Hi I want to add a partitioning stud wall in my basement. Ceiling and floor are concrete and sides are brick walls. I want to know

  • Must I build a full height wall touching the ceiling and anchor the top and bottom plates to the concrete to hold the wall or
  • I can build a 3/4 height wall not touching the ceiling and anchor the two last vertical stud woods on the two ends to the brick wall only to hold the wall?


  • I'm a bit confused... is your 3/4 height wall supposed to go from brick wall on one side to brick wall on the other side? Is there an opening in the new wall? – Aloysius Defenestrate Dec 30 '15 at 17:32
  • Yes there will be a cut open to put up a door, my basement is more than 3m height, so although not touching the top, there is still enough room for a 2m height door. – user1589188 Dec 30 '15 at 23:06
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    So that's where your wall becomes floppy and unstable. A full height, properly anchored wall is light years better than a 3/4 wall. I wouldn't do the 3/4 wall, either for my own purposes, and certainly not professionally, but if you are determined to do it, I would suggest you skin it on both sides with at least 3/4" plywood to create a torsion box. Glue and screw the ply to the studs. Don't put any plywood joints over the door. Use lots of fasteners at the ends. Don't blame us if it goes wrong. – Aloysius Defenestrate Dec 30 '15 at 23:19
  • Thanks, thats what I hear most as well, that my wall will be flapping and exactly why I am asking the question here because I dont get it why anchoring to the top and bottom is secure but to the sides is not (no matter its wood, brick or concrete?) – user1589188 Dec 31 '15 at 1:03
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    Well, I suppose if you had a 3m x 3m wall where you ran the studs sideways and anchored it at the sides, you'd have a decently stiff wall... I think it's mainly a function of how many timbers you have running between the anchor points. (Can't comment on brick/concrete...) – Aloysius Defenestrate Dec 31 '15 at 1:25

Your local building codes would, of course, depend on your location.

It it's OK most places to build partition walls that are not full height. It's done in offices to create cubicle-like spaces, it's done in homes to give some separation between rooms, etc.

If you consider the wall to be part of the structure, I'd bet in most places it's not building code compliant to attach only at the walls, not at the floor.

If you consider the wall something like a cubicle partition, more of a piece of furniture rather than a part of the structure, those are often attached only at the wall and not at the floor. Of course you have to follow the manufacturer's instructions for the system to get something that won't fall down.

Common sense - in normal wall construction the last stud isn't attached to the rest of the wall with much strength. Without attachments to the ceiling and / or floor, all that's holding it together is a few nails into the header and sole, and the drywall. It would be big enough to do damage or hurt somebody if it fell over. I wouldn't do it.

  • Thanks for coming from a compliance angle, I guess thats worthwhile to consider. – user1589188 Dec 31 '15 at 1:10

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