In a residential home, what is the standard wall thickness?

When employing 2-by-4 studs and half-inch drywall, the standard internal wall thickness in contemporary construction is 4.5 inches. In walls with plumbing, 2-by-6 studs are commonly utilised, making the walls 6.5 inches thick. The thickness of an outside wall depends on the exterior treatment, siding, and brick facing.

The nominal size of 2-by-4 (inches) relates to the size of rough-sawn green studs. The finished size is reduced to the current standard of 1.5 by 3.5 inches after drying and planing. Older buildings may have different interior walls.

Prior to 1970, studs were thicker, measuring 3 5/8 inches instead of 3.5 inches, and lath and plaster was thicker than half-inch drywall. Green, rough-sawn 2-by-4s were previously provided and planed to a completed size on site to a standard specified solely by the carpenter.

In an existing home, the best technique to determine wall thickness is to measure the width of the door frame and deduct the thickness of the trim.

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Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.


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