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What is a prefabricated partition wall?(1)

Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-02-04      Origin: Site

When you are planning a DIY job that involves altering or fixing an internal partition wall, it is important to understand its construction. The type of internal partition wall you will find in your house depends to a large extent on the age of the house, but also on whether it has been renovated or altered.


You can discover the type of partition wall, firstly by knocking on it to see if it is hollow or solid, and secondly by testing the drill holes to reveal its internal structure.



Brick partition walls

Older buildings built before the 1930s may have been built with brick as partition walls. Brickwork would be one brick thick, constructed using the stretcher bond method and covered with mortar on both sides. Some brick partition walls may be dry-built, with plasterboard fixed to laths on nails. A normal brick wall (plastered) would be approximately 150mm thick and a brick wall with both sides dry-wired would be approximately 200-220mm thick.

The brick walls usually bear the load and support the joists of the first floor rooms. Some walls will extend all the way up to the ground floor and help carry the load of the roof. Therefore, extra care should be taken before removing or altering any brick partition walls (if in any doubt, consult a structural engineer or a qualified builder).


Partition walls

From the 1930s onwards, concrete block began to replace brick as the material of choice for load bearing partition walls at ground level. As with brick partitions, block partition walls may extend to the upper floors to support the roof structure. As with brick walls, extra care should be taken when changing or removing block partitions.


Concrete blocks are usually about 100mm thick and are coated with a thin layer of plaster. This means that a plastered block partition wall will be approximately 125 mm thick. Thinner blocks for partitioning can be found, usually only on non-load bearing walls.


If you think you have a brick partition wall or a block partition wall, choose an area for test drilling and then drill three holes in a triangle at a distance of approximately 50mm. This helps to ensure that at least one hole does not go into the mortar. Brick dust is red or yellow, block dust is grey or black.


Stud partition walls

Timber stud partitions are usually constructed using 100 x 50mm sawn timber studs and can be found in houses of all ages, but are only more often found on the ground floor in older houses. Any modern partitions added to older houses are likely to be timber and plasterboard. The attraction of using timber stud partitions is the cost and speed of installation.


Fasten the dowels (wooden nails fixed to the ceiling and floor) between the top and base boards at approximately 400mm intervals. it is usual to nail some smaller lengths of head rest between the nails to stiffen the structure and prevent the nails from warping after construction. Plasterboard, followed by plaster scrapers, or lath and plaster from older houses, is then affixed to the double-headed studs to provide a glossy finish.

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