Wood Vs Steel Studs

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  #1  
Old 07-21-03, 10:20 AM
edbreyer
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Wood Vs Steel Studs

Im about to frame-in non load-bearing walls in my basement and need to decide if I should use steel or wood studs. The only reason Im even considering steel studs is that the house had previous termite damage. Although weve repaired all the damage and had the house treated 2 years ago with Termidor ( http://www.termidorhome.com/home.asp ) and there were no active termites at the time I know that termites are still active in our neighborhood. Accordingly Im VERY concerned about using wood studs (even with pressure treated bottom plates on the floor) because it seems like it could provide a path to the house structure should termites ever make it through my basement floor again.

However, since steel studs are a bit unfamiliar to me and my carpenter friends should I consider a different alternative? What about using PT wood for all the studs? Ive heard termites dont like PT wood but is the repellent effect permanent or does it fade over time? Since PT wood is often damp when purchased, is there any danger of it twisting/warping after being installed and causing problems with the drywall? Is there such a thing as kiln dried PT wood? Does any manufacturer offer a termite resistant product designed for use in stud walls?

If I do use steel any hints for making the doorframes sturdy and for getting insulation that fits snuggly between the hollow steel studs (i.e. wider insulation)? Or should I just adjust the steel stud spacing so the standard width insulation fits snuggly?

All responses appreciated!

Ed
Chicago, IL
 
  #2  
Old 07-21-03, 03:51 PM
mudder
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I wouldnt use pressure treated inside the house as it contains arsenic for one thing and a fewother ingredients that are harmfull.
Steel studs are an exellent material compared to wood studs and the sound transmittion from room to room is dramatically redused by the steel. Add wood studs to the inside of the steel stud around the door openings for sturdiness, space the studs the same as wood for the insulation to fit and remaember to ad wood backing between the studs for things like toilet paper holders grab bars hand rails etc. Use a Hilti gun to fasten the track to the floor and screw the studs top and bottom on at least one side to the tracks with 'kelly' screws. On longer partitions ie: +15 ft insert resilient channel thru the middle openings in the stud to add sturdiness.
Thats about all I've got off the top of my head but I'm sure you can find more instructions here or elswhere online good luck
 
  #3  
Old 07-21-03, 06:41 PM
edbreyer
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Follow-up question - steel studs with pocket doors

Thanks for your reply Mudder...

One more qustion:

What sort of "resilient channel" were you refering to? Is it a component that is typically sold/available with the steel studs? ALSO> can steel studs be used in conjunction with pocket doors?

Thanks in advance
 
  #4  
Old 07-22-03, 04:25 AM
mudder
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the channel is a very firm piece of steel the profile is like this bracket [. Pocket doors come with their own door and pocket I don't see any reason why they couldn't be integrated.
 
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Old 10-10-03, 06:36 AM
S
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I realize I'm late coming into this, but just a thought. I know Chicago has rather severe winters AND can get pretty hot in the summer. Remember that steel studs will form condensation before wood will. Be sure to check for any moisture problems around any exposed stud area when the difference inoutside air temp and inside air temp is great. Any condensation on the steel studs can and will eventually lead to mold growth.
 
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Old 10-10-03, 01:47 PM
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I've never heard of steel studs forming condensation. If it were true then every office/ high rise in chicago better watch out. Steel studs are straight and don't warp. If you use steel studs, use 1 1/4" fine thread screws to fasten drywall.
 
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Old 10-10-03, 03:58 PM
brickeyee
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Look in the basement of an office building with steel studs. I have seen planty of rust on them. They are going into the basement of a house, not a concrete multi-story above grade.
It is harder to put up insulation, you need wider insulation, The steel short circuits the insulation even worse than wood studs (at least wood is R1 per inch, steel is basically R0), and you have to put grommets in every stud to protect NM (not a problem if you have to use conduit for Chicago code).
The CCA in pressure treat does not wear out or go away and is very stable. It is required for wood in contact with masonry. There are newer treatments coming on the market that rely on just copper and leave out the arsenic and chromate. If the termite treatment fails and the termites get into the basement they will simply build mud tubes on the masonry wall in search of wood if the basement studs are steel.
I would be more worried about the heat conduction though the steel studs than the termites coming back.
 
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Old 10-11-03, 05:20 AM
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I've done quite a few finished basements with steel studs, they are cheaper to buy, easy to build with and if properly reenforced around doorways as Mudder suggested, very sturdy. Also they are straight! No warps, no twisted studs.

A couple of builders we do rock for have gone over to them almost completely now for the past couple of years.

For wood framing in this area, I'd always go with treated for the sill plate. For termites, treat the yard around the house with diazanon, works great & gets rid of all the bugs.
 
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Old 10-11-03, 09:36 PM
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Yea brickeyee they are going into a basement of a house. constant temp., less humidity. why is it harder to put up insulation? Duck tape hard to handle? And I don't even know what " the steel short circuts the insulation" means???
 
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Old 10-12-03, 11:02 AM
brickeyee
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Maybe your basement is constant temp, but I have not seen very many that are. Duct tape is not adequate for any purpose, particularly involving long term sealing. At least use Al foil tape.
In a wood stud wall, the studs represent a part of the thermal barrier that is about R3.5 (2x4). In a steel wall the studs are about R 0.003. Both of these represent a heat conduction path through the insulation. The typical model for heat conduction is a simple resistor network, with resistanec values assigned to the layers in the construction. The steel studs bypass the insulation and provide a highly conductive thermal path. They 'short circuit' the insulation and allow heat to move past the insualtion very easily.
 
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Old 10-13-03, 03:15 PM
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Oh. remove foot from mouth.
 
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Old 10-15-03, 06:23 AM
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Maybe I'm missing something here, but if you're just using the steel studs to frame interior walls in a basement, regardles of where you're at, I don't see the big deal with the insulation issue.

If you were going to frame in front of a blank outer wall, you'd certainly build the wall out 3-4" from the concrete wall, so here again I don't see the steel studs being an issue.

As I stated before, quite a few premium builders in this area are using steel studs for interior framing, & it is a good thing. My opinion - worth the price charged.
 
 

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