Metal vs. Wood

Old 05-15-00, 06:07 AM
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Looking for some opinions on metal vs. wood studs for finishing my basement. I have heard that metal is cheaper and obviously has better fire resistance. Where can I find some good information on how to finish a basement with metal studs? Thanks.
Old 05-15-00, 07:43 AM
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I did my basement with steel studs. I also helped a bro-in-law do his using steel studs.

The studs fit into steel c-channels, also called tracks. Some will attach the top and bottom of the studs to the track using a crimper. I prefer to use a 7/16 inch pan head drywall screw.

Use a #6 1-1/4 inch fine thread drywall screw to attach the steel to wood (such as the top track to the joists). Use those same screws to attach the drywall to the studs.

What questions do you have?

Old 05-16-00, 03:59 AM
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Bob is right. Nothing more I can say.

Jack the Contractor
Old 06-08-00, 12:50 PM
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I've done a few and am currently doing my own home in steel. I've found the Marinoware website to be very helpfull. Here's a few tips: 1) wear gloves...the edges get sharpe and you'll get a few scratches. 2) Unlike wood, steel studs are unforgiving when it comes to hanging sheetrock. The srew tends to skip off the steel stud if you hit it to close to the edge. The rest was a breeze.Stable Material Pricing Steel costs do not fluctuate as wood costs. Material costs will not rise on a weekly basis.

Quality Components are manufactured from steel to meet specific conditions. Product quality can be better assured. Steel studs have no knots, twists, splits or other defects often associated with wood studs.

Supply Steel is readily available from a number of steel mills in contrast to timber which requires years to reach maturity.

Strength The strength-to-weight ratio of steel exceeds that of wood.

Versatility Steel framing is engineered to meet your specific framing conditions. Longer spans and more "open" spaces may be designed. Future renovations to meet changing lifestyles are therefore more easily accommodated.

Non-Combustible Reduced homeowner insurance costs may be realized.

Code Compliance The major code authorities recognize and accept the use of steel framing.

Ease of Utility Installation Steel studs and joists are pre-punched with holes to allow the passage of electrical, telephone, TV cables, etc. WAREGROM-ITS are readily available to protect unshielded wiring from the edges of the holes.

Rot, Vermin & Warp Proof Steel framing is galvanized and cannot rot, absorb moisture and swell, twist or split, as wood framing. This eliminates nail popping and wall cracks often associated with wood framing. In addition, steel does not attract termites, rodents, insects, etc.

Compatibility Steel framing can be used with all common building materials including brick, wood siding, vinyl siding, etc.

Facts vs Myths:

Myth: I will not be able to get television and radio reception.

Reality: Radio and television waves will pass through the spaces between the framing members. There is no difference in the reception of these broadcast signals. In fact, many new homes are pre-wired for cable television & radio.

Myth: My house will be more likely to be struck by lightening if it is framed with steel.

Reality: There is no evidence to support this myth... the chances of a house being struck by lightening remain the same in wood as in steel... very slim.

Myth: A steel framed house is noisy.

Reality: Since steel is a very stable product, over time, there is less movement in a steel framed house than in a wood framed house. The house will remain "tighter."

Myth: I won't be able to hang a picture since I can't use nails in steel studs.

Reality: You simply use a screw in lieu of a nail. In fact, it will be easier to locate the steel studs with a magnetic "stud finder."

Myth: A steel framed house will look different from other houses.

Reality: Not true. The house will look identical to similarly designed houses since all common building materials are compatible with steel framing.

How to get started:

A builder can start using steel framing in one of two making the commitment to build a total steel framed house or by taking a more gradual transition to steel framing while discovering how it works. The amount of engineering support required will vary greatly depending upon which approach is chosen.

The transition approach is perhaps the easiest approach for a builder who is not familiar with steel framing. This approach utilizes four steps:

1: Interior Non-Loadbearing Walls: Since these framing members are not subject to loads, a direct one-to-one substitution of studs may be done.

2: Floor and Ceiling Members: These members carry loads and will require a minimal amount of engineering and detailing.

3: Load Bearing Walls: Interior and Exterior Special attention to the engineering of these members is required since they may be subjected to horizontal wind and/or seismic forces as well as axial loads.

4: Roof Framing Members: Perhaps the most complicated part of the engineered steel framing system, these members, often engineered into trusses, are subject to wind as well as vertical loading. In addition, the members often require special splay cuts and connection details.


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