Instructions on Framing With Metal Studs

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Many builders prefer metal studs to wood. Metal studs are identically sized and are impervious to warping and cracking. Because they are hollow, they weigh less than wood studs do, making them easier to transport. The framing process with metal studs uses screws rather than nails, and the studs can be cut to length with tin snips. This creates a quieter and less disruptive work site.

Things You'll Need

  • Screws
  • Drill
  • Tin snips
  • Measuring tape
  • 4-foot level
  • Chop saw
  • Metal cutting blade
  • Use steel track for the top and bottom plates in a metal stud wall. A metal stud is shaped like a "C" while the steel track used for plates is shaped like a "U." Install the bottom plate with the two arms of the "U" facing up and the top plate with the arms facing down. This fits the bottoms and tops of the metal studs into the openings of the "U."

  • Secure the tops and bottoms of the metal studs to the top and bottom plates by driving screws through the track’s vertical face into the metal stud. The screws used for this purpose are only three-quarter inch long, because unlike wood screws they don't have to hold in wood. The screws are designed to hold two thin steel surfaces together.

  • Cut metal studs to the proper length with tin snips if you are doing a small job. For production work, use a chop saw fitted with a metal cutting blade.

  • Ensure that metal studs are vertical after installation by holding a 4-foot level against their sides. Because metal studs don't warp, you only need to check them in one location, which indicates the entire stud’s orientation.

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