How to build and frame a wall - make a 16 Inch plate layout.
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How to Make a 16 Inch Plate Layout
Hi, I'm Bob Smith with Home Remodel Workshop. I’ve made videos on how to layout on, how to build your wall square inside this space, how to build plum walls, how to put your framing members in so your walls are nice and flat. But it’s been brought to my attention that I never actually showed how to do a typical 16-inch layout on a stag wall. Let’s get to work.
A couple of basic tools that you're going to need to do a typical plate layout is a couple of straight plates of course. One representing a top laid of the wall, one representing the bottom plate, but the other tools are going to be required as either a framing square or this is call the speed square either want to work for doing what were going to do.
When doing a typical layout for a wall as to where you're going to put your studs, first thing you do is to lay your two plates next to each other, your top and bottom plates so they are nice and flash here on the end. Just about every standard layout tape that I've ever seen has these red marks at the typical low stud layout. A typical mistakes someone makes is they say, “Oh will I go ahead and I mark this 16 and then I put my stud at one side or the other and we’re going to be good.” These marks are for centers so basically what you have to do is since the width of a typical wall stud is in inch and a half which is 3/4 and 3/4. As your tapes hook on the end of the board go ahead and make your first mark at 3/4 back from every red stud mark. So that would be 15 ¼, put an X over top of where the red is then comedown to 31 ¼ put your X over top where the red is and 47 ¼ and so forth and so on.
Every wall has to start with the stud. You automatically just put an X on the end of your wall. Your beginning of your wall, then you go a head and take your framing square. There is a thin side to your framing square, there is a fat side to your framing square. The thin side to your frame square is exactly the same as an inch and a half typical stud, so what you do is you take your framing square, line it up on your first mark over top of both plates and you put a mark on both sides of the framing square. You put an X in between both of them and you know when these plates go on the place when you're building your wall, that wall frame stud need to sit right between these marks.
A very good question to ask would be is why do I have to concern myself with laying this out 16-inch long center? Why not just throw enough in there that it looks good? Well there are several reasons. The basic most important reason is most building material comes in two foot increments, dry wall comes in 4 foot widths, 8 foot widths or 8 foot lengths, 12 foot lengths. If you start to sheet the dry wall in this very beginning when you get down to the other side that sheet of dry wall should break right in the center of a stud having you ready for the next sheet to come off. You also have to concern yourself what goes in the wall. Insulation for one example is designed to have exactly the right size to fit in between a 16-inch on center layout. Not only is insulation a concern but also medicine cabinets are designed to fit in a typical 16-inch layout as our ironing board fold down, as our pre made forms for tile backers and showers.
So that basically a single piece can slip into this space and give you a more of a water tight and time saving and putting some of your stuff together. Another huge advantage about sticking with a 16-inch layout is there is a lot of things that go on in the outside of the drawer on this wall too. Well by the time it comes time to put down base board or put up crown board or anything that is going to anchor your cabinet to the outside of this wall. It’s nice to know where the studs are because those are your anchoring points.
Now as long as you stick with the 16-inch layout typically if you find one single stud in the center of this wall and get a mark on it you know where every other stud is on the wall, be it for nailing base, be it for screwing cabinets anything that is going to anchor on to this wall it’s a killer time saver when the time comes instead of having a hunt and pack as to where those studs are.
Another thing to consider when laying out your wall is what the existing structure is. Let’s say this represent floor joists that are up above you that you're building the wall to and this is your top plate that you're going to anchor to them. It’s always a good idea particularly if you have a 16 inch layout on your floor joists to try to have your framing members that come below it line up with the 16 inch centers. Even if this is a weight barring wall you're not necessarily trying to hold it better.
However if there were a heat run coming through this space that you need to cut this plate out you need to turn that heat run and bring it down into this space. If you have a wall stud layout that is right in the center of these two floor joists you're going to have to move framing from side to side to get out of the way of your utilities. Or if you have electrical panel that’s going to go in this space down here and you have a lot of a electrical feeds coming down and you like to drill several holes in this top plate to have a plenty of room to bring him down. It’s always better to have it center over top of your existing framing.
So there you go. That is the ABC’s of how and why you layout a 16-inch on center wall the way we typically do it in the field. I hope you found this information useful and if you need the next step like I have mentioned in the earlier part of the video we have many other videos that pertain just to building walls, anchoring them and set them up making them straight. I'm Bob Smith with Home Remodel Workshop. I hope you found this useful. Thanks.