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Metal vs. Wood framing

Posted by wandawoman (My Page) on
Mon, Oct 23, 06 at 19:35

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.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Metal vs. Wood framing

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.

RE: Metal vs. Wood framing

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

RE: Metal vs. Wood framing

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

RE: Metal vs. Wood framing

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.

RE: Metal vs. Wood framing

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

RE: Metal vs. Wood framing

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

RE: Metal vs. Wood framing

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

The greater stiffness of metal studs reduces sound transmission.

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