I'm adding a new wall/door in a current finished loft space to convert it from a loft to a bedroom. I've already decided to trim back the carpet and carpet pad to attach my bottom plate to the subfloor properly, and of course trim back the existing baseboard.

What is the correct way to install the top plate and first stud of each side?

  1. Leave existing drywall - Attach the top plate to as many ceiling joists through the drywall as possible and the side studs to potentially nothing except the new top/bottom plates
  2. Remote existing drywall - Attach the top plate directly to the ceiling joists and side studs to the existing top/bottom plates and any studs that overlap in the existing walls.
  3. ?

New wall location

  • Will you ever want to remove the wall?
    – Alaska Man
    Commented Nov 2, 2020 at 18:44
  • @AlaskaMan - Definitely not. This is not a temporary wall.
    – dpollitt
    Commented Nov 2, 2020 at 18:55

2 Answers 2


Normally it's not necessary to remove drywall when adding new walls. You'd just install studs tight to the existing drywall and nail or screw through. For the ceiling, cut openings to add backing if the plate is parallel to and between joists, otherwise just fasten to the joists through the drywall.

An exception might be where you lack midpoint backing and want the studs mounted securely for reasons such as door openings right at the end. If you don't have backing you can use construction adhesive or toggle bolts to secure the middle of the stud, or just rely on the top and bottom connections and the tension of the drywall on the new wall.

So, no.

  • Thanks for the answer. To clarify the joists are perpendicular to the wall so I should be able to attach the top plate through the drywall and to the joists without issue. Can you help me understand if your second point applies to my scenario? Are you saying that if I can nail into the ceiling joists, that I should have a secure enough wall to not require additional backing for the end studs (and be fine just positioning them right next to the existing drywall walls)? And are you saying that the end studs I should just nail or screw through drywall without hitting any studs?
    – dpollitt
    Commented Nov 2, 2020 at 21:40
  • 1
    No, fasteners that only hit drywall are pointless. You can nail the end studs into the top plate of the adjacent wall, at least. You should have doubles there. Assuming the doorway is where the gap in the broken line is, just double the studs along the door like normal (king and trimmer) and be happy.
    – isherwood
    Commented Nov 2, 2020 at 22:18

Always anchor a wall to your framing. Your ceiling joists are your framing. Tape and mud your corners obviously when you put the wall up. If you were building a new house, the wall would be attached i the same way, its just you have 1/2" of drywall as a sandwich.

  • The question is about anchoring framing to framing and whether it's acceptable to do that through the existing drywall, it's not about attaching drywall to framing. Your answer doesn't make sense in the context of the question.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Nov 6, 2020 at 15:39
  • lol - absently included "dry" - to wall - thanks for helping me today.
    – SkipM
    Commented Nov 6, 2020 at 15:56

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