metal vs. wood studs

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  #1  
Old 02-23-04, 09:33 PM
sabrefan2000
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metal vs. wood studs

anyone have any thoughts on whether to use metal or wood stud framing to finish a basement.
metal seems to be cheaper but how easy is it to work with?
any feedback greatly appreciated.
 
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  #2  
Old 02-24-04, 04:09 AM
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A few years back I used metal studs on a basement partition. Got LOTS of feedback from the wife; she couldn't drive nails into the studs to hang stuff. I know, she needed to use screws; YOU tell her

I don't think I'd do it again due to "feedback". Was not bad working with metal, though, and cheaper.

Bruce
 
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Old 02-24-04, 06:41 AM
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When using metal studs on an exterior wall that is insulated how is the vapor barrier attached to the studs beneath the drywall?
 
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Old 02-24-04, 03:09 PM
boardslinger
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Dave, there is none, it is not needed. Been doing this for many years Residentila and commercial. Have never put any in. That is not to say that someone couldn't.
Alas, Finally a subject that I can REALLY get into. Use the steel studs.
1. Cheaper
2. Easier to work with
3. Easier to build
4. Faster
5. The onlky way your wals are out of square or unplmub is because you built it that way.
I could go on and on. It's real simple, I tell the newbies they send me all the time. Metal studs are easy. Any idot can do this job, that is way there are so many of us doing it. LOL. It's pretty self explanitory, but Home Depot has a workshop that can teach you. Good Luck.
 
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Old 02-24-04, 03:17 PM
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The only downside to metal framing is that's a bit more difficult to hang pictures and such. A sheetmetal screw just doesn't have the charm of a finishing nail.
 
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Old 02-24-04, 03:44 PM
boardslinger
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No downsides if you put some backer boards in so you can put your pics up. Where there is a will there is a way.
 
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Old 02-24-04, 03:47 PM
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I would need backer all over. SWMBO isn't real decisive. - lol
 
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Old 02-24-04, 03:57 PM
boardslinger
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Thats why with me wife I just sheet it with plywood. LOL.
 
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Old 02-25-04, 05:59 AM
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Dave,

I used the steel, would never use wood again except in the Fireplace.

As for the vapor barrier issue, I used Johns Manville Poly-encapsulated Formaldehyde Free insulation. 100 R13 8' batts cost $400 & change at Lowes.

The insulation is encased in plastic, think insulation in a plastic bag, thus no vapor barrier is needed. It also comes in true 16" widths which is needed for steel stud framing as the distance between the studs is 16". The stuff is specifically designed toward basements.

It does have flanges so you could always use duct tape to hold it to the studs untill you dry-wall if needed.

Best of all you don't need gloves to work with it.
 
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Old 02-25-04, 07:50 AM
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The only thing to keep in mind about insulating outside walls in a basement is where you live. If you live in a place that gets snow and cold temperatures, you should not insulate above the frost line. This is normally about 2 feet below the ground level. Frost creates a moisture build up on the block and could lead to a mold situation.
A moisture barrier will assure that the moister turns to mold because there is no way for it to evaportate.
Nothing smells worse than moldy fiberglass and wood.
 
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Old 02-25-04, 09:32 AM
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Go with the steel studs for sure and as far as hanging some thing on the walls .There is an angle nail that will go into the drywall and hold any picture you have . You dont need a backer board. Used them for years ED
 
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Old 02-25-04, 01:18 PM
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not insulate above the frost line if you live somewhere cold??

That is the whole point of insulation to keep the heat in and above the frost line is where most of the heat is lost in a basement. Insulating just below the frost line is like fixing a hole in a fence but leaving the gate open. It just doesn't make any sense

To prevent the mold problem you need vapour barrier of some kind. Exactly what way to install it is the subject of A LOT of debate.
 
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Old 02-26-04, 04:27 AM
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You always had a stud available?

WOW - you've always had a stud available where ever SWMBO wanted to hang something? How did you manage that? I've never lived anywhere that was like that and I'm no spring chicken. The stud was almost always a couple inches or more away.

There are lots of plain and decorative hangers available for drywall. Some will hold over 100 lbs. Anything heavier - use a molly.

Steel studs are great to work with! If you are going to hang cabinets, then I suggest strengthening that wall with a c-channel (bottom track) about 2/3 of the way up.
 
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Old 02-26-04, 05:47 AM
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steel studs

I thought about doing it that way, but decided to go with wood. Too many doors and windows to frame Also, I built a half wall at the stairs and left the top portion of the studs exposed, now how would that look with metal, ugly? So... it all depends on what you want to do and metal studs are great for building long straight walls with no doors.
 
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Old 02-26-04, 09:29 AM
peter-8
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To get around the door openings, I used steel studs for the walls, and then used wood for the door openings...used 2 2x4s for the door openings and wood for the door jam...this for strength, and making it easier to frame the door without using screws. I even went so far to use wood 2x4s for any walls that would have plumbing running through them...for 2 reasons. 1 being strength after you cut the 2 1/2" hole in the 2x4, and the other being that the copper pipes touching the steel creates corrosion. It was pretty easy as I used the top and bottom plate made out of the steel track, and put the 2x4s in and attached with 1 1/4" flat headed screws. I did this basement with a permit, and it passed inspection.
 
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Old 02-26-04, 09:55 AM
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btw

Do steel studs come in 2x6 equivalent? I have a couple of 2x6 walls to hide the waste pipe and support poles, could I have done those with steel studs?
 
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Old 02-26-04, 11:09 AM
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Home Depot did have them down here 2X6 You sure could have ED
 
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Old 03-01-04, 10:19 AM
JimmyBronco
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metal vs. wood

I have begun finishing my basement and chose to use metal studs. I have worked with both and much more prefer the metal as far as ease of installation and margin of error since metal won't warp.

One question I have though, I think I am going to use wood paneling to finins out the basement walls to give it that old Library/Bar look. After drywalling does anyone if it would be acceptabel to use an adhesive of sort for the paneling as opposed to using screws? thoughts?
 
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Old 03-01-04, 01:54 PM
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After drywalling does anyone if it would be acceptabel to use an adhesive of sort for the paneling as
Go for it it works real good. A screw or two at the top in a metal stud just to hold it there till dry. ED
 
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Old 03-01-04, 05:57 PM
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Jimmy-

If you glue that paneling to the drywall, someone, someday will curse you and all your children for generations to come.

Removing glued on paneling is the subject of many posts on this forum and another I frequent. Do yourself (or someone who might buy your house someday) a favor and put up your paneling with furring strips and nails.
 
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Old 03-03-04, 09:38 AM
ScottMA
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Speaking of attaching things to the metal studs, how do you install the baseboards?

I'm assuming that smooth finish nails would be useless, how about ring shanked nails? Or is there a better way?
 
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Old 03-03-04, 10:43 AM
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My parents did there whole house in steel studs except the outside walls which were styrofoam and concrete blocks

For the baseboard they used some kind of construciton adheasive and just glued it all to the drywall, it worked ok

The hard part was holding the trim in place while it dried, We ended up using pails for weight that held 2X4s against the trim
 
  #23  
Old 03-03-04, 10:44 AM
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The base board will tack right to the P/T 2X4 that you should have there under the bottom metal plate.

We always glue the panels on all the time. I have found in most make overs they just want to paint the panels, not take them out.
But if they did the dry wall dont cost that much. To put new up.
ED
 
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Old 03-05-04, 06:50 PM
crossroads545
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trim

to attach baseboard to metal framed walls use a trim screw. its a small headed drywall screw [square head drive]. adhesive the topping off the finish with painters chalk to fill gaps works wonders. i have been adding lower levels [basements] in new housing for the past year now and everyday is an adventure lol.the use of wood framing in the bath and door jambs are a good way to go also.
 
  #25  
Old 03-06-04, 01:32 PM
boardslinger
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Steel studs are easier to build walls with or with out windows, doors, etc, etc. I use steel studs everyday, it really is not hard. Depending on the door size depends on the rough opening, be it wood or steel door. I build radius walls, soffits, and suspended ceilings with it everyday. As far as hanging cabinets, where ever you are going to put them use a higher gauge, if you are using 25 ga. (tin can), then use 20 ga. or even 18 ga. for extra stability, with either wood blocking or 6" flat strap, (steel). The 25 ga. is strong enough though to hold the weight. But it's always nice to have something with more beef to it. The base board ond mill work, there are special hardware, (screws) that you can get at supply houses made specifically for this purpose. They are a little more expensive, but if you wan tthe quality to show, it really is the lesser of the evil. Good Luck.
 
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Old 03-09-04, 03:16 AM
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LOL, it cracks me up when people worry about hanging stuff. Like someone mentioned, how often do we find studs anyway? There are so many cool things on the market now for hanging things on drywall, that should be the least of your worries.

I prefer metal to wood. Easier, cleaner, faster, and quiet. Don't have to worry about sawdust, loud saws, warped boards, splinters, the list goes on. Ahh yes, and if you mess up, it's alot easier to back out four screws instead of pulling nails! LOL

I am finishing my basement and went with metal and I'm so glad I did. It was the first time I ever worked with metal and had the same questions everyone else does but after I look back I am so glad I choose metal! I will never work with wood again unless I have to...

A good tip: When cutting metal studs or track - snip down both sides and then just bend back and forth until it breaks apart. This is a HUGE time saver! Thanks to whoever told me this. Not many people know this can be done. My brother finished his whole basement and cut each stud all the way around. lol

Later!
 
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Old 03-09-04, 05:00 PM
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When you snip the stud on both sides,just bend it up and you can cut right across it there with the snips. Dont have to bend it back and forth

ED
 
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Old 03-09-04, 05:42 PM
boardslinger
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Especially if it is 25 ga. That's not much thinker that a soda can. If you do it everyday, as I do, 20 ga. is pretty easy too. But when you start to get into 18ga. then breaking it off is a time saver, and an arm, wrist and hand saver. LOL. Anything over that, (16, 14, 12 ga) Time to buy a chopsaw.
 
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Old 03-10-04, 05:07 AM
Herrmann22
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Hey Boardslinger...

Hey dude,

I've been reading some of your posts and wanted to ask you a question since you are in this business.

Should I hang my boards horizontally or vertically on my metal studs? I have about 93" from upper and lower tracks. I had to cut each stud. Anyway, I was wondering which is the best way to hang and why. I will not be finishing the boards because that's an art in itself and will gladly pay a pro to do that. I have never done it before and won't even attempt it. There are just some things I'd rather let a pro handle.

I do plan on baseboard and a drop ceiling if that helps. I just want to provide an easier job for the person who will be finishing. What do you guys prefer and why? Remember, time is a factor and I'm sure they will charge me by the hour so I want to make it quick for them, get my drift?

Thanks!

p.s. When I do get bids on finishing my drywall, should it be by the job or by the hour? How do you normally charge someone? I don't want to purchase anything. I want someone to come in with all the tools and materials. Any suggestions? Should I also get in writing how long it should take?

sorry for all the questions...
 
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Old 03-10-04, 02:11 PM
boardslinger
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O.K. hope you got some time on your hands. LOL. It really dosen't matter, as far as which is best. laying down or standing up the rock. For residental, most codes are to lay down. It's quicker to stand up, so if you can get teh o.k. go that way. Plus it's quicker to tape, 1 joint to tape on rocke verses 2 or more.
Basegboards are no problem, you can glue them to the rock, or buy specific screws for baseboard on steel walls. Drop ceiling is a good idea and low maintainance.
As far as pricing I would go with a t&m. Time and material. You pay for the time to do the work and the material, small jobs like this shouldn't be anything else but.
Not sure how much footage of walls you have to have hung or taped, so can't rteally give you an estimation of how long, but if it's a typical mid-western house, No more than 1 day hanging, 2-3 days taping. Good Luck.
 
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Old 03-10-04, 05:15 PM
Herrmann22
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Cool, thanks for getting back to me. I will probably hang the "rock" vertically and let a pro tape and finish out from there. If I do a solid job on hanging it should go pretty quick for them.
 
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