How to Build a Metal Framed Floating Wall
A floating wall can have several purposes. Framing a floating wall out of metal will increase the stability of the wall. Building and hanging a floating wall is not difficult to do, and the following article will show you how.
Step 1 – Install the Base Plate
A floating wall uses a wooden base plate that rests directly on top of the concrete. Place the 3-inch thick square pieces of wood on the concrete every 36-inches. Make sure they are in a line and even. Use the measuring tape to ensure this is the case. Once the base plates are down, nail them in place with concrete nails and a nail gun. Stack 2 2x4's across the base plates, but do not nail them in place. This is to determine the clearance for the floating wall.
Step 2 – Cut the Studs
The metal studs will give your floating wall strength and stability. They are cut relatively the same way as wooden studs. Measure the length of the area for the wall. You want 1 stud for every 36-inches. For the height of the stud, measure from the bottom of the floor joist of the room above, to the top of the stacked 2x4's, and then subtract 3 ½-inches. Transfer this number to the metal studs and cut them. Cut 3 metal studs to 36-inches long for each space between studs. If you have 5 stud sections, you will have 15 of these pieces.
Step 3 – Assemble the Floating Wall
It is nearly impossible to build a floating wall vertically. This means it has to be built on the floor, and then raised. Place the first stud on the floor, and then place 3 of the smaller pieces horizontally. Stagger these pieces slightly. Screw these pieces together. Add another stud and 3 more horizontal sections, and screw together. Repeat this process until the basic wall is built. Place the top base plates on the top and secure with screws.
Step 4 – Hang the Floating Wall
Raise the wall and place it on top of the loose 2x4. Center it over the joists and screw in place. If your floating wall is running with the joists, then you need backing, in order to secure the wall. Measure the space between the joists and cut a 2x4 to size. Nail these pieces in place between the joists. Remove the 2x4s on the floor.
Step 5 – Finishing
Measure each section, and transfer the measurements to the drywall. Score the paper side with the utility knife, and then snap the drywall along the score. Install the drywall to the frame with drywall screws. Tape the seams and mud over them and the screws. Sand the mud even with the drywall. Nail the baseboard along the bottom of the floating wall.