Metal vs. Wood framing

wandawomanOctober 23, 2006

We have gotten estimates from several contractors to finish our basement. Two of the contractors use wood for framing. The other uses metal. Any opinions on the use of metal for framing? The contractor's explanation was that it is easier to keep the walls straight/flat using metal. He claims wood framing is harder to keep flat due to natural variations in the wood.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There have been posts about this in the past. When I finished my basement (over 2000 Sqft about 6 rooms, closets, bat etc)it was framed with metal studs. Walls are straight and the process was much cleaner than wood since there is no saw dust with metal (wait until the sheet rock phase though UGH!). It went up very quickly and was much easier to carry in than wood. I have nothing against wood just in my case metal was great. If you are going to be hanging shelves in a closet you may want to ask them to put some wood blocking between the studs on that wall for extra strengh.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 6:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the info jimbo60. I'll have to search the board for the past discussions.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2006 at 9:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would say you would have to do some research with regard to:

Type of metal being used - ? guage/strength - although metal is "moisture resistant" it can rust & that could decrease the integrity

Sound - would metal be a greater conduction of sound


- Hanging anything on walls such as cabinetry would need to be considered

- Electric work - would need to be done by someone familiar w/more of this type of framing as boxes for typical residential wood stud framing - boxes are mounted to wood studs

I would also consider access to multiple mechanicals in basement too

good luck

    Bookmark   October 28, 2006 at 3:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I switched to metal several years ago for basements. It's a nice clean quiet installation--tin snips, tapcons for the floor and power driver for the sheetmetal screws. It provides a better structure for drywall: straight with no shrinkage. It doesn't add moisture to the basement nor provide material for mould growth. The only rust I've found on old metal framing that I've ripped out is on the floor, where it can absorb moisture from the concrete. To avoid that, put in on an inch or more of extruded polystyrene before anchoring into the floor.

As noted above, wiring is different and you have to put reinforcements in for doors, sometimes for cabinets. It costs more than wood, but an experienced installer can put it in very quickly. I know it looks flimsy, but when it's screwed in place and drywalled, you really don't see a difference.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2006 at 11:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

cost wide how much more (%) the metal system will cost compare with wood?

    Bookmark   November 24, 2011 at 8:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The light steel is about 30% costlier. For instance, at my nearest orange box, 2.5" by 10' steel studs run $4.39 and 2.5" x10' tracks $4.29 vs. kd 2"x4"x10' @ $3.49.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bailey Metal Products

    Bookmark   November 26, 2011 at 6:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"Sound - would metal be a greater conduction of sound "

The greater stiffness of metal studs reduces sound transmission.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2011 at 11:22AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Spray foam basement band joists
I just had an energy audit and one thing they recommended...
1250sqft Basement heating question
This may be a crazy question as I have not found anything...
Mysterious Concrete Box in Basement
I am considering placing an offer on a house (built...
Walk-out basement design
Building a house in western Massachusetts -- it will...
Ductwork through joist question
Hi, I know this is possibly controversial...I understand...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™