How to build false walls

Updated February 21, 2017

Building a false wall can help split a larger room into sections, or can be used to create a concealed area containing anything from home entertainment equipment, such as projectors or speakers, to exposed plumbing. Because the wall is not a load-bearing one, with no need to support the ceiling of the room, you can locate the false wall anywhere desired. You only have to create the frame from 2-by-4 studs, and then erect it in place, anchored by a wall stud in an existing wall and by the joists running throughout your ceiling.

Measure the length of the wall that you plan on installing using a tape measure. Cut two 2-by-4 planks to the measured length with a table saw to serve as the base plate along the bottom of your wall and the top plate running along the top.

Measure the height of the wall with the tape measure and adjust the measurement by reducing it three inches, in order to make room for the top and bottom plates, each of which is actually 1 1/2 inches thick due to shrinkage from drying out after being sawn fresh to a 2-inch measurement. Cut two 2-by-4 planks to the adjusted measurement to form the two end pieces, or studs, for your wall.

Set the cut planks onto the floor all on the sides that now measure 1 1/2 inches, and form a rectangle with the top and bottom plates running horizontally and the two end pieces placed on either end of the plates, sandwiched between them and flush to the plate ends.

Check that the end pieces are square with a carpenter's square, then nail the end pieces into place by using a hammer to drive 16d nails through the plate pieces and down into the ends of the end pieces. Use two nails per end piece, staggered to avoid splitting the wood.

Place a pencil mark along the plate pieces every 16 inches.

Count the number of marks, and then cut a stud using the height measurement for each one. Place the studs centred on the pencil marks, and then nail them into place, using two nails through both the top and bottom plates and staggering them as you did on the end pieces.

Use a stud finder to locate a stud in an existing wall nearest the point where you wish to raise the false wall. Mark the stud's position with the pencil, then stand the false wall against the existing wall with one of the end pieces against the stud location. Drive several nails, about one every six inches, through the end piece and into the stud in the existing wall to secure the false wall into place. Screw the top plate into the rafters along the ceiling with 3-inch drywall screws using an electric screwdriver.

Cover the false wall as desired -- with drywall and paint or laminate panels, for example -- following the covering material manufacturer's instructions, to complete the false wall.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • 2-by-4 studs
  • Table saw
  • Carpenter's square
  • Hammer
  • 16d nails
  • Pencil
  • Stud finder
  • 3-inch drywall screws
  • Electric screwdriver
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About the Author

Larry Simmons is a freelance writer and expert in the fusion of computer technology and business. He has a B.S. in economics, an M.S. in information systems, an M.S. in communications technology, as well as significant work towards an M.B.A. in finance. He's published several hundred articles with Demand Studios.