How to Install Metal Framing for Dry Wall


The key components of a metal framed wall are the runners and the metal studs. Each component needs to be secured to the ceiling and floor joists to support the weight of the drywall that will hang from the metal framed wall. The top and bottom runners need to have screws installed to each ceiling and floor joist to ensure that the wall does not move when side pressure is applied to the finished wall. This will ensure that the finished wall remains stable well after the wall is installed.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Felt tip permanent marker
  • Carpenter's square
  • Aviation snips
  • Screw gun
  • Phillips tip
  • 1-1/4-inch self-tapping drywall screws
  • Framing square
  • Plumb bob
  • Self-locking pliers
  • Stud reference chart
  • Self-locking C-clamp pliers
  • #7 by 7/16th inch pan-head self-tapping framing screws
  • Four-foot level
  • Measure the distance between the two walls perpendicular to the wall you are framing with the tape measure.

  • Mark the length you measured in the previous step on a length of wall track to create the top runner. If the wall is longer than a full length of track, deduct the full track length from the overall measurement, and mark another piece of track to make up the difference in length.

  • Extend a line across the stud by aligning one edge of the carpenter's square with the length mark you placed on the track in step 2 and running the felt tipped marker along the aligned edge of the square.

  • Cut down both short sides of the wall track with the aviation snips. Continue the cut along the longer flat edge of the track to finish cutting the track to length.

  • Locate and fasten one end of the top runner to the ceiling joists with the screw gun and 1-1/4-inch drywall screws.

  • Rest one side of the framing square against the top runner and the other leg of the framing square against the perpendicular wall that the metal stud wall intersects. Adjust the top runner until the framing square rests firmly on both the top runner and the perpendicular wall.

  • Run a 1-1/4-inch drywall screw into each ceiling joist to secure the top runner.

  • Place the line of the plumb bob against one leg of the top runner and lower the plumb bob until it contacts the floor. Slowly pull up on the string until the plumb bob begins to sway. Lock the plumb bob in place by clamping the line to the leg of the runner with a pair of self-locking pliers.

  • Mark the location with a felt tip marker where the point of the plumb bob points to the floor with the felt marker.

  • Mark and cut another length of track to match the top runner as described in steps 2, 3 and 4.

  • Repeat steps 5, 6 and 7 to fasten and square the bottom runner to the floor joists.

  • Measure the distance between the top and bottom runners to calculate the length of the metal studs, and reference the stud chart to determine the proper centerline distance between the studs.

  • Mark the top track with the centerline spacing specific by the stud chart.

  • Use the method for marking and cutting the runners described in steps 2, 3 and 4 to cut the metal studs to length.

  • Set the top of the metal stud into the top runner and the bottom of the metal stud into the bottom runner.

  • Align the stud with the centerline marks you placed on the top runner, and secure the metal stud to the top runner with one pair of self-locking C-clamps.

  • Run a #7 by 7/16 screw through the leg of the top runner and into the metal stud you clamped in the previous step.

  • Place the four-foot level against one side of the metal stud and adjust the stud until the bubble within the level that is parallel to the floor rests between the lines marked on the vial to show plumb.

  • Clamp the bottom stud to the bottom runner with a pair of self-locking C-clamps, and run a #7 by 7/16 screw through the clamped leg of the bottom runner and into the metal stud.

  • Repeat steps 17 to 19 with each metal stud to be installed in the metal framed wall.

  • Switch to the other side of the stud wall.

  • Clamp and screw the other side of each stud to the top and bottom runners to finish the installation of the metal framed wall.

  • Install the internal electrical, plumbing and HVAC components to the wall before you hang the drywall to the metal stud wall.

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