Steel stud, or partition walls are fast becoming a normal method of providing division walls in domestic situations.
Making better use of existing space can often be achieved by the erection of steel partitions. The thickness of most partitions is either 52mm or 72mm and consists of two steel channels fixed at the floor and ceiling level of the room with vertical studs usually at 500mm centre and boards to cover both sides. Building control approval may be required from the local authority for the erection of partitions who will also advice on thermal, acoustic and fire issues.
The first task in erecting a steel partition is deciding the location. The approximate position will already be known but the layout of the hidden ceiling joists must be determined so that the partition can be set accurately. If the ceiling joists run parallel to the new partition the line should be adjusted to make it sit under one joist to make the fixing of the top channel easier. If the joists run across the line then the channel must be screwed to individual ceiling joists.
After the head channel is screwed in place at 500mm centres, the use of a plumb bob will determine the position of the floor channel which should then be fixed to the existing floor. In the case of uneven existing flooring, some packers may be needed or perhaps a sole plate should be installed in extreme cases.
Each vertical stud must be cut to length and wedged between the head and floor channels. The boarding should be fixed to the studs on one face only with a close fit against the ceiling because any gap that appears at the edge of the bottom channel will be covered by a skirting. The board edges should meet at a vertical stud but the board lay out should be arranged so that they avoid both sides of the partition being fixed to the same stud. The plasterboard can then be taped and skimmed in the usual way.
If window, door or hatch openings are required in the partition they can be formed by using lengths of head and floor channels cut to length to produce the type and size of the openings needed.