What's the point of a thin (1/4" width, ~2-3" wide) piece of wood set diagonally between two studs?

I just took out a piece of drywall for some other work I'm doing, and between two studs, there's this thin piece of wood diagonally, notched in each stud so the diagonal piece is flush with the studs.

I doesn't have anything nailed into and it is getting in the way of some 4" venting duct pipe I'm installing in the wall.

Can I just remove it?

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  • Does it only span between the two studs? Usually, these will span across the entire wall to add shear strength. If this is the case, then I would not remove it or cut it.
    – Zach
    Commented Apr 15, 2014 at 23:19
  • Only between two studs. Not the whole wall.
    – Matt
    Commented Apr 15, 2014 at 23:28
  • See this post: diy.stackexchange.com/questions/31336/…
    – Erik
    Commented Apr 16, 2014 at 20:26

2 Answers 2


I would knock that sucker out with impunity. If it is to serve some purpose, it most likely would not be code compliant. Fire blocking is the first thing that comes to mind, but it is only in one stud section.

  • I haven't got a clue what that is. Wonder if it is manufactured housing? Rip it out!! +1 for impunity! LOL Commented Apr 16, 2014 at 9:48

You are most likely referring to Cross bridging or blocking. They must be installed to keep the joists from twisting.

  • What's my solution if I need to pass a 4" dryer vent pipe there that will not fit with the cross bridging? Any tips?
    – Matt
    Commented Apr 15, 2014 at 23:27
  • You certainly want to preserve the integrity of the structure. In order to do so, I would suggest to replace the cross bridging by reinforcing the studs with noggings/dwangs.
    – Jimmy.D
    Commented Apr 16, 2014 at 0:01

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