Steel studs are a great long-term solution. They don’t crack, split or rot and they will frame a wall perfectly on any project. While easy and convenient to use, there are some things to make installation go more smoothly. For those who have not worked with steel studs before, there are some installation techniques that differ from their traditional wood counterparts. Here are five tips and tricks to help you install steel studs like a pro.
Keep Track Away from Door Openings
Installing track around door openings can get a little tricky because you cannot cut the opening later as with wood. Lay out the walls in the same way that one would for wood openings, however, when installing the bottom plate do not run track across door openings. Instead, attach the track directly to the concrete with a concrete screw.
Locate the Top Plate with Steel Studs
Steel studs remain straight, unlike wood which tends to bend and warp. Start by cutting one steel stud to size and mark the location of the top plate at either end. The benefit of steel studs here is that each one does not need to be cut to a precise size. Steel studs can be about a ¼ inch shorter than the initial measurement.
Block with Track
In most instances, top plates need to be fastened to braces if the joist runs parallel. Wood is commonly used to do this, but it can also be done through extra pieces of track. Cut a piece of track and fold out the sides in order to fasten it to the joist. This is a sturdier solution and recycles pieces of track that would not be used otherwise.
Create a Kerf in Blocking
Heavy objects require some extra structural support. This is done creating a kerf in 2x4’s where the lip will be inserted, which provides added support. Without kerfing, the lip of the stud will press against the wood and eventually causing warping of the boards.
Attach Studs from the Inside Corners
Hanging drywall on steel frames is done a little differently than with wooden framing. The drywall sheets will not be flush with one another at the inside corners, and one of the sheets will adjust to the back of the inside corner. As a result, the placement of the studs needs to be measured from the very back of the track. It can be helpful to clamp the tape measure into place with a spring clamp to avoid inaccurate measurements.
FASCO America® and ET&F® make installing steel studs simple.
Installing steel track and steel studs ends up being a more durable solution, but some practices do not work the same as they would with wood. With the above tips and tricks, installing steel studs should be a breeze. ET&F® offers tools, fasteners and systems for installing steel studs. For example: wood to steel, steel to steel, face nail siding, and gypsum wall board fastening, plus more! See what they have to offer steel framers http://www.etf-fastening.com/solutions-for/steel-framers.html. FASCO America® offers SteelThread SCRAIL® that is a faster fastener and works in a variety of applications. It is ideal for housing, flooring, subflooring, framing, decking, and SteelThread SCRAIL® will install perfectly every time. It also has the necessary durability and holding power for a long-term and reliable solution.