Basic Carpentry:

Framing A Small Partition

In This Article:

A small partition is fastened together and installed. Nailers are installed to support the drywall.

Related Articles:
Skill Level: 2 (Basic) Time Taken: 1½ Hours

By , Editor


One of the bath rooms in our double-bath remodel project needed an alcove built to hold the new bath tub. At this early stage in the project, the plaster had been stripped from the walls, leaving the wood lath exposed.

The new wall needed to be built a foot away from the door, to form a U-shaped space about 60" long by at least 30" deep, the size of a standard bath tub.


The door is visible on the left, and the wall that divides the two rooms is visible on the right. The tub will go up against the back wall.


We used a permanent marker to layout the wall's location on the floor. Just to leave a little leeway, we put the partition 60-1/4" from the dividing wall. We didn't too tight of a fit when installing the tub.


We removed the wood lath on the old wall, where our new partition would connect.


We installed two pieces of blocking like this, to make a solid structure for attaching the new partition to the old framing.

We used 3" premium deck screws to attach the blocking.


We laid out the studs on the floor. This short wall, 32" long, required 4 studs. We doubled-up the studs at the end, to improve stiffness and provide a nailing surface for the tub. (The inner stud in the pair ended up being about 30" from the back wall... right in line with the front edge of the tub.)


We marked the stud positions on the top and bottom plates. (We used a black marker so the lines show up in the photos... a pencil will work just fine.)


We drove 3" deck screws through the top plate and into the ends of the studs. Screws hold much better than nails when installed into end-grain like this.

We did the same thing at the bottom plate.


This third plate, which might look like the second half of a double-top-plate, is actually the corrective action for a mistake. The studs we bought were too short, so we needed to install a spacer.

Somebody unwittingly bought 92-5/8" long studs instead of full 8 foot (96") studs. This mistake ended up working in our favor, because the piece on the ceiling made it very easy to align the assembled wall section.

The wall was tipped up and set in place. We tapped it with a hammer to align it with the layout marks.


The same thing at the top.

Then 3 or 4 deck screws were used to secure the top and bottom. Each screw had to be driven into something solid, like a joist. Attaching a wall to the wood lath is not adequate.

But we're leaving out something:

It's hard to show in photographs, but laying out the top plate's position was actually a bit painstaking. The top has to be aligned perfectly with the bottom. We sometimes use a level, held against the wall section, to position a wall before fastening it.

But in this case, we needed more precision. Nothing is more accurate than gravity, so we used a plumb bob to transfer the corner marks from the floor to the ceiling. Using a plumb bob can be an exercise in patience and frustration, because it takes so long to stop swinging and jiggling, but for the price it's accuracy can't be beat.

We laid out the top corners back at the beginning, when we made marks on the floor. We wanted the new wall to be plumb, level, and square, even if the existing room framing was not square. It's quite likely in an old house that a partition such as this would have to be made tapered, if it attached to an old wall that was leaning. We were lucky, the existing wall was exactly plumb, so our new wall could be made rectangular.

The new wall was screwed to the blocking.

Nailing blocks were installed behind the end stud, so the edge of the drywall would be backed by something solid.


The nailer blocks took only a few minutes to install. 


The completed wall. Later, we will install electrical boxes for light switches. After the tub and the plumbing is installed, we will cover the studs with drywall.



Tools Used:

  • Drill/Driver
  • Hammer
  • Plumb Bob
  • Tape Measure
  • Saw
  • Quick-Grip Clamps

Materials Used:

  • Lumber, 2x4x8'
  • Nails
  • Deck Screws


Back To Top Of Page 

Before You Hurt Yourself,  Read our Disclaimer.

Search Page

Home  What's New  Project Archives  H.I. World

 Rants  Contact Us




Copyright © 2000, 2005

Written May 14, 2000
Revised January 11, 2005