columns -sheetrock or MDF? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 03-01-2011, 12:25 AM - Thread Starter
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I have seen wall columns made from either MDF or sheetrock. I will be installing two up against a finished wall in a multiuse/media room. Both will have sconces mounted on them and one will house a few switches.

I think sheetrock would be easier to deal with but this is all new to me. Are there reasons to choose one over the other for this application? Obviously sheetrock is easier to cut to place the switch boxes, but it also requires more work to "finish".

Can you guys share your thoughts about this and why you did it whatever way it was you built yours? Also I gather I should stuff these with something to prevent having a hallow cavity, correct? What to use that would be safe with the electrical (though with the junction boxes that shouldn't matter anyway)?
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post #2 of 20 Old 03-01-2011, 05:11 AM
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If you're going to use your columns as speaker locations, then MDF and design the columns so you can remove them to get to the speakers.

Placing sconces on columns ... generally not a good idea.

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post #3 of 20 Old 03-01-2011, 05:26 AM
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IMHO you should build them like furniture. When was the last time you saw a drywall coffee table?

It would help if you posted a sketch of your design. Yes, fill with insulation. Be sure that they are either shorter than the room or made in sections otherwise you will never tip them up, Hide the gap with molding.


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post #4 of 20 Old 03-01-2011, 06:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

Placing sconces on columns ... generally not a good idea.

Please explain why this is not a good idea.


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post #5 of 20 Old 03-01-2011, 06:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

Placing sconces on columns ... generally not a good idea.

Yes, please do explain. I am building 7 columns for my theater room specifically to install my light sconces, which is an absolute necessity in my situation. My theater room is in a basement with paneled walls that are mounted on flat furring strips to the concrete block behind - there is absolutely no space behind the paneling for even low-profile junction boxes. So, the whole purpose of the columns is to provide the needed space for junction boxes behind my lighting fixtures...I only plan to make my columns out of 2x3 framing, so they will be less than 3" deep, and 14" wide.

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post #6 of 20 Old 03-01-2011, 12:20 PM
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What about just framing the columns and covering with fabric, using fabric tracts. Easy to access by just pulling fabric off, use GOM so you don't get reflections (except from the frame), and it can be secured onto the wall permanently. Treat wall behingd the column fabric just as you'd treat the wall next to it.
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post #7 of 20 Old 03-01-2011, 12:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uscmatt99 View Post

What about just framing the columns and covering with fabric, using fabric tracts. Easy to access by just pulling fabric off, use GOM so you don't get reflections (except from the frame), and it can be secured onto the wall permanently. Treat wall behingd the column fabric just as you'd treat the wall next to it.

This is how mine are built and I'm pleased. They are filled with insulation, and do have an appreciable impact on the room reflections. If you look at the photos of mine, keep in mind they aren't finished. I plan for some decorative trim to be applied.

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post #8 of 20 Old 03-01-2011, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
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I'll post a sketch when I get home. No, this will be a multi use room and the way the seating is and the windows are put the columns in a poor position for speaker placement. It will merely be for asthetics, a sconce, and to match a pushput in the wall on the opposite side of the room.

I guess I was just thinking of them like a sofit that is sheet rocked but vertical instead of horizontal.

Also am curious about the recommendation of not using it for a sconce.
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post #9 of 20 Old 03-01-2011, 01:54 PM
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Mine are stick framed from 2x2s, and will be fabric covered - will fill with insulation if measurements indicate I need more trapping.


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post #10 of 20 Old 03-01-2011, 02:24 PM
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Quote:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine
Placing sconces on columns ... generally not a good idea.

Please explain why this is not a good idea.

Let's see. The vast majority of home theater rooms are width constrained. Good. So let's see, let's put in columns (to hide fabric seams, house surround speakers, hide the liquor from my guests, whatever). So now that we have columns sticking into the room, let's also put sconces on the columns so they stick even further into the room and let's make certain they are at head height so every one can bump into them.

Quote:


My theater room is in a basement with paneled walls that are mounted on flat furring strips to the concrete block behind - there is absolutely no space behind the paneling for even low-profile junction boxes. So, the whole purpose of the columns is to provide the needed space for junction boxes behind my lighting fixtures...

Go to your electrical supply house and ask them to show you a pancake box.

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post #11 of 20 Old 03-01-2011, 02:47 PM
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Mine are built with 3/4" mdf and the joints reinforced internally with (glued/screwed) 2x2s. I then knocked the vertical edges down with a router, and covered mine with GOM. They do enclose my "bookshelf style" surround speakers, and are also stuffed internally with the fluffy stuff. They are trimmed at the top and bottom per "Bigs" suggestion.

Dennis makes a good point about sconces -vs- room width, in my case I had ample width and low profile sconces, and fortunately no head bumps in 2.5 years..

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post #12 of 20 Old 03-01-2011, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

Let's see. The vast majority of home theater rooms are width constrained. Good. So let's see, let's put in columns (to hide fabric seams, house surround speakers, hide the liquor from my guests, whatever). So now that we have columns sticking into the room, let's also put sconces on the columns so they stick even further into the room and let's make certain they are at head height so every one can bump into them.

Ah, I see. Actually mine will be totally out of the way. Since it is not a dedicated theater space I have two couches in an L shape. The columns (was orginally planning on one) will go in the space between the two couches on the right (left side looking at this image below)between the two windows. I have a lamp there that I would love to get rid of. The other one will go next to the right front speaker, basically to balance the first one and the one on the opposite side of the room). I'm using the new ones to balance the columns on the left side that are there to hide structural or electrical equipment already present (you can only see one upfront - the other is to the left of the couch where that closet butts out into the room to hide the metal pole supporting the spanning beam).

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post #13 of 20 Old 03-01-2011, 04:38 PM
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I did mdf but would use 2x2 if I did em again.


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post #14 of 20 Old 03-01-2011, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
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I did mdf but would use 2x2 if I did em again.

Any particular reason that you say that?
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post #15 of 20 Old 03-03-2011, 07:07 PM
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I really wish I read this type of thread before....building column with Sheetrock is a mess. Do not build with sheetrock....my opinion...but make sure the mating surface is without any gap, when u do with MDF..

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post #16 of 20 Old 02-08-2012, 10:00 PM
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THREAD REVIVAL: Well, I finally installed my wall columns - constructed with 2x3 framing and 1/4" hardwood underlayment panels (hard and very smooth finish) from Lowe's. My theater room area is 13'x25', so I have no issues with people bumping their heads on the sconces protruding from the columns. I still need to install some of the baseboards and all the crown moulding on the columns, but they are looking mighty fine so far to me...












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post #17 of 20 Old 01-01-2013, 05:58 PM
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I finished framing my columns with 2x4s but I am having a problem figuring out how to add removable picture framing with fabric to hide speakers. Any help is appreciated!

12-29-12Columns002_zpsec7a6170.jpg

I was planning on using this moulding
image_zpsf0d47e59.jpg
Or
image_zps2c22e0ae.jpg

Am I not using the correct moulding?


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post #18 of 20 Old 01-01-2013, 07:17 PM
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What is all that framing for? Rip it out. build three sided boxes with MDF, wrap in fabric and staple on the back edge, Add speakers, stand in place on the wall, screw to blocking, then add what ever molding on the front you want,


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post #19 of 20 Old 01-02-2013, 05:39 AM
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I'm going for this type of look.
image_zps6d846718.jpg

image_zps7c50436a.jpg

The framing I have in place should be good to attach MDF to for a strong box. I just need to make the fabric panels removable


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post #20 of 20 Old 01-02-2013, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry M View Post

I finished framing my columns with 2x4s but I am having a problem figuring out how to add removable picture framing with fabric to hide speakers. Any help is appreciated!
12-29-12Columns002_zpsec7a6170.jpg
I was planning on using this moulding
image_zpsf0d47e59.jpg
Or
image_zps2c22e0ae.jpg
Am I not using the correct moulding?

My colums have no trim on the edges. So I just made a three sided MDF cover that friction fits over the 2x3 frame on the upper section above the chair rail. The fabric folded over the edges provides a smug fit that also prevents rattle. The lower section is nailed down. The crown moulding is nailed down as well.

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