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Old 04-02-2013, 11:03 AM   #1
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Can't find studs in old apt wall


I live in a 1920s apartment building. I'm opening up a wall to try to install a pocket door. I expected to find studs but instead am just finding tons of mortar. It makes demo a messy business. I'm wondering if I'm missing the studs or if it was standard back then to create walls out of mortar, then plaster over them. Here's a pic.
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:26 AM   #2
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Can't find studs in old apt wall


you live in a apartment? and your land lord is letting you do this?

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Old 04-02-2013, 11:52 AM   #3
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Can't find studs in old apt wall


Fire rated construction, no wood studs. You have bitten off as they say, more than you can chew.
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:59 PM   #4
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Can't find studs in old apt wall


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Fire rated construction, no wood studs. You have bitten off as they say, more than you can chew.
Why is that?
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:00 PM   #5
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Can't find studs in old apt wall


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you live in a apartment? and your land lord is letting you do this?
It's a co-op and I'm the owner
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Old 04-02-2013, 01:52 PM   #6
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Can't find studs in old apt wall


Well thats true. You may be very talented and be able to do anything. I guess I assumed that you would know what you were working with as soon as you saw what the wall was made of.
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:18 PM   #7
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Can't find studs in old apt wall


Most applications require gluing a wood buck frame to the concrete mortar and setting the door in that to attach to.

You, in theory, could also you tapcon or concrete screws and set the door that way.
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:40 PM   #8
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Well thats true. You may be very talented and be able to do anything. I guess I assumed that you would know what you were working with as soon as you saw what the wall was made of.
Nope. This is my first foray into my walls. I always assumed they were lath and plaster, being built in the 20s, but I was wrong. This is all mortar.
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Old 04-02-2013, 04:54 PM   #9
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Can't find studs in old apt wall


We used to refer the steel frame of a metal door to be mounted in masonry as a buck. If wood is used we referred to the frame as its jambs.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:30 PM   #10
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Can't find studs in old apt wall


I read a little about building pocket doors recently. It's difficult even for the experienced. Experienced contractors get the framers to install them, or something like that...I just remember installers hate them and special procedures are used by those with enough experience to know they're needed. You may want to quit while it's not too late, unless you've done it before.

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