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Old 08-06-2008, 03:34 PM   #1
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Framing a basement w/ aluminum studs


I am attempting to install aluminum studs in my basement. I have done wood before. How difficult will it be using aluminum.

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Old 08-06-2008, 04:05 PM   #2
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Framing a basement w/ aluminum studs


IMO, I wouldn't even put aluminum studs down there...stick with wood.

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Old 08-06-2008, 04:20 PM   #3
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Framing a basement w/ aluminum studs


Metal studs are steel, not aluminum. Installing steel studs is a different skill set than conventional carpentry, and requires a few different tools. You'll need a metal cutoff saw (like a miter saw), screwgun, ramset gun, and a good set of shears for various cuts.

Otherwise, the same general techniques apply to metal that apply to wood.
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Old 08-06-2008, 06:13 PM   #4
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Framing a basement w/ aluminum studs


The use of metal/steel framing also requires the use of trim-head screws, and other fastening systems to mount things onto the walls, including baseboard and casing. Steel framing also benefits from the use of thicker 5/8" Sheetrock, to gain it's rigidity. There is a whole concept to the use of steel framing, that is nothing at all, like installing/assembling wood framing. We use and install steel framing on commercial and industrial job sites. Some is simple, some is very, very complex. I suggest to the average DIYer - Stick with wood.
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Old 08-06-2008, 06:30 PM   #5
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Framing a basement w/ aluminum studs


In residential basement construction, I wouldn't use steel either...
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Old 08-06-2008, 07:09 PM   #6
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Framing a basement w/ aluminum studs


I got sidetracked earlier and forgot to put in my post that it isn't a great idea for residential construction. You'll have to install wood blocking for attachment of studs, crown, door and window casing, cabinets, toilet paper holders, towel bars, etc. There just aren't really any big advantages to using it.
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Old 08-06-2008, 07:24 PM   #7
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Framing a basement w/ aluminum studs


I agree! stick with wood. Even the batt fiberglass insulation has to be made for metal studs. ( Full 16" width).
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Old 08-06-2008, 09:27 PM   #8
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Framing a basement w/ aluminum studs


I used steel studs in my kitchen remodel, and found them very easy to install, and quite fast. You cut them with a tin snip, screw them in place with a special screw, and if you mess up, just unscrew it and try again. Every "board" is straight, and they are easier to handle than wood. It was about twice as fast as framing with studs. I also put up some walls in my basement with steel studs. I would recommend getting a heavier gauge, and not the 24 gauge stuff you can find at Home Depot.

On the downside they don't offer near the rigidity of a stud wall, and if you are going to hang cabinets, you need to plan ahead and make sure you have backing in the right places. Anyway, thats my 2 cents, I'm the quintessential amateur DIY'er.
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Old 08-07-2008, 07:34 AM   #9
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Framing a basement w/ aluminum studs


For sure, we use steel studs elsewhere (viz bulkheads) and we love them but the OP was talking about basements...there we find there are too many dangerous, mostly electrical, issues with metal studs to think they're worth it.
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Old 08-07-2008, 08:48 AM   #10
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Framing a basement w/ aluminum studs


Yes, thats an excellent point.
I did all new wiring in my projects, so I was able to make sure everything was safe and met code. When dealing with conducting studs, as opposed to insulating studs, wiring has to deal with some new issues. They are readily surmountable in new construction, but retrofitting around existing electrical could be a challenge.
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Old 08-07-2008, 08:54 AM   #11
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Framing a basement w/ aluminum studs


this is a good combination and easiest to work with... I know this is not the norm: wood mixed with steels.... but is the best in my opinion....

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