How to Install Metal Stud Framing

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Metal stud framing is a two-component wall framing system. Metal track has three sides, a flat surface with no holes and two flat perpendicular flanges. The metal track is fastened to the subfloor and the ceiling joists with wood screws. Inserted into the track is the metal stud. The flat surface of a metal stud has notches to accommodate electrical wiring and plumbing pipes. The flanges on the metal studs have a 3/16-inch return flange that makes the stud more rigid. Installing metal framing requires that all studs are level, plumb (level vertically), and square.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Permanent marker
  • Utility knife
  • Keyhole saw
  • Framing square
  • Metal studs
  • Metal track
  • Aviation (Tin) snips
  • Drill or screw gun
  • No. 2 Phillips tip for the drill/screw gun
  • 2 1/2-inch wood screws
  • C-clamps or locking pliers
  • No. 7 by 7/16-inch screws
  • Ladder
  • Level
  • Clear the area where the metal track will be fastened to the floor, ceiling, and walls. Metal track needs to be fastened directly to the subfloor, wall studs, and ceiling joists for maximum stability. Measure and mark the location of both sides of the metal framed wall on the floor, ceiling, and wall. Move to the other side of the room and repeat the process.

  • Snap a chalk line between the inside wall marks on the ceiling. Snap another chalk line between the outside ceiling wall marks. Perform the same process for the marks on the floor and walls. Remove the flooring from between the chalk lines to expose the subflooring. Cut the drywall from between the ceiling chalk lines with the keyhole saw. Cut the drywall from the existing walls with the keyhole saw. Remove all drywall screws that remain in the area of the metal track.

  • Mark both sides of the door rough opening on the exposed subfloor. Measure the length from each existing wall to the corresponding side of the door rough opening. Write the measurement on the floor where each piece of track will be installed. Measure the distance between the two existing walls to determine the total length of track needed for the top of the wall.

  • Cut the track lengths you need with the aviation snips. If the ceiling track is longer then a full length of track, cut a piece of track that spans the distance from the end of the full length track to the existing wall. Mark the track with 16-inch stud centers, 8 eight inches off center. For ceilings over 9 feet tall, 12-inch stud centers will be required.

  • Align the track on the floor. Fasten the track to the subfloor with the drill and the 2 1/2-inch wood screws. Repeat the process for the ceiling mounted track. Measure between the track at different points to determine the length of the steel studs.

  • Cut the steel studs to length with the aviation snips. Place the studs in the track.

  • Place a steel stud on a center mark of the bottom track, starting at the door rough opening. Use the C-clamp to hold the stud in place. Screw through the track and into the stud using the drill, Phillips screw tip, and a No. 7 screw. Repeat the process for each stud.

  • Plumb each stud using the level. If your top marks are off, set the stud plumb. Clamp the stud to the track. Secure the stud with a No. 7 screw. Repeat the process until all studs are secure. Secure the other side of each stud to the track in the same manner. Use the metal track to frame holes and the span over the door rough opening.

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