Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2022-02-09 Origin: Site
Timber stud partition walls are sometimes load-bearing, but are not usually load-bearing in a standard construction house. The thinner stud partitions (using 75 x 50mm studs) were never load bearing. Houses built after about 1960 will have roof trusses supported by external walls, which means that the walls on the ground floor are usually timber framed walls. A tap on the wall will show whether it is studs and plasterboard or studs and lath and plaster. A few test holes can quickly tell you which.
In houses built in the last 20 years you may start to see prefabricated partition wall panels being used. These consist of a wooden frame with a plasterboard outer skin, and a crisscrossed cardboard core (like an old egg carton). These panels are usually only about 50mm thick and should therefore be easy to identify. Each prefabricated panel is approximately 1200mm wide, with only wooden pegs at the end of each panel.
Prefabricated partition wall panels are never used as load-bearing walls, they are too thin, but can be found on the top and bottom or in both. If new partitions are to be added to a room, prefabricated panels are a very simple option.
The thickness of a solid wall is usually only the length of a standard brick (or 225mm). On buildings with more than 2 storeys, the lower wall may be 'half brick' or 345mm thick. This is to carry the greater burden of the floors above. Solid walls are usually found on older houses rather than on newer ones. One of the main problems with solid walls is that they offer less protection to the elements. Water can penetrate a wall and penetrate a house more easily than a hollow wall.
The cavity wall consists of two separate 'leaves' with a small gap between them (50 mm). Each of the two leaves is usually usually only the thickness of a brick (about 100 mm). In modern houses, lightweight concrete blocks may form the internal leaves as they are much cheaper and more thermally efficient than bricks. The two leaves are tied together by means of wall ties for added strength. Cavity walls usually provide better insulation because water is less likely to leak through and the air cavity acts as an additional layer of insulation. In addition, cavity wall insulation can be injected/placed into the cavity.
If you need to drill through the walls of the cavity for one or two leaves, care needs to be taken to avoid as much debris falling into the cavity as possible. This builds up on the wall tie and creates a bridge to allow moisture to pass through the cavity into the inner leaves.
Partition walls are almost always (in modern houses anyway) always constructed as timber (standing) frames covered with plasterboard and plaster. Older houses may have the same basic structure, but with slats (thin strips of wood nailed to studs) instead of plasterboard. The hollow in the middle usually carries the cables for the lighting system etc. Partition walls can often be removed or doors cut into them without affecting the stability of the house.