What is Standard Stud Spacing for Framing Stud Walls

A DIY Framing tip on Standard Stud Spacing when Framing Timber Stud Walls

By Mark J. Donovan

QUESTION on What is Standard Stud Spacing: A frequent visitor to Homeadditionplus.com was installing a garage door opener and needed to know the stud spacing between ceiling joists.

He initially attempted to find out by drilling holes every inch in his ceiling’s sheetrock.

After a dozen holes, he contacted us asking for help on this basic question, “What is the standard stud spacing for walls and ceilings?”

Answer on What is Standard Stud Spacing and How to Find a Stud in Your Wall:

When framing stud walls, standard stud wall spacing is 16 inches. Or more specifically wall studs are normally spaced on 16 inch centers. In some cases, such as in a garage with no second floor, local building codes may allow wall standard stud spacings of 24 inches. Also, in some cases ceiling joists or roof trusses can be spaced on 24 inch centers.

How to Find a Stud in Your Wall

If you are looking to figure out what the stud wall spacing is on an existing sheetrocked wall, you can use a stud finder for walls that you can purchase at any home improvement center.

Stud wall detectors have a magnet built into them. When the wood stud finder is slid over the surface of the sheetrock (a.k.a. drywall) the drywall stud finder will indicate when it is over a drywall nail or screw, and thus over a wood stud.

Rough opening for a window frame

Here’s a standard stud spacing of 16 inches.

Move the wood stud finder to the left of right approximately 16 inches, again the most common standard stud spacing, and you should find another drywall nail or screw somewhere along the length of the wall in that area. 

Using Your Knuckle to Find Wall Stud Spacing

Another technique on how to find a stud in your wall without using a wood stud finder is to simply use your knuckle and tap across a 24 inch span on the drywall. When you tap on the wall with your knuckle where there is no stud behind you’ll hear a hollow sound. When you tap on the wall with your knuckle where there is a stud behind it you’ll hear a thud sound.

Learn how to find the perfect 2x4s for framing wall studs here.

For more help on building a home addition, see HomeAdditionPlus.com’s Home Addition Bid Sheets. Our Home Addition Bid Sheets provide you with the knowledge and information on how to plan a home building project, and what to look for when hiring contractors. They also include detailed cost breakdown tables and spreadsheets for estimating your own new home construction building costs.

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Related Information on Framing Stud Walls and Standard Stud Spacing

Additional Framing Resources including Standard Stud Spacings from Amazon.com

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