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So I'm about to put a metal stud partition wall into my utility room which is a converted garage itself.

The existing walls are plasterboard (I think this is called drywall in the states..) the South facing wall has vertical wooden battens every 530mm, behind these battens is a brick wall, with a cavity that is approx 170-200mm deep.

Battens run across the ceiling following on from the ones in the wall.

On the North side there are battens again, but in line with the ones from the opposing wall.

None of these battens are in a suitable place for the partition (on the North wall is the main fuse box for the house, which can't be moved).

My question is - can I fix a metal C-stud directly to the plasterboard using snap toggles or screw toggles? I've discovered these are incredibly strong fixings and for the ideal position would be maybe 30mm from the wooden stud. Or, do I have attach the C-stud directly to something more solid? If so, why? Maybe there are forces put on to the fixing that I hadn't though of.

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  • Does the strength for a partition have to come mostly from the walls or the ceiling and floor (or both)? The ceiling battens are every 400mm.. – John Hunt Nov 5 '20 at 20:49
  • Why metal studs? If I understand correctly, you have the equivalent of drywall on wood studs 20" apart (typical in the US is 16" or 24", so it sounds about right). Why not continue with more drywall on wood strud? Metal studs may be a little cheaper, but that way you have the same stuff everywhere, and for many people wood studs are much easier to work with. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Nov 5 '20 at 21:05
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I have used anchors in drywall /plasterboard for a wall on several occasions it really doesn’t take much with the bottom channel nailed down and the top attached to the ceiling joists. If running parallel between 2 Joyce’s add nailers every 16” or so ( nailer a 2x4 horizontally between two Joyce’s 4” wide side down so you have a big target to screw into. The wall joint is not really carrying any load but a couple anchors in the middle and a foot or 16” up and down would provide all the stability you would need.

If running electrical through the metal studs don’t forget to put grommets in if the cut out if it is not rolled. Recently had to open a wall because Romex (nmb) was used without grommets in a cold storage room the evaporator (cooling coil) fans vibrated enough to cut through the sheath and the insulation of the cable. The 50 amp circuit was for the outside compressor, 50 amps of 120v made one heck of a mess on that stud and because they reset the breaker quite a few times it burned through the second hot the last time and welded #6 wire to the stud then they could no longer reset it and called me. (Very expensive repair).

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  • Wow, yes.. I'm not taking any risks with wiring etc, trying to keep this as simple a project as possible. Thanks for your great advice. I managed to find the joists in the ceiling and studs in the walls using my sons magnets. – John Hunt Nov 6 '20 at 8:24
  • Good example of why "just reset the breaker again" is usually not the right answer! – FreeMan Nov 6 '20 at 15:11

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