What is the code distance between wall studs in a house?

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  • William William on Aug 13, 2017
    Spacing between studs needs to be an exact measurement so that 4-foot-by-8-foot sheets of drywall or exterior sheathing can be evenly distributed across the center of each stud to complete the wall assembly.

    Sixteen-Inch on Center

    Sixteen-inch on center means there are exactly 16 inches from the center of the narrow (nominal 2-inch) side of one stud to the center of the next stud. Standard two-by-four studs actually measure about 1 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches. Studs are installed in vertical rows between the walls top and bottom plates. The studs are placed 16 inches on center for most interior load-bearing walls and non-load-bearing walls as well as exterior load-bearing walls. Each stud is nailed in place with the 1 1/2-inch edges parallel to the faces of the wall.

    It's not uncommon in older homes to find interior walls with studs set 24 inches on center, or even 12 inches on center or anywhere in between. Spacing was not as crucial in older homes because the walls were often covered in lath and plaster, so the framing didn't have to conform to a 4-by-8-foot panel. Today, stud placement also is strictly governed by building codes, based on what the walls are supporting.
  • Bobbie Bobbie on Aug 13, 2017
    William is right about his advice on both the new construction and I can tell you from experience older homes are pretty much all over the place.
  • Sharon Sharon on Aug 13, 2017
    16" on center
  • Jimmy john ledbetter Jimmy john ledbetter on Aug 13, 2017
    sixteen inches on center
  • Delicia Ambrosino Delicia Ambrosino on Aug 13, 2017
    Sometimes that depends by state so I suggest you ask your state codes inspector. Here in NY I believe it is 16".
  • DesertRose DesertRose on Aug 13, 2017
    it is usually 16 inches from center to center of studs, but there are a few exceptions
  • Diana Deiley Diana Deiley on Aug 13, 2017
    William explains it perfectly. I know it's 16" on center, but he explains why. I'd print his explanation and keep it on file.
  • Gracie Gracie on Aug 13, 2017
    16 inches on center
  • Joye R. Foster Joye R. Foster on Aug 13, 2017
    Thank you all so much!!
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