I'm building closet in an area where every inch counts. I was
wondering about the poissiblity of turning the 2by's on the their
sides and making 1.5" thick walls. Is that acceptable? I appriate your
It depends on the location of the wall and what kind of "traffic /
use" the wall will see.
Walls that hide pocket doors often have studs turned sideways and they
"work" (well kinda, they're pretty flexible when just covered with dry
I've built a couple "thin walls" but on the inside of the closet
instead of using drywall, I used the cheapest multi-ply plywood (like
Baltic Birch but not the good stuff).....
Thin plywood (only 1/2") and I ran the stiff direction of the plywood
with the "studs". Nailed (16 gage brad nailer or 16 gage staples) the
crap out of it (like 2" o/c) to create a stiff composite member floor
to ceiling. You could glue it as well but that's too "permanent" for
me. If you wanted it really stiff / strong...plywood on both sides.
Skim coat with drywall mud or spray texture on the visible side and it
will look like just like drywall.
I realize that thinner plywood is a available but the objective is to
achieve composite structural behavior (like an I-beam) .....
Multi-ply plywood at 1/2" is about as thin as you can go and still
have build a wall that has rigid global behavior (bottom plate to top
plate stiffness) AND won't "oil can" locally when someone
pushes on the wall.
Thin veneer type plywood won't adequately span from stud to stud.
If you went down to 1/4" or 3/16" the resulting wall would be
substantially less stiff than even 1/2" drywall.
One thing to keep in mind is that you may need or want electrical
outlets in these walls. If so, a standard single gang box certainly
The solution is to use a 1.5" deep 4" x 4" or 4 9/16" x 4 9/16" square
box (depending on box fill). The square box is covered by a single
gang mud ring of depth equal to the finish layer (e.g. 1/2" drywall).
I'm not sure if these parts are available in plastic, they are
definitely available in metal.
I seem to also remember a specialty "shallow but wide" plastic box
that would work.
On Wed, 24 Dec 2008 12:17:34 -0800 (PST), Aaron Fude
There are 1.5" thick walls in my house where there are pocket doors.
Never had a problem with them. Obviously, the thinner walls are not
as strong, not as insulating, and may require special plumbing/wiring.
If you have a table saw you could rip 2x4's in half and piut them
perpendicular to the length of the wall. That would probably have less
flexing than using 2x4's sideways. You could also buy 2x2's, but they
cost more that 2x4's. About 10years ago we had a big flood in certain
parts of town, and afterwards I was replacing an a/c and heat system in
one that had gotten about 3 feet of water. They had the drywall removed
4 feet high and I noticed that several interior walls were built just
like you are talkiing about. House was about 30 y/o at the time, so I
guss they never had any problems. Larry
I recently had to tear out drywall where the studs had been turned
sideways. It had bowed quite a bit into the kitchen from the adjoining
bathroom. We thought it may have been mould. Thankfully not the case.
The wall was built this way on both sides to accomodate the plumbing
from the bath and sink. I clamped and drew the bowed studs back
towards the bath side of the wall and glued/screwed 1/4 inch plywood
gussets everywhere. So my thoughts are; Don't do it. Tom
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