Which is better to frame a wall: wood or metal studs?

If you decide to finish your basement or to frame a wall in your house you will first need to learn about additional framing materials like wall studs. Wall studs can be made of wood or metal, so below it is a short comparison between the two types.

The first thing taken into consideration is the strength of the stud.

For maximum strength you have to go for the wood. You will need a lot of strength if you want to hang heavy objects on the stud, like cabinets or mirrors, and the metal even though it is strengthened with the drywall you attach to it, it will not give you the strength you need.

Comparing only the initial costs, you will learn that metal is more efficient, but if you start adding the costs of the electrical boxes, sheet metal screws, plastic grommets, etc., you will see that you will reach the same costs with both materials.

There is a chapter that metal is definitely the winner: when it comes to moving, handling, and storage of your wall studs. You will have to be careful with the sharp edges left after you cut the metal pieces when you clean the stud.

Wood warps in time and wicks moisture, which metal doesn’t, but still the metal is probable to rust, so you will need to install a vapor barrier or moisture-proof gasket between your floor and the floor plate.

If you are worried about the heating or cooling of your house you need to know that metal transfers heat and cold more than wood, so you will need to install insulation between the metal wall and exterior wall.

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