A Simple 5 Step Guide to Fitting a Partition Wall
DIY: Partition Walls
Partition walls can help you divide up space in your home, quickly and cheaply you could create a new room, for example split a large bedroom into two smaller rooms or create a separate study or play area. Dividing walls is simple and can help you make more practical use of the space you have in your house.
What is a partition wall made of?
The best and most cost-effective material to use for your partition wall is plasterboard and sawn or studwork timber, which would then be nailed together and screwed into place with a head and sole plate at the floor and ceiling.
Step One: Deciding where to put your stud wall
Before you start building you should decide where you want your partition wall to go, you should consider whether or not both spaces will have enough light and whether or not you want a door opening in the partition. Make sure that you make the best possible use of the space; if you are unsure you may wish to consult a designer or architect to help you with your plans.
Step Two: Securing the sole and head plate
The head and sole plates join the partition wall to the floor and the ceiling. The first step is to position and fix these plates. The position of the new wall should run along a joist so that you can fix the plates to the joist. Fix the head plate first in the desired place then drop a plumb bob line in order to fix the sole plate directly beneath it. When fixing the plates use screws rather than nails as hammering may damage ceiling plaster. Accuracy is very important at this stage so take care when measuring and use a level.
Step Three: Securing studs
Studs run vertically in the desired place of your new wall, they are the structure that will hold up the plasterboard. Mark out where each vertical stud will go on the sole plate, the first being against the wall and then work your way along. It is advisable to make your studs about 400mm apart although 600mm should also hold. Make sure to leave space for any doors. When deciding how far apart to position your studs, bear in mind that thicker plasterboard will need extra studs. Make sure the fit is tight and then secure each stud with nails driven in at an angle.
Step Four: Fitting noggins
Noggins are horizontally then placed in between the studs to help secure them further. This is best done at about mid-height on the studs but off set each one slightly so that nailing them in is easier. Noggins should also be fitted where you wish to hang things on the wall, for example mirrors and picture frames, so that you have something to nail into once the wall is finished.
Step Five: Fitting the plasterboard
Once your studs and noggins are in place you are ready to fit the plasterboard to each one. You will need a stud on every plasterboard join, so measure out before you start hammering to ensure that the plasterboard board joins do fall on a stud each time. Remember that the ivory side of the plasterboard should face outwards. Take care to make sure that the board is lined up and meets the stud. You should line the plasterboard up with the ceiling as any gap at floor level can be hidden with skirting board. Once in place secure the boards with drywall screws driven in to just below the surface.
Step Six: The finishing touches to your partition wall
Once your wall is in place you can apply a jointing compound and jointing tape to the joins. Fill in screw and nail heads with a simple filler, smooth and sand down. Also use a filler between the new and old wall join. Once dry your wall will be ready for normal decorating.
Planning is essential for a good partition wall; think about its position and the benefits of erecting it before you begin work. Make sure you measure accurately and work carefully at every stage. If you are building a partition wall your local DIY store should be able to offer you more advice about what materials you should use and what tools you will need.