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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm going to be making temporary walls, but I want to mimic the proper way permanent walls are made, so far as spacing the studs.


The 16" rule is too vague:

What if your wall is too short or allow perfect 16" spacing? Where do you make up for that: At the side closest to another wall? In the middle? etc.

Also, when doing 16" spacing, what's the true empty spacing (assuming a straight board) between the studs? Are 2x4s right at 1.5", so that there's 14.5" spacing?



If there's any other etiquette I should know, please tell me.
Thanks.
 

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What is vague about 16"? Pretty straight forward to me. Nobody measures studs with a micrometer anyway.

If you are concerned about how to fit into a space then just keep the 16" rule and let the last one be less.

With 16" center a sheet of wall board, or other will fit exactly to the center of the third stud.

George
 

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If you wall is too short then at the end you wont have a full 16" spacing. Not all walls are built to be multiples of 16. I believe non load bearing walls can even be done at 24" on center. If it's non load bearing i dont think it's so much an issue (though i wouldn't go wider than 24) but if you pick 15" your drywall wont be easily hung. Doing 24 or 16 allows the drywall to end in the middle of a stud (allowing for the next one to have something to start on).

From your first stud, you measure from the outer edge of the 2x4, your next stud will be placed at 15 1/4" so the middle of the stud falls at 16". The next stud would start at 31 1/4" so it's middle will fall at 32", the 47 1/4", etc. So the empty spacing would be 31 1/4" - 16 3/4" = 14 1/2.

If your wall is less than 48" you can space the studs evenly if you want, but there is really no need. You could just keep it at start, 16, 32, and say the end at 41 (or whatever).

Does this help?
 

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When marking your plates, the most important thing is to space them so that you don't have to make extra cuts on what's going to be fastened to them. I you are going to put plywood on it, lay it out so you only have to cut the last one-not both first and last.

Feel free to put an extra one where you think you need it. Standard spacing makes it simple to use standard materials, like plywood, insulation, sheetrock, etc.

I usually fasten down the bottom plate, mark it off like I want it, then lay the top plate beside it and mark it by the bottom one.

For framing for sheetrock, I plan where the end, butt joints are going to be, and put two studs there, glued together with construction adhesive, so the fasteners don't have to go so close to the edge of the sheetrock. I also run those studs down 3/32", so the finished joint doesn't have to stand proud of the wall, causing a shadow in cross-lighting.
 

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Oftent there is a door, window, etc so you go 16" from each corner and the opening will not likely be on that spacing so there should be nor problems. Makes it easier later when you want find the studs. Just measure from a corner.
 

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If you look at most tape measures, there will be special markings at the 16" intervals. If you hook the end of your tape on the outside of your first stud or the end of your bottom plate, then all the markings, 16, 32, 48, 64, etc, will be the center of where the stud lands. This makes it easy for laying out where the nails go after the plywood or sheetrock goes on. It also allows for a joining point for the next piece of sheeting because the end of each sheet will land half way on the joining stud, overlapping it by 3/4", each.

As for what to do with the short spacing if you have less than 8', it is your call. Some framers put an extra stud in and others leave it out...cheap vs. over kill.

True spacing theoretically should be 14.5" between, but due to variation in stud thickness and the usual twisting of studs, spacing blocks should be cut at 14 7/16" to be safe. You can always set the blocks loose. The main objective is to keep the stud spacing exactly 16" on center so your nails do not miss when you attach the sheeting material.
 

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Try looking at your local building code before you get into the " I believe that. . . "
Start 16" (very, very common) or whatever it is, and as said, the last one is less.
Any wall done at 16" is easier to finish (wonder why the wall board is made that way, hmmmm?)

We do 16" in walls here, 12" in modern roofs because of the snow load. A roof at 16 can handle 5-10' of snow, the issue is freak winter rain and the weight that adds.
 

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Tom King said:
For framing for sheetrock, I plan where the end, butt joints are going to be, and put two studs there, glued together with construction adhesive, so the fasteners don't have to go so close to the edge of the sheetrock. I also run those studs down 3/32", so the finished joint doesn't have to stand proud of the wall, causing a shadow in cross-lighting.
You can get "3X" material now, it's used at the joints of plywood when building shear panels, to maintain the required distance from the nails to the edge if the plywood.
 

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why 16" on center?

Standard building sheathing, drywall and insulation is made to stop and start on the 16" centers or in the case of insulation, fit in between. What about a wall where the 16" centers will not work out? You still use the spacing regardless., for the reasons above. Then on the right end, usually, there will be a space more narrow. Why the right end? carpenters or framers usually measure left to right when marking out the plates because they are mostly right handed and they hook the tape on the left end and pull it out to the right. This leaves any "odd" spacing on the right end.

When I frame a wall, I'll put an extra stud in on the 96" mark on either side to allow for an easier drywall mating surface. It doesn't affect the other spacing and just makes my life a bit easier. I can use bowed studs and turn them opposite where they may not be able to be used as a single.

 

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I think the other posters have answered your questions. I'll second (or third) the statement that you make up of any "bay" less thas 16" by having a narrower (*not wider*) width at the end.

As others have said, you usually don't want to go any wider that 16" because 16" bays give you nice increments of 4' and 8' which match standard sheet stock.

16" is also important because that's a standard width of insulation (really more like 15") - which is good for sound-proofing, not just temperature retention.


My handbook of construction says that 24" bays are acceptable, but only when you are framing with 2x6s.
 

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If you have a bunch to do, cut yourself a stud spacer to lay down so there won't be any measuring. It can also help hold the stud in place.




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Be careful using this method, any error will be cumulative so the studs may end up not on actual 16" spacing, at least check at 4' intervals and make adjustments if necessary.
 

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I have a choice:
1. Buy 8' 2x4 and fool with cutting them down to finish with an 8' wall.
2. Buy "studs." They are quite precisely cut at 92 5/8". Mark the top and bottom for 16" centers (our Code), spread them apart, toss in a bunch of studs and start nailing.
 

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The idea is 16" "on centers" meaning the center of a 2x4 at the edge. For load bearing walls you don't want to stray too far from the 16" standard. Other than that the actual spacing is not as important as marking the baseplate as to where they are so you can refernce them later when you need to later. I always liked to have a stud at the end of a wall (i.e., in the corner) regardless of how the spacing worked out.
 

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I've seen framers measure 48" for studs because of the seams on sheetrock and eyeball the ones between. I've also seem many houses built with 24" centers on studs. To really do it right 16" center to center is the most common. If you look at your tape measure the stud centers are indicated every 16" to make it easy because some framers can't add 16 more than twice.
 

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Try looking at your local building code before you get into the " I believe that. . . "
Start 16" (very, very common) or whatever it is, and as said, the last one is less.
Any wall done at 16" is easier to finish (wonder why the wall board is made that way, hmmmm?)

We do 16" in walls here, 12" in modern roofs because of the snow load. A roof at 16 can handle 5-10' of snow, the issue is freak winter rain and the weight that adds.
On houses with 12" spaced rafters how do they space the wall studs?. I thought for it to be truly load bearing the rafters would have to align with the studs for weight transfer from the roof to the foundation, and to avoid deflection in between studs. With 12" spaces in rafters, and 16" spaces on studs, they'd only align every 4'. That's 3 out of every 4 rafters that will miss aligning with a stud below it (the second one of the three will be off by a good 8" from the nearest stud, landing smack in the middle between two studs) and in time there will be a decent amount of deflection develop which can cause problems from cracked Sheetrock to roof sag in places. Since the fascia board is attached to the rafter ends this can also lead to gutters holding water in places as well as the appearance of wavy soffits developing over time.
 

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Oftent there is a door, window, etc so you go 16" from each corner and the opening will not likely be on that spacing so there should be nor problems. Makes it easier later when you want find the studs. Just measure from a corner.
If you measure 16" from both corners to the door the drywall will not land on the studs correctly.. You start on one side and continue all the way across. The first one is going to be a little different as said but it continues all the way. Windows and doors will likely have a small area above the header for small blocks. They need to be on the same grid as the studs. The packers for doors and windows fall where the may.
 

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Oftent there is a door, window, etc so you go 16" from each corner and the opening will not likely be on that spacing so there should be nor problems. Makes it easier later when you want find the studs. Just measure from a corner.
Lots of walls start short of 16"....you can take off the width of the outside wall when an interior wall meets the outside wall.
 
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