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Good morning everyone!

Quick question. I want to build a room within an existing cellar in my basement. This cellar has a very low ceiling, of about 1.95m. I want to put up the walls with some relatively thick, water-resistant MDF I've found that is 3cm thick. Is there any way I can put these walls up without needing a studded framing? The walls and ceiling of the existing cellar are concrete. Would "L" type connectors be enough?

New information regarding some of the comments posted: I am aware 3cm MDF is very heavy. That is actually one of the main reasons for using this material for the walls. The room in question that will be built is to be used as a music recording studio, and the denser the walls the better the sound attenuation properties of the room (generally).

Regarding the dimensions, the room is roughly 7 meters long by 2.5m wide, with the aforementioned 1.95m ceiling. The actual MDF boards will be around 190cm long x 66cm wide in order to fit them into the space (have to maneuver through a tight space to get to this room). The relationship to the existing walls is that there will be a separation between the MDF walls and the existing ones of about 10cm more or less.

Thanks!

  • Not an answer but I have to say that using L type brackets bridged across the seams between sheets is going to be downright ugly. – Michael Karas Jul 6 at 8:29
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    Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. 3cm MDF is going to be very, very heavy (20+kg/m^2). And, you should probably take our tour so you'll know how best to participate here. – Daniel Griscom Jul 6 at 11:58
  • Can you clarify dimensions and relationships to existing walls? Are you putting a door on this room, or is it just an opening? – Aloysius Defenestrate Jul 6 at 12:18
  • Hey everyone! I thought it'd be best to address these questions in the post, so there's some additional info now. Also Michael, aesthetics will be somewhat important so thank you for this insight on the L brackets! – VDG Jul 7 at 10:41
  • What is the reason you do not want to use studs or similar supports of some kind ? A 2x4 stud turned sideways and glued to the exiting walls would give you gap of 8.89cm. – Alaska Man Jul 7 at 18:56
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There are many ways to build what you're proposing, but the one that jumped to mind first is akin to a panel/frame assembly.

Start with a post (~1.5"x3.5"/ ~38mm x 88mm, or larger), firmly attached to the floor and ceiling. This could be a bracket that wraps around the post, it could be a bolt at one end that mates with a hole, or it could be a couple of L brackets. At the doorway, make sure the posts are extra solid.

Butt a panel of mdf to the post and secure it as drawn. Caulking/sealant in the gaps will probably help reduce sound transmission. Set the next post plumb/ in line and repeat.

Plan view of post/panel

Depending on the gaps at the floor and ceiling, you'd probably want either a foam weatherstripping or caulking/sealant and possibly a strip of timber (~3/4"/18mm) on both sides to make it look finished.

Note, the fancy version of the post is a little harder to make airtight and more bothersome both in terms of milling and assembly. It is a little cleaner looking, though.

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    I see you have attended the envelope school engineering. :) I myself only got through the Post-it note school. – Alaska Man Jul 7 at 21:39
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    I like this method! Thanks! – VDG Jul 9 at 10:50
  • @vdg -- you're welcome. Good luck with the project. – Aloysius Defenestrate Jul 9 at 13:02
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You could install MDF panels in a “zigzag” pattern without using studs.

Install each panel at a 90 degree angle to the previous panel for support. They could be “glued and screwed” together and support each other.

Btw, a side benefit to a music room will be the zigzag walls that will help “break up” the sound waves and be better acoustically.

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