How to Install Metal Track & Stud
How to Install Metal Track & Stud
Installing a metal track and stud partition? Here’s how to do it.
Tools, fixings and equipment you’ll need:
- Wafer head screws (to fix track U track to timber floor)
- Hammer fixings (for concrete floors and soffits)
- High thread screws (for fixing to timber ceilings)
- Drywall screws to fix plasterboard to the stud
- Tin snips
- Tape measure
- Spirit level
- Stanley knife
- Mark both ends of the stud wall (for the purposes of this guide we’ll assume one end of the partition will adjoin an existing wall).
- Draw a chalk line between the two points. Your U-track will sit on this line.
- Position the U-track against the chalk line. Mark the U-track so its length matches the length of the chalk line. Use your tinsnips to cut the track to the correct length (wear gloves as the metal is sharp).
- Fix the track to the floor using the correct fixing for the floor material. Call us if you’re unsure which fixing to use. Fix the U track every 600mm. Use the service holes in the track to help guide you – they’re 600mm apart.
- Your first length of vertical C-stud will be secured to the existing wall. Measure the height of the wall, then cut the C-stud to length minus 3-5mm (stud is never measured tight)
- Cut the C-stud to length. There’s no top or bottom, so click either end into the U- track so the flanges of the stud section sit against the raised flanges of the U-track. Use your spirit level to ensure the stud is straight. Fix to the wall wherever there’s a batten (if it’s a timber frame wall) or every 600mm if it’s brick or concrete. You should now have a section of U-track fixed to the floor, and a section of C-stud at right angles to it, fixed to the wall.
- Take a second length of U-track, cut to the same length as the first. Place one end over the C-stud you’ve just fixed and position it flush with the ceiling and parallel to the U-track on the floor. Use a second length of C-stud to make positioning the U-track easier. Check it’s straight before fixing in place every 600mm along the ceiling.
- At the opposite end of the U-track from your first length of C stud, fix another C-stud to connect the two U-track sections and complete the frame of your partition. Make sure the C-stud section sits flush with the end of the U-track. Then secure with wafer head screws through the U-track and into the C-stud flanges, top and bottom and on both sides.
- Cut your remaining C-stud sections to length. Where you position them (and how many you need) depends on the size of your plasterboard and how robust you’ll need your partition to be. Generally speaking, place a C-stud section at intervals half the width of your plasterboard. So, for 1200mm plasterboard, place a C-stud section every 600mm. For a 900mm wide plasterboard, you’ll need a C-stud section every 450mm. For high load walls (eg in a bathroom which will be tiled) place C-stud every 400mm. Don’t fix these C-stud sections to the U-track. You’ll want them to be moveable, and the plasterboard will eventually keep them in place. You don’t need to add noggins (horizontal spacers that keep the vertical sections in position) as the galvanised metal of your track and stud won’t warp like wood.
- Cut a plasterboard in half along its width, then cut to the height of your partition.
Position your half board against the metal frame, remembering to lift it clear of the floor before you fix (to avoid it absorbing moisture from the floor). Adjust the position of your C-stud so that the plasterboard reaches the centre of the stud (allowing the next plasterboard section to sit flush with it over the other half of the stud). Fix board to frame using drywall screws and fix every 300mm.
- On the other side of the stud, make your first piece of plasterboard a full size piece (as opposed to the half size piece you placed on the other side). This will help improve fire safety, acoustics and robustness. Continue until you’ve covered the frame with plasterboard.