How to Build a Floating Wall
If you have an area that does not require a load bearing wall but still needs a separation, you will probably build a floating wall. Follow these steps to successfully complete this project.
Step 1 - Plan for the Floating Wall
Figure out where the wall is going to be and mark that area of the floor with a marker. An easier thing to do would be to lay a chalk line down there so you have a straight edge to reference. Use screws or an adhesive to lay the track for the wall along that long. This will be what the studs will attach to eventually. Use a level and the end support to set up the ceiling track for the studs as well.
Step 2 - Attach the Studs for the Wall
Start with the stud along the wall that you are partitioning to. From there, install all of the metal studs vertically, and allow a ¼-inch difference in height for each so that the wall can expand and contract with the seasons. Make sure that all of the studs are secure before continuing because you will have to attach the remainder of the wall to these studs, as well as anything you wish to hang on the wall.
Step 3 - Attach the Wall Board
Using screws or some sort of adhesive, attach the wall board you plan to use to each of the studs. Only do this for one side initially to allow for insulation. Make the wall board 1 inch shorter than the floor to ceiling height to allow for expansion. You should have a ½” gap between the wall board and the ceiling, and another gap of the same height from the floor.
Step 4 - Insulate the Floating Wall
On the open side of the wall, install whatever insulation you wish. This will help soundproof the area and may help energy usage, depending on the location. At this time, it would also be advised that you put in any necessary plumbing or electrical wiring before the wall gets sealed up. If you are not familiar with how to do any of this, please seek professional help.
Step 5 - Cover up the Remains of the Wall
After you have filled the wall with any necessary components, put the remaining wall board on the other side, just as you did before. Use screws if you are using drywall or any heavy material, and then cover with tape before texturing.
Step 6 - Finish Your Floating Wall
Adhere the finish that you want to the wall, be it wainscoting, panels, wallpaper, or texturing. Make sure that you put screws into the studs if the material is particularly heavy. Otherwise, liquid nails should be just fine. If you wish to paint, do so as well. Add trim to the top and bottom the cover up the gaps for expansion. Also paint those accordingly. Allow the paint to dry, and your wall should be complete.