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Cutting through top plate of non structural studwall

  • 19-05-2023 3:40pm
    Registered Users Posts: 2,600 ✭✭✭


    The top plate? of a small stud wall is an obstacle (for a duct) and I wonder can I cut through it and instead put a piece of wood to support it maybe 20 cm lower. As the picture may show, the stud wall is supported to the hollowcore floor above with metal fixing. It is not load bearing. It supports a regular plasterboard wall only. I am not looking for any structural advice. Just carpentry advice.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,354 ✭✭✭✭mickdw

    If it's basically fixed to the hollowcore above, it could be cut BUY you need to ensure the stability of the wall is not effected. For example if there was a limited number of fixings Into hollowcore, cutting the top member could result in a stud wall that could twist.

    Your proposed support wouldn't be good enough.

    So get rigid fixings either side of cut or plate an area around the cut with ply on both sides would be my advice.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,111 ✭✭✭10-10-20

    Cut through the whole depth of the top plate or just a portion of it? Can you fully replace it with a noggin below that portion before you cut the top-plate - ie get the noggin fully and securely screwed in?

    I think that the risk here is that the stud moves and you end up disturbing the plasterboard seams and screws, especially at the joint between the wall and the ceiling, but otherwise I think it can be done.

    Oh I just noticed in the photo that the studs are floating and don't appear to be connected to the top-plate...?

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,600 ✭✭✭Yellow_Fern

    Cut through all of it so to fit a 200x 60mm duct through. A noggin sounds very doable.

    The studs are fixed with a metal fixing which is barely visible. If I do this project, I might add more fixings. Thanks a lot!

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,646 ✭✭✭Wildly Boaring

    Bit of a strange set up to be honest. ( the fixings slotted to create e a bit of a deflection head?)

    But yes you can.

    Ideally you should cut too big. Put a brace from one stud to the next and board using the brace as the top of the new board, leaving the ope above the brace. ( put in 2 braces if needed to form top and bottom of new board) .

    Make sure you fix the top track to the soffit each side of the cut.

    You'd basically be making a "letterbox" with the soffit as the top. Done the whole time in new builds.

  • Registered Users Posts: 39,325 ✭✭✭✭Mellor

    This is simple and not a concern.

    • Add fixings from the top plate to the slab over either side of the proposed section to be removed. This will ensure the top plate remains stable.
    • The noggin below needs to extend across two studs either side of the removed section (4 studs total). This will ensure the two sides continue to move as one.

    Basically you want to replicate how it would be built if it were designed like that from the start.

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