The walls of a property come in two types, loadbearing and non-loadbearing. While load bearing walls are constructed from either brick or block and then plastered, there are several common choices of construction for non-load bearing walls which are then finished in plasterboard (the drywall.)
Plasterboard comes in a variety of sizes and thicknesses, the most common being 4 'x 8' (1.2m x 2.4m) and ½" (12mm) thick as this neatly fits the average 8' (2.4m) ceiling height. The plasterboard is attached to the partition with either special drywall screws or galvanized nails. Once built they can be either be fully plastered with a skim coat or have the gaps between board and screw heads filled and then directly decorated.
Whichever system is employed, some knowledge is required of where certain fixtures are going so that extra reinforcement can be added to allow heavy items such as kitchen cupboards or bathroom basins to be properly supported.
Electrical wiring and plumbing pipe work will also be run through the wall during its construction and it is essential that everything will be in the right place when the room is finished as correcting even the smallest mistake afterwards, such as adding an extra light switch, is time consuming. Large mistakes can involve having to take down entire sections of plasterboard - a messy process if the board has already been plastered.
When building a stud wall that will be used as the wall of a shower cubicle special waterproof board should be used. Aquapanel is a glass mesh reinforced, cement based board that can withstand being immersed continually in water and therefore avoids the problem of having to rip down tiles to replace plasterboard should the shower develop a leak.
Wooden Stud Partitioning
The most common type of internal wall is the wooden stud-partition. Here lengths of 3"x2" or 4"x2" (75x50mm or 100x50mm) are made into a frame which runs across floor, walls and ceiling. Studs are then attached between head (ceiling) and sill (floor) plates at regular intervals and noggins skew-nailed between them to stiffen them. Doorways are allowed for with cut outs in the sill plate and extra studs above the door. Extra noggins or sheets of wood can be attached between studs to allow for heavy fixtures.
Metal Stud Partitions
The metal stud construction system uses the same basic idea as wood, but the material is plated steel sheet extruded into lengths of a C-profile shape which can be screwed together with self-tapping screws. It is available in lengths of 2.4m to 4.2m (8' to 14') and widths of 48, 60, 70 and 146mm. Again a frame is made around the walls, floor and ceiling and studs added, however there are no noggins between the studs with this system. For fixing heavy items special fixing channels are available. Once finished the partition is plasterboarded using only drywall screws; nails cannot be used.
Cellular Core Partitioning
Cellular core partitioning consists of two sheets of plasterboard with a honeycombed cardboard core, effectively forming an entire wall section in one part. As before an outline wooden frame of 2" PAR is created with locating blocks added where the edge of the partition meets the frame. The cellular core sheets are then slotted into place and screwed or nailed to fix them. Where partition sheets meet at a corner or T-joint, extra battening needs to be inserted into the sheets to allow a solid fixing between them.
GTEC boards from Lafarge are complemented by high performance products specifically designed for thermal and acoustic applications and to provide impact, moisture, vapour and fire resistance.
GTEC taping and jointing systems are used for the seamless jointing of plasterboard. All joint compounds finish white, are exceptionally smooth and easy to sand for a very fine finish.
GTEC from Lafarge provides a wide range of products suitable for fixing. There is a comprehensive range of screws as well as adhesives and renders, nailable plugs and electroplated nails.
Lafarge GTEC has developed a complete range of metal systems for use in combination with its boards. From non-load bearing metal studs to purpose-designed partitions and from traditional metal furring ceilings to intricate curves. There’s a drywall solution to meet the needs of all the design professional requirements.