How to Build a Stud Wall

Stud walls are a brilliant way to separate sections of your home and make use of spare space or awkward corners. Whether you’re going to be installing an ensuite in the master bedroom, would like the look of a built-in wardrobe without high installation fees, or want to turn one large bedroom into two kids’ bedrooms, the possibilities are endless.

Luckily, while you may need help if you’re plumbing or making structural changes, simply putting up a stud wall is a simple DIY task, if you know what to do. Stud walls don’t require brick or building skills. They are made from a timber frame secured to the floor, ceiling, and walls, which is then covered with plasterboard.

Before you get started, check with your local authority regarding safety requirements. Fire resistance, light and ventilation all form part of building regulations. Once the frame is built, you need to organise the plumbing, heating and electrics required. Then, if there will be a doorway, it needs to be of the same thickness as the frame and plaster you’re using.

All the tools you require can be hired from Speedy Services. When carrying out any building work, always wear the appropriate PPE. When using timber and building, this includes eye protection, a dust mask, gloves, and protective clothing.


What tools do I need to build a stud wall?

You will need:

Power tools:

Other items:

  • Electronic detector
  • Chisel
  • Tape measure
  • Wood screws
  • Wooden mallet
  • Spirit level
  • Chalk line
  • Plasterboard
  • Drywall screws
  • Pencil


Before you start to build your stud wall

Use your electronic detector to check for any pipes and cables where you wish to drill your timber frame onto. This includes the walls, ceiling, and floor. You should also use your tape measure to accurately work out where you will be building your wall and the length of timbers you will require.

This way, you can accurately cut all your timbers to size, and work out how much you need to buy and the layout of your new rooms.


How to make the frame for a stud wall

For the frame, sawn timber is the easiest material to use if it is a DIY project. You will need 75mm x 50mm or 100mm x 50mm timber. You need to make four things from this:

  • The ceiling/head plate, fixed to the ceiling joists
  • Floor/soleplate, which is a matching length to the ceiling plate
  • Timber studs that stand vertically between the plates, equally spaced
  • Noggins, which are the short, horizontal braces for extra support

The timber will have to be sawn to your required size for all these sections.

  • SPEEDY TOP TIP: If you don’t want to do this at home, measure up for all of the pieces of wood you need and head down to your local B&Q store where they will be able to pre-cut it and help with anything else

If you will be including a door in your stud wall, you need to include this in your measurements. A door will not need a floor plate, so you will have to leave a gap here. However, it will need a timber stud on either side, as well as additional noggins above.


How to build a stud wall

Before you cut your timber to size, you need to prepare your room. Ensure all carpet or other flooring is removed so you’re left with the floorboards.

Step 1: Remove your skirting boards

Using the chisel, remove your existing skirting boards. This will give you a flat wall to work with before you start taking your measurements and markings.

  • SPEEDY TOP TIP: You can always reuse skirting boards if you wish, to reduce waste; just cut to size where appropriate once your stud wall is built


Step 2: Mark out placements

Where will your wall go? The first piece of timber to mark out should be the vertical stud which is up against the wall(s). Use your spirit level and pencil to draw a line on either side of where the wood will be.

  • SPEEDY TOP TIP: Use a plumb line suspended from a string attached to your ceiling to get a perfectly straight line. This may be easier than using a spirit level until you get going

Then, you want to mark where your floor plate will go. It is best to do this with a chalk line, as it will show better on your floor surface. Double-check these markings with your electronic detector, to be absolutely sure you won’t be drilling into wires and pipes in case you’ve had to make slight adjustments.

Take the height of the room, floor to ceiling. Your floor plate and ceiling plate will be above and below the timber wall stud, so minus the depth of these off the overall height to get your final measurement. This will be the length of your vertical wall stud and the other studs in between.


Step 3: Mark up your woods & cut

You now know how long your frame woods must be. Use your tape measure to mark the cut lines with a pencil. Using a saw, measure and cut them to size. Place both the floor and ceiling plate on the floor, to check they are even sizes.

Then, mark where the centre of your vertical studs will be on your soleplate. Vertical studs should be evenly spaced right along your wall; how many you need will depend on the length of your stud wall. This is usually between 400mm and 600mm apart, so carefully measure the distance in between.

Remember that if you are including a door, you will need to leave a gap. Standard doors in the UK are usually 762mm/30 inches wide. Don’t worry; it just means you will need additional support above the door when the time comes.


Step 4: Secure your floor plate

You can secure your timber plates with screws. Ensure these aren’t too long for the depth required.


Step 5: Make the frame

Here is where you definitely need someone to help. Hold up the ceiling plate, then place your vertical stud which is flat against the wall in between. Use a wooden mallet to knock it into place so it is flush with the wall. Do the same with the vertical stud furthest away from the wall too, which will form your square frame.

Then, you can do the same with your other verticals. Ensure they are all level and plumb using the spirit level, and that they are all feeling secure.


Step 6: Secure the studs & ceiling plate

Each stud needs to be secured to the floor plate. You will need to screw your wood screws in at a 45-degree angle. Do this on each side of the vertical stud.

Then secure your ceiling plate using screws too, before also securing the vertical studs to the ceiling plate.


Step 7: Fit your noggins

Noggins will form the frame for the plasterboard. These fit horizontally in the gap between each vertical stud, so measure how long they have to be. Remember that the vertical studs should be evenly spaced, so it is just a matter of cutting the same size timber pieces.

Place these at alternate heights, to make it easier to screw them onto the vertical frame. This way, you can screw through the vertical stud timbers at 90 degrees. You will have to angle the screws at 45 degrees to connect them to the wall end, however.

If you have a door frame gap, you need to drill a few noggins above this, including the one which will sit at the top of the door. This will give you added strength as seeing the vertical studs are further apart.


Step 8: Insulate and plasterboard

Your stud wall frame is now ready. All that is left to do is plasterboard it and insulate it, as well as fit your door if you have one.

If you’re wondering whether to insulate, we will say that it can really help soundproof your room. This is ideal if you’re making a home office, spare bedroom or ensuite bathroom. Some insulation can also improve fire safety or help retain heat.

But if your stud wall is just a small partition for shelving or wardrobe space, it may be an unnecessary step.




Thank you for reading our Speedy Services blog. We hope this guide on building a stud partition wall in your home will be helpful when it comes to carrying out your DIY Task.

When it comes to decorating, read our guide on how to hang wallpaper.

Please visit our Skills and Projects page for all of our other tips and how-tos.

Whatever your project, open a Speedy account online or in-store for all your tool hire needs.


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