I just gutted out my bathroom in the basement and the studs on the wall between the bathroom and the basement kitchen are not plumb. The wall itself is but the intermediate studs within the wall are not Is this something I can/should fix?

The perspective (this is part of a pano picture is distorting the image but you can still see how bad those studs are (the wall with no plastic on it enter image description here

Update: that wall will receive a floating vanity, plumbing and the sink. It will be a one sink though enter image description here


The wall is not load-bearing. The angle of the studs is not a structural problem, but they cannot be unseen. If it's going to bother you you can attempt to fix them.

To straighten those studs you'll need to detach the drywall. That's potentially messy. Maybe you can cut the drywall nails with a hacksaw blade, hammer the studs to the correct location then toe-nail the studs in position and finally glue the drywall to the studs. Or maybe you'll make a mess of the drywall, and have to fill some holes or replace it. To keep things interesting that cable and those boxes are going to complicate matters.

  • I agree that it's not a structural problem, but I'd consider adding studs on 16" centers from the left if you'll have a need to mount shelves or fixtures on that wall.
    – isherwood
    Aug 11 '20 at 13:10
  • yes I need to put a floating vanity there in that corner , like in the update added to the initial post
    – MiniMe
    Aug 11 '20 at 13:17
  • 1
    Installation of 2x8 or 2x10 or 2x12 blocking between the studs would be advisable to secure the floating vanity. Aug 11 '20 at 16:59

The problem you're likely to have in a bathroom with studs not being plumb is not left-to-right plumb, but in-out plumb.

That is, if you take a straight edge like a long level (four foot is okay, six foot if you have one) and hold it to the inside-the-room side of the studs (the "narrow" side for 2x4 studs), is the stud "flat".

Also, are the inside-the-room faces of the studs co-planar and parallel with each other?

Those two questions will affect your ability to hang tile, especially large-format tile, and mount fixtures like a medicine cabinet or a wall-mount mirror. Since you asked another question about a floating vanity, consider that the evenness of the wall will affect your ability to mount that vanity.

There are a few things you can do:

  1. Use a hand plane, electric plane, angle grinder, or belt sander to remove material from the studs.

  2. Use wood or plastic shims, or small hand-made wedges of some kind, to add thickness to the studs.

  3. For cement-board walls, you can install the wall board then apply one or more layers of thinset mortar using a level or other long straight edge as a screed to achieve a flat wall.

Remember that "flat" is more important than "plumb." That is, a wall that is 88 degrees away from the floor but will not crack your mirror is much better than a wall that is 90 degrees away from the floor but has a big belly in it.

  • thanks a lot ...yes that is what I would be looking for, I just watched a youtube video about getting the studs plumb that way using shims but it did not seem bullet proof I fail t understand how that method will fix a S like bend for a stud. This method seems to address only a bow like situation The guys were using a string last night but I think this is were a laser tool comes handy (a laser tool needed was vigorously denied by the queue reviewers of this site )
    – MiniMe
    Aug 11 '20 at 19:36
  • 1
    IMO, string beats laser. Your average laser device wants to do "plumb". And it wants to be far away from the work spot, because the line is projected in "fan" pattern from a single point. That can be difficult to use when you need everything to fit in a single stud bay. Easier to get some fishing line (monofilament) or a plumb-bob line and stretch it along beside or across the stud.
    – aghast
    Aug 11 '20 at 19:53

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.