How to build an interior wall?

Interior walls are an important part of interior decoration in London. Walls can be used to dampen sound, define spaces, and provide privacy. You can also use interior walls for partitioning a large space into smaller spaces, loft conversions, and creating closets out of nothing.

From my rich experience in the building services industry, I will guide you on how to plan, build and decorate an interior wall.

Steps on how to build an Interior Wall

The addition of an interior non-load bearing wall is a smart and inexpensive way to update the layout of your house. A new wall allows you to create an extra room or divide an existing one.

Before discussing how to build an internal, it is important to understand the different parts of a wall that are:

  • Bottom plate: This is a piece of timber which sits on the floor and forms the base of the wall. The studs rest on the bottom plate.
  • Top plate: This is the upper framing of the stud wall. It is installed horizontally at the top exactly above the bottom plate.
  • Joists : These are the support beams in your floor and ceiling.
  • Studs: These are vertical beams that support the frame of your wall.

Equipment: Saw, gloves,ear muffs, nail gun, pencil, measuring tape, spirit level, spirit level, Hammer, ladder, trimming knife.

Materials: Stud adhesive, plasterboard sheets, plasterboard nails, galvanized nails, paint stripper, structural pine.



Step 1: Decide on the location

The location of the new wall depends on the alignment of the ceiling joists. If the joist is perpendicular to the internal wall, you can build the wall anywhere preferable against the stud in the existing wall (the wall on which the new wall will be anchored).

However, if the ceiling joists are parallel to the line of the new wall, the location of the new wall will be determined by the joist near the location of the new wall.

Step 2: Measure and Install the Bottom plate

Measure the space the wall will cover on the floor and cut a piece of wood to fit. Place the piece of wood on the floor and nail it to place. The best way to make your nails more strong is to hammer them at an angle, this is called skew nailing.

Pro Tip: If you will be installing a door frame on the wall, use just one nail in this section of the wood because you will be removing this piece of wood at the end.

Step 3: Measure and Install the Top plate

Place the top plate at the ceiling and make sure it is completely aligned to the bottom plate. To ensure that both plates are aligned, use your spirit level to draw a vertical line from the bottom plate to the ceiling. Measure and cut a piece of timber and nail it into place.

Step 4: Install the Studs

The standard spacing for vertical studs is 450mm measured centre to centre. If you will installing a door, make sure you create enough space for the door and the doorjamb. Because the distance between the top and bottom plates can vary slightly across the wall, it is important to measure the length of each stud before cutting. Use a nail gun to nail the stud into their position.

Pro Tip: If you will be installing a doorway, nail away from the door cavity.

Step 5: Install the Noggins (Cross Studs)

Noggins are installed horizontally between the vertical studs. The standard measurement is to install them 1200mm between each other. So measure the space between your studs and cut a noggin to size and install appropriately.

Pro Tip: For more strength, install another noggin between two existing noggins so as to close up the space.

Step 6: Build the Door Frame

If you are going to be having a doorway, you need to install a header above the doorway. The header is simply a longer noggin. To calculate the height of the header, consider the door height, the door jamb width, floor covering and floor thickness.

Measure and cut out the timber to size and install using a nail. Then use a handsaw and remove the bottom plate in the doorway.

Step 7: Cut the plasterboard to Size

Now, your wall frame is ready. The next thing is to cover it with a plasterboard. So, take the measurement of the entire wall. Then use a trimming Knife to cut out the size of the wall from the plasterboard.

Pro Tip: For a better finish, most builders in London will install a half sheet down and then use a full sheet above it. This keeps the joining between both sheets below the normal line of sight.

Step 8: Apply Adhesive on the Studs

Use a paint scraper to apply some stud adhesive on every stud that you will be placing a sheet on.

Pro Tip: Do not put the adhesives on the end studs because adhesives can shrinks and make the nails come out of the studs.

Step 9: Install the Plasterboard

Start from the bottom. Place a sheet of the plasterboard and nail it to the studs. Repeat the Process for every row as you go from bottom to top.

Pro Tip: If a sheet hangs over the wall slightly, trim it off using a trimming knife.

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