Whether you ’ re an draw a bead on future carpenter, preparing for a DIY project at home plate or just plain curious, this article will tell you everything you need to know .
“16 on center” is a framing term that typically refers to the spacing of wall studs.
It could besides refer to the spacing of floor joists, rafters, etc, but for the sake of simplicity we ’ ll continue using wall ensnare as an model .
To be specific, 16 inches on center means that the concentrate of any wall stud should always land on some ‘ increase ’ of 16 inches from the end of the wall.
For example, the distance from the conclusion of the wall to the center of the foremost stud should be 16 inches, the distance to the center of the second stud should be 32 inches ( 16 + 16 = 32 ), then 48 ( 32 + 16 = 48 ) etc. This 16″ spacing serves a copulate clear-cut purposes in construction which I ’ ll explain below .
Why is this 16 inch stud spacing so important?
The beginning and most obvious reason for 16 edge stud spacing is that this is what most construction codes call for in terms of morphologic integrity. It is worth noting however, that some applications might call for something different .
For example if you intend to install heavy tile deck and furniture or build a boastfully pit fireplace, 12 edge spacing might be more appropriate than the standard 16 for any load-bearing stud walls or deck joists that will be supporting this extra weight .
The second reason most frame is done based upon sixteen on center layouts, is that most construction materials are manufactured at 8ft and 16ft lengths to maximize production and minimize neutralize. Full 8ft or 16ft pieces ( whatever it may be ) should always land on the center of a stud, allowing the following piece to butt up against it, and for both pieces to be nailed/screwed to the same dot.
then even if you ’ re building a wall that was wholly non-load bear, you should distillery layout your wall stud at 16 inches on center. This way when it comes fourth dimension to hang wallboard or nail up trim, you ’ ll always have a stud veracious where you need it .
How to Layout your Framing to 16 on Center.
nowadays that the backdrop is out of the way, let ’ s look at HOW you actually go about applying this information in your frame. Again we ’ ll habit a stud wall as an example here, but this can be applied to anything else such as deck joists .
- Step 1 – Hook your tape measure on the far end of either the top or bottom plate to begin marking layout.You will eventually need to mark both the top AND bottom plate. (The “plates” are the horizontal 2×4 studs at the top and bottom of your wall which span the entire length)
- Step 2 – Using your speed square and a pencil, mark a line across the plate at 15 1/4 inches and place an X on the RIGHT side of that mark.The purpose of the X is so you know which side of the line to nail your stud, the stud is always nailed ON the X.This marks the location of the first stud. The LEFT side of the board should be flush with the line you just made and cover the X.The 15 1/4 measurement will ensure the CENTER of the stud lands exactly at 16 inches.
- Step 3 – Hammer a temporary nail or screw into the 15 1/4 mark you made in step 2.You’ll use this nail to hook your tape and make all of your 16 inch marks. This is a handy trick of the trade, so you’re welcome in advance.
- Step 4 – Hook your tape measure onto the nail and make a mark every 16 inches from that.
Just like step 2, use your speed square to make a nice line at each mark, and draw the X on the RIGHT side of each one. Do this for the entire length of the wall, making a line and an X at every 16 inch increment – 16, 32, 48, 64, 80, 96 etc.
- Step 5 – Nail your wall studs. That’s it!
once both your top and penetrate plate have been marked, good put your stud on the X ’ south and that ’ s all there is to it !
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Follow these childlike steps and your wall stud spacing will immediately be a perfect 16 on center every time .
here ’ s a good video on the topic. It ’ s a slightly different method acting than what I ’ ve explained above ( minus the nail down magic trick ), but the end consequence is still the same and he mentions some tips you might find utilitarian .