There are many framing systems for wall openings, including steel wall studs, single light gauge steel stud, timber inside steel studs, boxed studs and jamb studs. Understanding the framing process and how each system works is crucial in preventing potential structural problems and plasterboard cracking, so let’s compare.
Standard steel wall stud
Using a standard 0.55mm gauge steel wall stud as a jamb stud in internal doorways is a disaster waiting to happen. Cracked plasterboard linings are often the inevitable result from this installation method.
Internal light gauge steel framing systems
Internal light gauge steel framing systems are designed to allow some movement and have high lateral deflection properties. However, when a door is forcibly slammed against this type of framing installation, the wall structure comes under immense pressure to absorb the force and can deflect beyond the resistance limits of the plasterboard. This may cause the plasterboard to crack and the setting compound to break away.
Timber/steel stud combinations
Whilst a potentially cost-effective solution, timber/steel stud combinations are cumbersome and are rarely installed correctly, becoming a common cause of defect notices. The timber stud is often installed at only 75% of the steel stud length and not fixed to the base structure, offering insufficient strength to the overall wall system. This results in cracked walls when the door weight and pressure of slamming transfers through to the steel stud at the point where the timber stud stops.
Boxed studs provide a stronger solution for internal doorway framing. However, this technique requires two steel studs to be connected to form a box shape, which can be a labour-intensive and time-consuming exercise. This costly method also does not provide an ideal fit at the track connection.
The recommended method for framing internal doorways is a specialty jamb stud. This framing option is durable, quick and easy to install, and by far the most cost-effective method to use.
Jamb studs are installed on either side of the opening for doors and windows, and as the lintel and sill in openings for standard 92mm and 150mm wall systems. The jamb studs run continuously from the floor to the structure at the top. They are screw-fixed to the bottom track, fixed to the top with a structural wall bracket, to provide additional strength in high-traffic applications such as hospitals and public spaces, as well as offer vertical deflection in concrete-to-concrete situations.
Studco Building Systems are proud to be solution partners to multi-residential construction and encourage architects, engineers and specifiers to speak with their Technical Team to understand how their systems can greatly improve the framing systems in your project. Visit www.studcosystems.com.au or call 1300 255 255.