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I am looking for opinions on what material to use for studs and I have a few questions regarding the advantages of steel or wood.


Before my questions, here is some information about the room; 24x16x8 basement, that is currently completely open. There are no pipes or ducts or anything currently in the way so I have no demo problems at all. All 4 walls are poured concrete, the only opening into the room is a doorway cut directly into the foundation, as such sound escaping from the room will be minimal except for the ceiling, which I will treat with GG and double drywall and insulation.



1) I have heard the steel is easier to work with, True or False? I will also let you know that I am a complete beginner and will be learning everything as I go. From what I have read the only thing you need for steel studs is some snips and a good drill, but wood will require saws and other heavy equipment that I currently do not have.


2) I have read that while steel will not promote mold it can rust. True? How big a problem is rust with steel studs?


3) I do not plan on mounting anything to the wall, except for bookshelf speakers for the surrounds and some sconces for lighting. Will the studs be strong enough to hold the speakers? I have heard that steel is not as strong as wood when it comes to this. For the screen, I will be making a false wall with wood studs.


4) Do steel studs rattle? This would be a final nail in the coffin if so. That last thing I would want is to put the effort into building the room, only to have my walls rattle.


5) Can you build risers with steel, or should that definately be wood?



Thanks
 

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1. yes in my opinion, but much more $$ (didn't used to be)

2. never heard this one before

3. steel, when the dry wall is mounted (using adhesives and screws) ia as strong, if not stronger than traditional wood framing.

4. no, use adhesive

5. I would n't build a riser out of steel studs
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by davdev /forum/post/0


Any idea how much more? I had been the under the impression that they were close.

I think it depends where you are. I looked at steel studs here in Austin. None of the local big boxes carried them (one did have a very limited selection, at slightly more expensive then wood). There was one place on the north side of town that did carry steel. That's 1/2 hour away, I didn't want to deal with it. The only reason I looked in the first place is that the ceiling in the room I'm working in started out with steel studs.


One big advantage of steel studs: they are all straight. No warping to worry about.


For me, one issue was that I'm much more comfortable with wood. In many cases I had to create 'custom studs' for bits and pieces of my light shelves/soffits. I could take a 2x4 and rip it/joint it down to 2.75" thick if I needed to. Tough to do with steel. However, I have a full woodshop downstairs.


Another issue I had (likely just inexperience): using normal drywall screws into wood studs it was easy to get the screws to bite, to start their own holes. When I was putting drywall screws (self-tapping steel type) in, it tended to be much tougher to get them to self-tap. In several cases, the skittered around and I ended up with marred drywall.


You are right about the tools, though. I bought a framing nailer and a chop saw to help with my wood framing. I would not have needed them had I gone steel.


My advice: look and see what is easily available locally and what the prices are.
 

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Well the 2x4 (3-5/8) steel here at HD in NYC is 3.95 for a 8ft piece. Track is, I think it was 3.5 for 10ft.


What makes steel better, besides teh other reasons mentioned is that you don't have to be exact with you measurements. Since they go in a track you can get about 1/2 inch of play. They also have holes already for cable/plumbing/etc.


I still used wood for the doors though.


They sell 3 sizes of steel 2x4, 2x3 and I think 2x2
 

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HD and Lowes are way and I mean WAY overpriced when buying steel studs. Check a local drywall supply shop. I got mine for 2.18 a stud, versus 5.85 at Lowes.


I took a lot of pics in HT build thread if you want to check them out. All my walls are straight as a laser fired from atop a shark's head.
 

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I prefer metal over wood. As was pointed out, oversize your door RO by 6.5" so you can install double 2x4 wood studs on both sides, unless you are going to use a metal door buck.


Metal comes in a lot of different gauges. I have a 16 ga metal wall down the center of my basement that supports the entire marriage wall of my modular (no columns). I guarantee that wall will not rattle



Most places sell 25 ga metal studs, which will do the trick for most generic applications.


However, I prefer to use 22ga studs. You can "suck" things in better with the screws when you are grabbing 22ga material.


Tim
 

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That's an interesting find. While I am an avid supporter of metal studs, DE did point out to me in another thread that the lower frequencies are not addressed by STC rating.


Not to say that the metal may very well be better at lower frequencies, just wanted to point out that the STC rating is not the end-all for a home theater application.


Tim
 

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Either type of stud is fine. The big issue with steel is hanging cabinets and trim work. You have to screw all the trim in, and cabinets require extra reinforcement peices. If you plan well it shouldn't be too bad.


OTOH.


If you are going to try and keep sound from traveling through the ceiling by using GG and double drywall. You should also treat the walls in the same manner. Sound traveling through the walls will make it up through the ceiling. It's called "Flanking" i believe. It just means that not all the sound will travel directly through the ceiling it will go through walls and around the treated section. The concept is only as good as the weekest link in the system.

http://www.greengluecompany.com/unde...nkingNoise.php


This site will help with understanding.
 

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^^


That is true. I have a wall in my bar where I'll be hanging cabinets, so I used wood studs on that wall.


Screwing in the trim does make it take longer, as you can't just use an air compressor and fasten a 8' section of trim in about 20 seconds. OTOH, screws are better than nails, every time. They keep things nice and tight.
 
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