When it comes to remodeling your home or basement finishing, there are a lot of different types of studs to choose from. But take a trip down to the hardware store, and you’ll find that there are only two main types of studs to choose from: Wood and Metal.
Why is that, exactly?
According to the pros, there are a lot of benefits to using both steel studs or wooden studs. However, a lot of builders tend to prefer one type or the other. What’s with the big debate? And, more importantly, which one is truly better?
In this review, we’ll look at the biggest benefits of both metal studs and wood studs. We’ll also discuss the best ways to make these kinds of studs work best depending on your project. You can decide which type of stud you like best; here, we will present all the facts to help move your decision along.
There used to be a time where wood studs were the most common studs available in any market. Now, you’d be hard-pressed to find them over steel studs. What’s the deal?
Taking a closer look at the ins and outs of wooden studs may give insight as to why the industry has started to move away from them. While they may be more difficult to find, you can still manage to gather some up if you discover these studs to be the perfect choice for your remodeling project.
Since before the development of modern metal applications, wood was used to build pretty much everything. Wooden studs can provide a lot of support for a variety of different structures.
The average home builder uses mostly wood to complete his or her projects. This is largely based in a traditional mindset, but wooden studs are a safe and practical way to build a structure.
Absolutely not! Just because the market has seen an influx of steel and metal studs, doesn’t mean that wood is any less of a viable choice. As mentioned above, many professional construction workers prefer wood over steel, and it’s an ideal choice for projects that involve other wooden parts as well.
For example, if you are working on a project that involves windows or doorways, it’s preferable to use wooden studs as opposed to steel ones. This makes it easier for you to be able to nail something into the door or window at a later point.
At your local hardware store, you’ll find plenty of wooden stud options available. You can ask a friendly staff member to help you find the best recommendations to fit your specific project as well.
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There are a huge variety of sizes when it comes to wooden studs. You can find anything as small as a 2”x4” and 2”x6”, or something as large as a 2”x8”. These kinds of studs are made from softwood trees like pine and spruce, and are referred to as light structural lumber.
Most home projects don’t require anything larger than one of the standard sizes. However, you may also be able to find studs that are made of cedar or even hardwood depending on the quality level you are striving for.
As many stud options as there are, there are even more screw options to pick from. Homeowners and first-time remodelers often get confused as to which product works best with which material.
There are a couple of really good options you could go with for your wooden studs. The absolute best option to go with would be nails, as almost nothing is sturdier than hammering in your finished piece.
You could also go with plastic or metal screws to finish your piece. Just make sure you don’t force it in there, as the integrity of the wood can wear over time and open up a hole that’s too big to work with.
While some newer construction workers may boast that steel studs have every advantage over wood, there are a surprising amount of benefits that come from using a traditional, sturdy wooden stud. There’s still a lot of demand for them in the industry, and that’s for a good reason.
Interested in finding out what really sets wooden studs apart from their steel counterparts? Check out the following list of pros below:
There are a couple of drawbacks to consider when thinking about wooden studs and metal studs. Depending on the type of project, you may want to take these factors into consideration when making your choice as well.
The following cons of wooden studs are why so many new home builders are making the switch to steel:
You can take a look at our basement finishing pricing to get an idea of costs.
Structural metal studs are some of the most commonly seen studs in the hardware store. But are they the most used in actual construction projects? Let’s find out.
Metal wall studs, which are typically composed of steel, are usually intended for use in basement walls. They can also help design DIY partition walls or other parts of simple metal structures.
Metal framing studs are used to support a non-load-bearing wall. This kind of wall is commonly found at Home Depot or Lowe’s, and is often referred to as light-gauge metal framing. Temporary structures and partitions are usually constructed with this kind of material. Framing with metal studs is generally a simple, quick, and affordable process.
There’s a huge debate over whether or not a steel stud can be used in a wooden frame. The general verdict is that it definitely can, and since steel is much more lightweight than wood, it wouldn’t cause the wood to be worn or stretched down.
Just like with wooden studs, there are a variety of options to choose from with steel. The only material you CANNOT use on steel studs is traditional nails. There is no way you can hammer into a steel structure with a nail. Only wood is puncturable.
You can use a drywall screw for metal studs to make up for the lack of nails available. Drywall screws are very easy to insert, and they are easy to remove as well in case you make a mistake. Remember to think structurally, as the placement of the studs can determine the integrity of the entire frame.
There are even more standard sizes of steel studs than there are wooden studs.The standard metal stud sizes range anywhere from 2 ½” to 14” and above. The size of the stud depends on the depth of the frame it’s being attached to.
For special projects, you can use TV mount metal studs, which are perfect for custom or DIY projects. Whether you have a new flat-screen TV you’d like to mount on the wall for your basement, or you want to make some more steel frames that will sit sturdily in the room, you can use TV mount studs to keep them in place.
These are special studs that will allow you to firmly attach your mount into the wood or drywall-based wall. A load-bearing wall can definitely support the weight of a television or a similar item.
According to the pros, there are a lot of benefits to take advantage of when it comes to metal studs. If you’re working on a special basement project, or you want to remodel a single room in your house, you might want to consider the pros of metal studs when compared to traditional wooden studs.
Check out some of the biggest benefits below:
Despite all of the advantages that metal studs have to offer, there are a few drawbacks that you should caution yourself to remember. Steel studs are not good for all projects, and they may not be the ideal choice for you if you are working on a remodel alone.
Bear in mind the following cons:
When it comes down to it, it’s completely your choice whether you want to stick with traditional wood or venture into more reliable metal. There are clear advantages and certain disadvantages to both, and not all projects can accommodate one or the other.
Think about the project you’re working on. Do you need a load-bearing wall? Are you mounting a TV? These plans can weigh heavily on your decision-making process. While steel studs are affordable, durable, and fireproof, wooden studs are a strong and reliable classic that prove essential for certain tasks.