A floating wall is a wall that is anchored to the floor, but is not anchored to the ceiling or floor joists. Natural movement occurs as the home settles. This can cause walls to shift, which can damage them. If you've ever been in a home with plaster covering the walls or ceiling and you see cracks, they're due to this movement of the home. A floating wall can help prevent this because they aren't directly connected to the ceiling or floor joists, and they can move up and down slightly with the home.
If you have some basic carpentry knowledge and commonly found household tools, you can install a floating wall. There is a misconception that a floating wall is not strong enough to be able to support the home if anything should fall or rest upon it. A floating wall is just as strong as any other wall in the home, assuming they are properly anchored. This article will show you how to do properly anchor a floating wall.
Step 1: The Base Plate
In order for a floating wall to do the job it was meant to do, it has to be vertically precise. Use the measurements of your floating wall and determine where you want it installed. Place the base plate down, but don't attach it just yet. Re-check your measurements. Add your weight to the base plate and hold the 2x4 stud against it. Use the level on the stud until you determine the precise vertical point and mark it. When you're sure it's perfect, you can attach the base plate to the concrete with the concrete nails and nail gun. Lay down the blocks to support the floating wall without nailing them to the base plate.
Step 2: The Top Plate
Keep in mind that the space between the floating wall and the ceiling can be, at most, 1-1/2" or at least 3/4". The space between them is your choice. Use the measurements and the level as a guide, and line the top plate up with the floating wall. Attach the top plate to the ceiling joists with some nails.
Step 3: Installing the Floating Wall
Lift your floating wall on top of the blocks that are sitting on top of the base plate. When the wall is up, you can check your spaces and the measurements again. Attach the "L" brackets to the top of the floating wall and the top plate. These will help suspend the wall while allowing slight movement. Measure from center of the bottom wall frame every 36 inches and make a pilot hole. Insert 60d nails in the holes through the base plate then remove the wood block. Install drywall to the wall from the top to where the base plate starts. Nail molding to the base plate to cover the open area.