a vertical piece of timber that creates sections within the frame to allow boards to be fixed into place. When installing a stud wall, the timber frame uses carcassing wood, which supports the plasterboard walls. Studs help to keep the boards upright, by firmly affixing them to the frame - this frame is then attached to the ceiling joists and also to the floor, for complete stability.

A common timber frame, as seen in many buildings, including new builds and refurbishments. Timber studs are an integral part of a timber stud wall system of construction, but they require several other parts to function.

What Are the Main Things to Know About Timber Framed Stud Walls?

Timber-framed stud walls are there to provide support to the load in a wall, securing it at several anchor points. It is a common construction method when creating new interior walls in an existing space. This could be a new bedroom, bathroom or any other kind of room within a room.

Although the actual term ‘studs’ refers to the long vertical pieces of wood in the frame, people say ‘stud wall’. This includes the following additional frame parts:

  • Ceiling plate: the top horizontal portion of the frame that runs across the top of the frame - sometimes this is also referred to as the ‘head plate’. 
  • Floor plate: the bottom horizontal section of the frame that runs along the bottom length of the frame - some people also call this the ‘sole plate’.
  • Noggings: also called ‘noggins’, are the smaller part of the frame - they fit between the studs and brace the whole frame together. 

Although it is a basic yet effective construction method, timber stud walls can lead to some complications, as considerations for electrical sockets, wiring and plumbing will result in extra work. This can often happen if you are adding a partition wall to create a new en suite bathroom within a bedroom.

A timber-framed stud wall partition can be load-bearing - but this varies. Some methods of framing and construction will incorporate thick posts to bear heavy loads in the building of a larger structure. 

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What is the Best Type of Timber to Use for Stud Walls?

When it comes to the question of what timber to use, you could theoretically make a timber frame out of any type of good-quality wood. However, for all parts of a timber frame and the associated joinery, it is best to use carcassing timber, which is a type of softwood. 

Softwoods usually come from the following types of tree, depending on the region where it is produced:

  • Parana pine 
  • Eastern white pine
  • European spruce
  • Sitka spruce
  • Western hemlock
  • Monterey pine
  • Southern yellow pine
  • Western red cedar
  • Lodgepole pine
  • Scots pine 
  • Douglas fir
  • Larch

You will typically see a grading stamp on each piece of timber, most likely C16 and C24, as these are common grades for construction. Commercially available examples of this type of timber for use in stud walls include the following: 

The best timber for a stud wall is simple, common, low-cost construction-grade carcassing timber, but you can also use treated timber if you wish. Treated timber is particularly useful for outdoor areas and areas of high moisture. 

You can cut the timber and use it for all parts of the frame, you do not usually need a different stud wall timber for one part of the frame only. When you measure and cut your stud wall timber, be sure to measure it twice and cut it once.

Timber stud walls in new build home

What Sizes and Dimensions Are There?

There is a wide range of thicknesses and lengths of carcassing timber available, suitable for a huge variety of projects. The length is the main differential in the studs of your frame. Therefore, you will have to cut the timber to size from larger pieces.

For the studs in a stud wall, timber is available in two common sizes including 75mm x 50mm or 100mm x 50mm of sawn timber, which is used for the studs as well as the other parts of the timber frame. Remember, these dimensions refer to the width and thickness, not the length.

Common lengths of carcassing timber include the following.

  • 2.4m
  • 3m 
  • 4.8m 

Although various lengths and grades are used in timber framing systems, it is all largely similar. As a result, getting the right stud wall timber should be a simple process. Although it will require some labour to cut the timber to size.

What Are the Average Prices and Stud Partition Wall Costs?

Stud wall timber is a fairly standard construction material so a typical stud wall frame is fairly cheap. This is the case whether you are buying stud wall timber for the studs themselves or wood for use in another part of the framing system.

Prices can vary depending on a variety of factors, such as the grade of the wood and the types of fixings you decide to use. However, a timber frame stud wall installation, including the plasterboard, costs on average £55 per sq m in the UK.

Other factors that can greatly influence the costs of a stud wall include the following.

  • Insulation: If you are adding extra thermal or sound insulation within a frame system then your stud partition wall costs will increase. However, some stud walls will not require any extra insulation.
  • Plasterboards: Some plasterboards can be expensive, as they often have sophisticated and powerful properties such as fire resistance, moisture resistance or soundproofing.
  • Plumbing and electrics: Incorporating the various plumbing and electrical outlets into a stud wall can take extra time and effort, which can also lead to potential complications. As a result, this can push up costs in a project.  

Costs can also result from project delays. Examples include when stud wall timber supplies are low and your supplier does not call you when they say they will. Make sure you find a reliable provider to help keep prices for your stud wall timber manageable. Signs of good quality services include a variety of stock and fast UK delivery times.

Key Points to Remember When Building a Timber Stud Wall

Installation of a stud wall is a relatively simple process and involves putting the studs and other parts of the wall together into the framing system. However, there are a few important things to remember when tackling this kind of job.

  • Ceiling plate: You need to screw the ceiling plate, which is the top part of your frame, into the ceiling joists. Also, you can easily use a stud finder to find them.
  • Floor plate: The floor plate needs to be fixed into the floor, this is important for the structural integrity of the wall. You can use nails. But if the floor is solid you will need to use a masonry drill and then fix the floor plate with raw plugs and screws.
  • Stud placement: Stud partitions need to be spaced 400mm or 600mm apart, so always make sure you measure the distance of each of the timber studs before nailing or screwing them in place. This is to ensure the plasterboards that you fit the studs match up and do not require too much additional cutting. Though cutting is usually required at the edge of the wall.
  • Skewed nails: You can use skewed nails, also called toenailing where you place nails (or screws) at a 45-degree angle, to fix the studs into the ceiling and floor plate.

Timber-framed stud walls made easy

Discover our comprehensive offering of timber-framed stud wall products, designed to meet the diverse needs of our customers. Whether you are a homeowner or a builder, our selection of timber-framed stud wall products ensures flexibility in your construction projects. These high-quality timber studs are precision-engineered for stability and durability, providing a solid foundation for your interior walls.

For trade customers working on timber-framed stud walls, opening a trade account provides a host of benefits. With competitive trade pricing and one-on-one customer service, we aim to simplify and enhance the efficiency of your projects. Also, our commitment to delivering top-notch timber-framed stud wall products ensures that your construction endeavours are met with success. To gain instant access, sign up for a trade account online or use the below contact form to ask us any questions.

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