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Metal studs have been around for decades, but they were limited to use by commercial contractors who installed them in massive quantities in malls and other large structures. Today, lumberyards stock metal studs alongside traditional wood studs, and you may use them in residential construction. A standard metal stud comes in the same dimensions as its wood counterpart. If you're building a stud wall in a garage or basement, you'll use metal tracks to attach the studs to the concrete.
Measure for the new stud wall with a tape measure and use a pencil to transfer the dimensions to the concrete floor.
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Cut a metal floor track to fit the proposed stud wall length, using a circular saw with a metal-cutting blade. A metal track looks similar to a metal stud; but the open sides on a metal track are straight, while the open sides on a stud bend inward at the top.
Lay the metal track flat on the concrete floor, with the flat side down. Line it up with your pencil marks and insert a concrete screw, with a hammer drill, every 16 inches. Some metal tracks have an open nailing guide in the center but if yours doesn't, just insert the screw through the center of the metal.
Install a metal ceiling track next. Use a plumb bob to align the ceiling track directly over the floor track, with the open side facing downward. Attach the metal ceiling track with framing screws to the ceiling joists.
Measure the distance between the inside of the ceiling track to the inside of the floor track and cut your metal studs, if necessary, to fit. Make corresponding marks on both tracks 16 inches apart to designate where the studs will go.
Position the metal studs with the top and bottom of each one fitting inside the floor and ceiling tracks. As you fit each one in, look at the hole pattern on the flat side of each stud. These holes are for electrical wires and water supply tubing. If you will be installing either of these items in the wall, turn the studs so all the utility holes match up.
Grasp the edge where the metal track and the metal stud make contact with a C-clamp to hold the stud firmly in place while you insert a metal screw through the side of the floor track into the side of the metal stud. Do the same thing on the other side of the stud wall and on both sides of the ceiling track.
Continue installing each metal stud in the floor track and ceiling track in the same way.
If you’re installing metal studs on concrete that is subject to moisture problems, install a moisture barrier sheet between the metal track and the concrete to prevent rusting.
Protect yourself from cuts and tiny metal splinters when cutting and handling metal studs. Wear long sleeves, long pants, leather gloves and protective eyewear.
Because the noise when cutting metal studs with a power saw is deafening, consider wearing ear noise protectors.
Do not allow children to play in the work area.