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Hi fellas...i am finishing the basement..and ht room, i have always done wood walls in the past....now several people are telling me to go steel..easier etc. Any concensis [sp] here on what is better? Anything major i should be aware of? Thanks for any advice


asr
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramw5p
Hi fellas...i am finishing the basement..and ht room, i have always done wood walls in the past....now several people are telling me to go steel..easier etc. Any concensis [sp] here on what is better? Anything major i should be aware of? Thanks for any advice


asr
ramw,


there are consequences with respect to sound isolation for this choice.


i agree that steel studs are easier to work with, BTW.


But, thick gauge steel studs (like, say, 14 gauge) will behave basically like wood studs with respect to sound isolation. Thin gauge (25 gauge non load-bearing) studs will behave like resilient channel on wood studs, and in between the extremes for steel stud thickness they will fall somewhere in between.


resilient channel (or thin gauge steel studs) will yield higher STC and higher mid/high frequency sound isolation, but less below 100hz.


Brian
 

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I am in the middle of my basement finish. I used steel studs on all of the walls except the bathroom and bar area where I knew I would be hanging cabinets.


I would not use steel again.


In my opinion, steel is INITIALLY easier. It is easier to carry, takes up less space when being stored, it requires fewer tools, it is straight, and goes up faster than wood. After the initial build however, it is a major pain. It will not support anything like soffits or columns without the addition of some type of backing. Hanging electrical boxes is not as easy. It is true that you don't have to drill holes for electrical wire, but you do have to put grommets in all of the pre-drilled holes so the metal does not cut the wire. If you find that you have to add additional nailers for drywall in the corners, it is more difficult. You even have to plan ahead for your base trim so you have something to attach it too. Doorways still need to be framed in wood as well.


I'm sure some people really like steel studs, but for me, never again.


Just my opinion...

- Scott
 

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I am using steel studs as well. No problems so far. I am creating all the sofits with a little work, still WAY easier than wood. the only question I have is that I have all the electric metal conduit running through the pre-cut holes. I am concerned that they will rattle, is there a rubber piece that coveres the hole? Great Stuff? what about the part where the drywall will attach to the steel?
 

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In my previous house I used the lighter gauge steel studs. I agree 100% with ScottJ. Framing was initially a lot quicker and easier than wood. Also, running electical wires was a breeze with the steel studs. Simply throw a grommtt in and you're good to go. No holes to cut.


However, once I got to hanging dry wall, it all went down hill. Often the drywall nails would not "catch" the steel stud and the stud would twist. Or, the screw would strip out. I had a lot of screws pop out after sitting for a while.


All I can say is that this go-round I had a choice between wood and steel. I didn't have to think twice about going with wood.


--Bill
 

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Originally Posted by Deathwish
where can i find the grommits? i went to Homedepot with No luck.
I found them at HomeDepot, they were in the electrical isle and also in the isle that had the steel studs.
 

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Well I work at an architecture firm and we always specify 20-ga. steel studs for walls unless we have a heavy soffit or something. Everything including doorways gets framed w/ the steel studs.


Now as for sound isolation, back when I was in architecture school, I helped build a dividing wall in a large basement room at my architecture school building. Originally it was all just storage, but the dividing wall allowed one side to be finished and made into an office space, and other side to be used as a work room extension to the wood shop. Sound isolation was key because power tools were going to be used on one side, with people working at desks on the other side.


We framed the wall with steel studs, stuffed it with fiberglass batt insulation, covered both sides with 7/16" OSB, and then hung sheetrock on top of the OSB on both sides. I can tell you for sure, almost NO sound came through those walls. The OSB also helps if you want to hang pictures or other things like that. That's how I would build a wall for complete sound isolation.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottJ0007
I found them at HomeDepot, they were in the electrical isle and also in the isle that had the steel studs.
i already ran my electical conduit through the holes, can I cut the grommmits and snap them back, or should I use tape or glue.
 

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Most pro renovators will not use steel studs in the basement mainly because basements are notorious for moisture issues. Even a little moisture can cause your steel studs to rust.


Mark
 

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"the only question I have is that I have all the electric metal conduit running through the pre-cut holes"


You have to. All electrical and pluming has to go into the grommmits.
 

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If you use the electrical cable that comes in the flexible metal conduit, you don't have to use the grommits. I still would advise against using metal studs in the basement however. I think you will find that metal studs are most often used in commercial applications (like throwing up a bunch of walls to divide offices in a large open area). They are not very well suited to residential applications.


Having said that, I am sure that many users will be coming out of the 'woodwork', so to speak, claiming that they have used metal studs with great success. This might be true, but many of the problems that have been listed previously in this thread can be avoided simply by using standard wood studs.


Ultimately it is your choice, but if you're asking for everyone's opinion, I would personally avoid metal studs, especially in a basement application.


Mark
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94
Now as for sound isolation, back when I was in architecture school, I helped build a dividing wall in a large basement room at my architecture school building. Originally it was all just storage, but the dividing wall allowed one side to be finished and made into an office space, and other side to be used as a work room extension to the wood shop. Sound isolation was key because power tools were going to be used on one side, with people working at desks on the other side.
steel studs will give better mid/high frequency isolation so long as flanking noise doesn't limit performance (or seal quality).


however, this doesn't hold true below perhaps 100hz...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94
Well I work at an architecture firm and we always specify 20-ga. steel studs for walls unless we have a heavy soffit or something. Everything including doorways gets framed w/ the steel studs.


Now as for sound isolation, back when I was in architecture school, I helped build a dividing wall in a large basement room at my architecture school building. Originally it was all just storage, but the dividing wall allowed one side to be finished and made into an office space, and other side to be used as a work room extension to the wood shop. Sound isolation was key because power tools were going to be used on one side, with people working at desks on the other side.


We framed the wall with steel studs, stuffed it with fiberglass batt insulation, covered both sides with 7/16" OSB, and then hung sheetrock on top of the OSB on both sides. I can tell you for sure, almost NO sound came through those walls. The OSB also helps if you want to hang pictures or other things like that. That's how I would build a wall for complete sound isolation.


What is OSB? and did you put any type of strip between the metal studs and the driwall?
 

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Sorry I should have been more clear. We attached OSB (oriented strand board, like plywood but uses large wood chips pressed together, and is a little cheaper than plywood) to both sides of the metal studs (floor to ceiling) and then attached drywall to the OSB (floor to ceiling).


I should also mention this was a pretty tall room, probably 12 ft. high, with concrete floor, 2 concrete basement walls, 2 concrete masonry (cinder block) interior walls, and concrete structural pancake slab above. The new stud wall we built ran floor to ceiling, and concrete wall to masonry wall. We also had to cut and fit the OSB and drywall around a large 18" diameter HVAC duct running near the ceiling of the room. I was pretty impressed with the overall sound isolation qualities of the finished product.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deathwish
What is OSB? and did you put any type of strip between the metal studs and the driwall?
Oriented strand board (OSB) is a performance-rated structural panel engineered for uniformity, strength, versatility and workability. It is utilized internationally in a wide array of applications including commerical and residential construction and renovation, packaging/crating, furniture and shelving, and do-it-yourself projects.


Because it is engineered, OSB can be custom manufactured to meet specific requirements in thickness, density, panel size, surface texture, strength, and rigidity. This engineering process makes OSB the most widely accepted and preferred structural panel among architects, specifiers and contractors.


This engineering process makes OSB the most widely accepted and preferred structural panel among architects, specifiers and contractors.
 

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There's a popular show in Canada called "Holmes on Homes", not sure if you get it in the US, but this guy Mike Holmes is a top notch contractor who fixes botched renovation jobs. He is a firm believer in doing the job right the first time. He is a proponent of using wood in basements but does use steel studs for boxing in ductwork and sometimes even on interior walls. Exterior walls are wood only. The big concern is moisture rusting the steel studs. Don't forget to use a bottom gasket to keep the wood from touching the concrete.
 
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