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Old 11-04-2013, 01:06 PM   #1
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Sill plate, sole plate, bottom plate -- please "un"-confuse me.


The more I read the more confused I'm getting.

Is this right?
Sill plate is PT lumber used on top of a concrete foundation on the bottom of a wall.
Bottom plate is standard lumber on wood on the bottom of a wall.
Sole plate is PT lumber on a concrete floor as used in a basement partition wall.

Is this right? Trying to get my terms straight so I can talk properly.

Spinoff question - In a basement partition wall on concrete, would you use a bottom plate on top of a sole/sill plate? Or just nail the studs directly into the PT lumber?

Thank you.
- Dave

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Old 11-04-2013, 01:21 PM   #2
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Sill plate, sole plate, bottom plate -- please "un"-confuse me.


I have always heard that the sole plate is the bottom plate of a wood framed wall.

sill plate is as you defined.

In a basement I'd just nail the studs into a PT plate (as long as the wall is not load bearing).

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Old 11-04-2013, 01:40 PM   #3
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Sill plate, sole plate, bottom plate -- please "un"-confuse me.


Everything in construction has at least two names, and most have three. Sometimes they mean exactly the same thing and the differences are regional. Sometimes they have subtle differences, but often times the differences aren't well known and so the terms are used interchangeably. My advice to you is to strive to recognize what terms are used interchangeably, and then make the distinction based on context. So, if you and I were to talk about building an exterior wall on a concrete or block foundation, which of the three terms I use shouldn't matter (btw, let me throw in a fourth: mud sill). If you let it matter, you'll get frustrated, and if you go around correcting people, you'll frustrate them.

I agree with GBrackins. 99% of the time, the wall calls for a single PT 2x resting on the concrete.
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Old 11-04-2013, 01:45 PM   #4
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Sill plate, sole plate, bottom plate -- please "un"-confuse me.


The nails need to be ACQ when nailing into pressure treated wood.
If not they will shortly rust out.
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Old 11-04-2013, 02:12 PM   #5
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Sill plate, sole plate, bottom plate -- please "un"-confuse me.


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Everything in construction has at least two names, and most have three. Sometimes they mean exactly the same thing and the differences are regional. Sometimes they have subtle differences, but often times the differences aren't well known and so the terms are used interchangeably. My advice to you is to strive to recognize what terms are used interchangeably, and then make the distinction based on context. So, if you and I were to talk about building an exterior wall on a concrete or block foundation, which of the three terms I use shouldn't matter (btw, let me throw in a fourth: mud sill). If you let it matter, you'll get frustrated, and if you go around correcting people, you'll frustrate them.

I agree with GBrackins. 99% of the time, the wall calls for a single PT 2x resting on the concrete.
Great answer, thank you. So basically for my purposes of a basement dividing wall on concrete, the bottom piece of PT would be sole plate. If I called it a bottom plate, I wouldn't get crucified either?

Regarding the nails, can I use the nails for treated throughout the whole wall, or would I need to buy another box of "regular" nails for the rest of the wall? For someone who does this all the time, that may be a waste, but, I will never go through the whole box for PT.

Just like I had to buy 3,655 x (15) gauge 3 1/2" nails because I couldn't find 1000-packs anywhere, to do my base trim. Life time supply.
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Old 11-04-2013, 02:18 PM   #6
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Sill plate, sole plate, bottom plate -- please "un"-confuse me.


While we're on the subject, instead of creating a new thread (Unless you prefer I do, I will, or you can split this off...)

I'm building a non-load bearing wall under a column-supported triple 2x header. Here is a quick sketch-up. Everything look good? Studs 16" OC. Door framing is for interior French Doors. It's in a basement, rental house. Initial use will probably be for a bedroom, however may not always be so I thought having the French Doors would offer more versatility to someone who may want a more open space for XYZ.


So foam gasket, then Ramset gun (I love new tools) to attach the sole plate.

Is my door frame & header done correctly?



Thank you!

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Old 11-04-2013, 02:25 PM   #7
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Sill plate, sole plate, bottom plate -- please "un"-confuse me.


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Great answer, thank you. So basically for my purposes of a basement dividing wall on concrete, the bottom piece of PT would be sole plate. If I called it a bottom plate, I wouldn't get crucified either?

Regarding the nails, can I use the nails for treated throughout the whole wall, or would I need to buy another box of "regular" nails for the rest of the wall? For someone who does this all the time, that may be a waste, but, I will never go through the whole box for PT.

Just like I had to buy 3,655 x (15) gauge 3 1/2" nails because I couldn't find 1000-packs anywhere, to do my base trim. Life time supply.
No normal person will crucify you. There are a lot of abnormal people out there. Personally, I only worry about what the normal ones think of me, and even then...

Yeah. For sure you can use hot dip galvanized nails in regular wood.

I know what you mean. Same thing with cooking. Don't you hate that recipe that requires that one spice you'll probably never use again and costs $5 for the smallest quantity?
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Old 11-04-2013, 02:28 PM   #8
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Sill plate, sole plate, bottom plate -- please "un"-confuse me.


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No normal person will crucify you. There are a lot of abnormal people out there. Personally, I only worry about what the normal ones think of me, and even then...

Yeah. For sure you can use hot dip galvanized nails in regular wood.

I know what you mean. Same thing with cooking. Don't you hate that recipe that requires that one spice you'll probably never use again and costs $5 for the smallest quantity?
Well if they do crucify me, at least I won't have to worry about the nails rusting.

Yes we have so many spices (double really) because whenever the wife gets a recipe, can "never remember" if she has it at home already. How much mustard powder do we need.
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Old 11-04-2013, 02:30 PM   #9
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Sill plate, sole plate, bottom plate -- please "un"-confuse me.


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While we're on the subject, instead of creating a new thread (Unless you prefer I do, I will, or you can split this off...) [snip]
It doesn't get much simpler than that. One thing: there's really no reason for that 2x6 header (assuming the existing beam is properly sized and supported).
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Old 11-04-2013, 02:40 PM   #10
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Sill plate, sole plate, bottom plate -- please "un"-confuse me.


Existing beam is properly supported on the columns. I was going with the header like that mainly because it's such a small gap, easier to rip and fill vs doing cripples. Not much added expense really.

Build it on the floor, put it in place, then lastly cut out the PT from the opening? (Assuming everything is reasonably level/straight).

I have a couple options. Since it's a triple-2x header (4.5"), 2x4s aren't going to work without furring them (time consuming and PITA).

1. Run full-width 2x6s. Furr the main support beam 1" (1" plywood strips above the studs?)
...........(I have HVAC ducting needing a bulkhead on the other side,
...........that may be a good or bad reason to put the extra inch on the duct side?)
2. Rip the 2x6 studs down to 4.5", custom order frame width for doors.
3. Rip the 2x6 studs down to 4.5", install door for 2x4 wall & trim out the rest.

Last edited by Dave88LX; 11-04-2013 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 11-04-2013, 02:51 PM   #11
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Sill plate, sole plate, bottom plate -- please "un"-confuse me.


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Existing beam is properly supported on the columns. I was going with the header like that mainly because it's such a small gap, easier to rip and fill vs doing cripples. Not much added expense really.
Yep. I figured. Just wanted to point out it's not structurally required. If there's no drywall seam over the opening, I personally would just use a 2x4 header and avoid the hassle of ripping the 2x6's, and leave out cripples. They would serve only as a nailing surface. With the drywall fastened 6"OC along the 2x4 header and the top-plate, and the two being only a few inches apart, you really don't need cripples to fasten to.
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Old 11-04-2013, 02:55 PM   #12
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Sill plate, sole plate, bottom plate -- please "un"-confuse me.


That does make a lot of sense too. Should be adequate width for nailing trim to also.
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Old 11-04-2013, 04:33 PM   #13
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Sill plate, sole plate, bottom plate -- please "un"-confuse me.


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Build it on the floor, put it in place, then lastly cut out the PT from the opening? (Assuming everything is reasonably level/straight).

I have a couple options. Since it's a triple-2x header (4.5"), 2x4s aren't going to work without furring them (time consuming and PITA).
Yes. Cut the plate section out after erecting the wall.

I would first box up the beam with wood or drywall, then build the the 2x4 wall under it. If I wasn't too concerned with aesthetics, I might even paint the beam the same color as the walls and not bother boxing it up. Hard to say without a pic to provide important details otherwise left to our imaginations (hint, hint...)
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Old 11-04-2013, 07:50 PM   #14
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Sill plate, sole plate, bottom plate -- please "un"-confuse me.


sole plate, bottom plate, shoe are typically the same thing. the plate of a wall thats on the floor.

a mudsil is hte pressure treated plate that connects to the foundation wall
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:00 PM   #15
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Sill plate, sole plate, bottom plate -- please "un"-confuse me.


OK you asked...




Upper right room in this picture:



Existing:



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