My basement ceilings are 9 feet from the bottom of the ceiling joist to the floor. 9 foot studs are considerably more expensive than 8, plus I would still need to cut them. Any issues with 3 top plates on the frame and two on the bottom (one would be treated of course)? I've seen two on videos/diagrams.

I have about 80 feet of wall to make. I really like the potential of not having to make as many cuts.

  • 3 extra plates (2 on top, 1 on bottom) doesn’t add 12” of thickness. What am I missing?
    – spuck
    Commented Mar 14, 2023 at 20:47
  • 5 x 2 inches = 10. Darn, I am still quite a bit short - I was planning to use shims for the remainder but probably cant use to cover a 2 inch gap?
    – JustDoIt
    Commented Mar 14, 2023 at 20:57
  • But each 2x4 or 2x6 is actually only around 1.5" thick, so 5 total plates adds up to 7.5 inches. Over an 80 foot wall with normal 16" spacing, you're talking about 60-65 studs. 3 additional plates is 240 feet of lumber, or thirty 8-foot pieces. How much more is each stud? One dollar? Two dollars?
    – spuck
    Commented Mar 14, 2023 at 21:15
  • @spuck, - nearly $2 difference plus way less cutting.
    – JustDoIt
    Commented Mar 14, 2023 at 21:58
  • Unless you are using a hand saw, most power saws with a good blade make cutting easy, almost like cutting butter with a hot knife.
    – crip659
    Commented Mar 14, 2023 at 22:02

3 Answers 3


Consider this;

Buy 10 ft 2x4s ....................... 120"

with 3 " for top and bottom plates, cut to 105"

remaining piece is .........................15"

cut to 14 1/2 " for blocking between studs .

Waste is 1/2 "

  • This is the most economical answer, by far!
    – spuck
    Commented Mar 16, 2023 at 18:37

It is only consider a waste of money most times.

You will need to consider the cost of 9ft studs to the extra cost of more full length plates.

Depending on how you mount/attach the top plate to the ceiling and use of the wall, it might be possible to use short(one or two foot) spacers instead of a full length plate.

  • Thank you! I really like the idea of making LESS cuts tho, so it'll be interesting to see.
    – JustDoIt
    Commented Mar 14, 2023 at 20:44
  • 1
    @JustDoIt This is basically a cost benefit problem to which way is cheaper. Extra plates on top/bottom makes the wall stronger, but most times it is more expensive to add, than the increase strength gained if not needed. More a math/budget problem than construction, which way is cheaper.
    – crip659
    Commented Mar 14, 2023 at 21:04

If you're worried about economizing on the number of cuts it may be that you're doing the cuts wrong! Fix the miter saw to something: a work bench, a plank, a pair of the 12+ foot 2x4's you'll be using for top plates, etc. Now fix a stop block to that bench/plank/etc at the correct distance from the saw blade, and one short block near the stop to support the piece being cut. This jig will take 5-10 minutes to set up and will accelerate the cutting of the wall studs. Viewed from the front with a 2x4 laying on the saw and support, flush up against the stop block on the right, would look something like this:

  ][        ][                      BBB        BBB

A tall stack of top/bottom plates isn't stable (it'll easily roll forward or back), doesn't inherently give you a nice finished plane for affixing the drywall, and is just plain heavy (at 16" center spacing, you'd have 10 pieces times 16 inches = 160 inches of plate doing the job that 12 inches of wall stud could have done).

Also.. think about the time you're going to spend nailing all those plates together, and especially what a nightmare it's going to be every time you have to bore through that stack to run a wire or pipe between the wall and ceiling spaces.

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