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Metal studs come in similar dimensions to timber. The system consists of two main components: the track and the stud.
The studs come as C-Stud and I-Stud, from 50-146mm with standard track and deep track to suit. Stud lengths start at 2,400mm and go up to 8,000mm.
The tracks are installed first, fastened to the floor and the ceiling - using concrete screws, wood screw or self-tappers. The studs are then inserted in the tracks and twisted into place until they are square. 13mm wafer screws or metal frame pliers fasten the stud and track together. The stud and track can either be cut to size using aviation snips or a metal cutting chop saw.
For framing around windows and constructing headers for doorways, the track material has to be “dog-eared”.
The track is cut longer than the space between the two studs. The sides of the track are cut so that the track can be bent and fastened to the studs as shown below. For doorway headers, two tracks are installed. The track attached to the ceiling faces down, and the track for the top of the door frame is installed so that the channel faces up. That way the vertical studs can be installed between the two tracks for attaching wall material.
Metal studs require specialised device boxes. Some boxes have a front piece that clips onto the stud and is screwed into place. There is also a strap that bends around the stud and is then fastened to the back.
These additional fastening points do present a problem when installing the electrical box in vapour barrier on exteriors walls. The vapour barrier isn't exactly air tight with holes for the wires and holes for the straps; the best solution is to use an acoustical sealant to seal any points of penetration.
In wood construction, thevapour barrieris attached with staples. Staples will not work with metal studs. The solution again is to use acoustical sealant to attach the vapour barrier to the framing. Continuous beads along the top and bottom tracks will keep things airtight (in fact this should be done with wood framing as well). Dots of sealant on the studs will hold the barrier in place. The sealant is messy stuff, so you will want to get the vapour barrier in place the first time!
If you would like more information, please contact us.