Making a frame for a stud partition wall with timber

A stud wall made using timber consists of a timber frame which is secured to the floor, walls and ceiling and then is generally covered in plaster to create a partition in a room, essentially making one room in to two, in most cases.

Making the frame

Either 75mm x 50mm or 100mm x 50mm sawn timber can be used to create a stud wall frame and will be used to make the head or ceiling plate, the matching length of timber for the sole or floor plate, vertical studs to sit between the plates and the noggins that will help keep the frame rigid .

1. Firstly make a decision on where you are going to put the wall and then find any joists, pipes or cables in the existing wall using an electronic detector. You can fix the new wall at whatever point if you are wanting the new wall to sit at a right angle to the ceiling and floor joists but otherwise it will need to be fixed directly above one if it is to run parallel with the joists.

Whatever you decide you will need to make a measurement from end to end of the wall and then follow up by marking the position of the edge on either the skirting board or floor.

2. Hang a plumb line to the mark that you previously made and then draw a line along the wall up to the ceiling, using the plumb line as a marker.

3. Secure a nail in the ceiling where the side edge of the ceiling plate will be and measure and mark the ceiling/wall junction opposite. Now mark out a line using chalk between the 2 points to create a guideline for the ceiling plate’s position.

If the joists are at right angles to the new stud wall then to attach the ceiling you will need to once again use the detector to find them.

4. Cut timber to the length needed for the ceiling plate (this will have to be an exact fit between the ceiling and the walls). Holding the plate in place, mark along its length the points for any fixings, then remove the ceiling plate and drill the holes needed for the fixings at the specified markings. Now simply fix the ceiling plate in to position following the edge of line you drew with the chalk.

5. Same as the ceiling plate, cut timber to the length needed for the floor plate and fix to the floor. If you are going to be fitting a doorway to the wall then use the door frame to measure and mark the floor plate and cut accordingly.

If joist are running at right angles, again you will need to use the detector to find them (if you can’t do so by following the line of fixings).

6. After measuring the distance between the floor and ceiling plates at both ends of the frame, cut two studs to length, after place each stud alongside the guideline which you have drawn on the wall.

If you have skirting boards, mark the necessary clearance that is needed and then use a backsaw to cut out the required shape so the timber will fit around it.

7. Drill holes for fixings along the length of the timber end studs and use to mark the walls with the position of the holes. Your first fixings should be around 100mm from the bottom of the floor and 100mm from the top of the ceiling, you last fixings should then be around 410mm – 450mm apart.

Now to finish the job, drill the holes for the fixings, fit and fix your wall plugs, reposition the two end studs if needed and then screw them in.

If your planning on building a partition stud wall, partaking in any other D.I.Y projects involving timber or would like any more information on our wood products or any of our services, please call us on +44 (0)115 964 0888 or email us at

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