Wall Framing Tips

By Robert Robillard on Workshop tips

Tips On How To Frame A Wall

People always ask me why studs are placed 16″ on center?

16 inch on center, or 16″ o.c., means that from the center of one stud to the center of the next stud is approximately 16 inches.

Wall studs , floor joists and rafters are spaced this way to accommodate 4X8 foot sheets of plywood, drywall or paneling. If properly spaced, a sheet of plywood should land in the center of a stud, leaving 3/4″ space for an adjoining plywood sheet.

TIP: When laying out a framing stud wall I use a tape measure that highlights [in RED] the 16″ on centers. [example 16″, 32″, 48″, 64″, etc] In the photo below you will see the red 16.

The easiest way for me to describe this is to hook your tape on the end of the board your laying out, and look for the red 16 on centers, making a mark 3/4″ on the left side of this red mark.

This means for 16″ o.c. you mark at 15-1/4″ and us this same method at 32″ [marking 31 1/4′], 48″ [marking 47 1/4″] and so on.

A 2×4 or 2×6 is 1-1/2″ thick. 3/4″ is one half of the studs thickness. Using my the 1/4″ mark method ensures that your adjoining framing stud will fall on and be placed 16″ on center everytime.

Wall Framing Tips

TIP: when laying out a wall I always cut the top and bottom plates and place them side by side. I then lay out my 16″ on center marks with an “arrow” mark and place an “X” on the side of the mark where the stud should go.

Wall Framing Tips

I then use a carpenter speed square to square off the 16″ o.c. marks.

Wall Framing Tips

After doing this I separate the top and bottom plates using care to keep my marks up and in the same layout as it was when marking them.

I fill in the void with my 2x studs and build the wall.

Wall Framing Tips

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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