wallChoose structural materials for the construction of walls or ceilings according to your needs.. In every renovation project involving the demolition of a wall, it is often necessary to build a new one. Sometimes it is the arrangement of the attic, sometimes the creation of a wardrobe or an office. Some projects also require the construction of a ceiling. Although the structure is concealed behind gypsum panels, it is important that it be well constructed so that the junction between walls or ceilings and finishing materials is perfect. Depending on the application, wood, metal and even PVC are used; the choice of the appropriate material is based on price, ease of installation, structural requirements and environmental impact.

Identification of your needs

  1. Is the wall a carrier or not?
  2. Are there special conditions in the project area, such as high humidity, termites or fire hazard?
  3. What is the total load that the ceiling and floor joists will have to support?
  4. Does the size of the project influence the choice of materials?
  5. Which material would be the easiest to use in the project?

Materials Constituting Amounts

Although wood studs are still the most used for residential applications, metal is becoming more popular. This development is largely due to the following: the price of metal studs is lower, they are a little easier to install and their pre-drilled holes are more convenient for passing electrical, plumbing, heating and ventilation. New on the market, PVC has many of the advantages of metal. The most suitable material depends on the skills and preferences of the person doing the installation and the type of project.

Material constituting the amounts

Available sizes





U-shaped metal rails are available in 10 ‘lengths.
Metal C-pillars are available in the following lengths: 8 ‘, 9’, 10 ‘and 12’.
The main advantage of metal studs is that they resist rust, moisture, termites and even fires.
The use of metal studs is relatively simple. The passage of electricity, heating and plumbing networks is particularly important because of pre-drilled holes.
Metal studs transmit high frequency sound through walls. If this inconvenience is particularly troublesome, solve the problem by adding insulation in the cavities of the wall.
It is sometimes necessary to add insulation to the wall portion above the ceiling as well. Metal is the material that has the lowest coefficient of insulation.
In most residential applications, these are 25-gauge metal studs

·         which corresponds to the thickness of the material constituting the plate

·         or thin which are used for the inner pillars.

There are also even lighter metal studs used for lintels and dwarf walls.

If metal studs are used in exterior walls or as ceiling joists, they must be made of a thicker plate and purchased from a professional supplier.Ultimately, the size is determined according to the application and the loads that the elements must support.


The standard lengths of the wooden uprights are as follows: 6 ‘, 8’, 10 ‘, 12’, 14 ‘, 16’, 18 ‘, 20’, 22 ‘and 24’.
The majority of wood studs are pre-cut for ceilings of 8 ‘, 9’ and 10 ‘in height.
Each type of wooden post is certified on the one hand according to the quality and the wood species used, and on the other hand according to the structural load that it can support.
Since wood is commonly used in residential applications, its installation is often perceived as the easiest by the majority.
Wood is an excellent insulation material, and one of its natural properties is to stifle sounds.
There are solid wood and engineered wood studs.
Engineered wood studs have the advantage of not having holes or knots, and not veiling or bending.There are also recycled wood uprights, for places where no load should be supported.
It can be difficult to drill holes in the studs because of the unpredictability of the quality of the wood.

If exposed to excessive amounts of water or moisture, the wood will rot and become cloudy.

Wood is also prone to mold and termite damage.

Special attention should be paid to the humidity level in the house when wooden studs are used.

Wood studs are most often made of pine, sometimes fir.

In the majority of cases, 2 “× 4” is used in interior walls, and 2 “× 6” in exterior walls.

If wood studs are used in exterior walls, they must be chemically treated. Similarly, if they are used for interior walls where the humidity rate may occasionally increase, such as in a kitchen or bathroom, use treated wood.


The dimensions of the PVC uprights are determined in the same way as those of the metal uprights.Actual sizes of PVC rails and uprights vary by manufacturer. New on the market, PVC uprights are made from recycled PVC and are in many ways as strong as metal studs.
Since they are even more resistant to moisture, the PVC uprights are ideally suited for installation in the basement or walls installed directly against cast-in-place concrete or often wet concrete blocks.
The insulating qualities of PVC are excellent.
PVC uprights make installation easier than with any other material, as they snap into each other and attach with simple screws.
PVC studs should only be used for non-load bearing interior walls.Keep in mind that PVC studs are more expensive than metal and wood studs. Recycled plastic uprights, or PVC, should not be used for exterior walls as well as for interior load-bearing walls.



In the same way as floor joists, ceiling joists are important structural components that support either the upper floor or the roof of the house. Their size is determined by the calculation of the permanent and variable loads that are exerted on the joists. For aesthetic reasons, ceiling joists are most often concealed by gypsum panels or a suspended ceiling system.


Material constituting the joists




Metal The dimensioning of a joist is determined by the load it must bear.Once the total load has been calculated, the dimensions of the joist are chosen.They are always between 2 “× 4” and 2 “× 12”. The space between two joists is usually 16 “from center to center, but is sometimes reduced to 12” when the ceiling supports particularly heavy materials or equipment. Steel joists are usually made of a thicker plate than metal studs. Where metal ceiling joists are used in residential applications, they must be purchased from a professional supplier.
Wood The dimensioning of a joist is determined by the load it must bear.Once the total load has been calculated, the dimensions of the joist are chosen.They are always between 2 “× 4” and 2 “× 12”. The space between two joists is usually 16 “from center to center, but is sometimes reduced to 12” when the ceiling supports particularly heavy materials or equipment. Solid wood joists, made of pine or fir, are the ones most often used in residential applications.There is also a wide variety of engineered wood joists available.Wooden ceiling joists are sometimes left uncovered and treated, giving the room a beautiful appearance.In this case, they are generally wider than the 2 “standard, and it happens that different types of wood are installed. Consult with a professional as to whether the joist size and wood species used is an appropriate support structure for the project. It is quite possible to drill small holes in wooden joists to run electrical cables. Follow the recommendations below for holes and cuts made in wood joists.


Consider the peculiarities of each material, as well as its advantages and disadvantages. The choice depends on the abilities of the person installing the project, the size of the project and other considerations depending on the case. The table below indicates some aspects to consider, other than the actual characteristics of each material.

Aspect to consider

General informations




Cost ·         The initial cost of each material depends on the size of the installed elements.

·         In addition, the price ratio between wood and metal varies from time to time.Depending on the circumstances, there is a risk that the information in this table may not be up to date.

·         The size of the project sometimes has an impact on the total cost of the materials used. For example, since metal studs require more tools for installation, it is probably more economical to use wood for a relatively small project.

·         The cheapest

·         Joists and uprights made of a thicker plate cost more than lighter ones

·         Average cost

·         Low cost of the necessary tools

·         The most expensive

·         Low cost of the necessary tools

Environmental Properties ·         Each material can be recycled or recyclable.

·         Each having its advantages and disadvantages, there is no real consensus on which is the most ecological.

·         Steel elements usually contain recycled steel.

·         Some steel elements contain more recycled steel than others.

·         The manufacture of metal elements generally requires a large amount of energy.

·         Recycled or recovered wood is not used as frequently as other materials, but this is still possible.

·         The pine is a resource that is rapidly renewing and whose manufacture is largely powered by solar energy.

·         Its manufacture requires less energy than steel and PVC.

·         Its thermal insulation coefficient is high.

·         PVC uprights are always made of 100% recycled PVC.

·         The manufacture of PVC uprights requires a lot of energy.

·         The use of PVC amounts in a project gives LEED points.

·         Their thermal insulation coefficient is high.

·         They help maintain excellent indoor air quality.

Project completion time ·         The use of metal or PVC uprights requires for some a learning phase that sometimes extends the time estimated for the realization of the project. ·         Metal studs have the reputation of reducing the time needed to complete a project. ·         Installing wood studs takes more time and work than metal and PVC.

·         The learning phase is sometimes shorter with the wood and therefore reduces the time needed to complete a project.

·         Once the product and its operation are well understood, PVC is the material that requires the least time for installation.
Sound transmission ·         Whatever material is chosen, the risk of sound transmission is always present.

·         To reduce noise transmission, build a double-sided wall and add insulation.

·         It is sometimes necessary to insulate the ceiling as well as the portions of walls located above the ceiling, to the roof.

·         The metal is not very favorable in terms of sound transmission. ·         Wood usually stifles noise and reduces transmission. ·         PVC generally stifles noise and reduces transmission.
Indoor or outdoor application ·         The metal uprights are used for both indoor and outdoor applications. ·         The wooden uprights are used for both indoor and outdoor applications. ·         PVC is only used for indoor applications.
Bearing or non-carrying elements ·         Metal uprights are used in load-bearing and non-load-bearing walls. ·         The wooden uprights are used in the load bearing walls as non-load bearing. ·         PVC is only used in non-load bearing walls.


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