I'm renovating our basement and am wondering what code says about stud spacing. I would like to do 24. None of the walls are load bearing.
While 24" is allowed, it is does have disadvantages. The cost savings between going with 24" O.C. as opposed to 16" is marginal (2x4's are cheap). The difference in the quality, on the other hand, is noticeable. The 24" stud spacing results in wall which are very loud and "hollow" sounding (especially when there will be an interior door on that wall, it's very loud and full of vibration each time the door is closed).
If you are filling the stud spaces with soundproofing, then it's less of an issue. But if the idea is to save money, then it's important to know the pros and cons of going that route in order to make an informed decision.
Screws tend to pop more with 24 O.C spacing.
The codes for framing fall more into effect for load bearing walls and partitions, and will be spec'd as to the load in which it needs to carry. A 2x4 vs a 2x6, 12" centers or 16" centers. 16" centers are mainly used because it is more cost effective than doing 12" centers and the drywall for 8' or 12' which are common board lengths will fall on 16" centers.
You can frame a basement out of 24" centered studs without any code violations. Just make sure to insulate exterior walls and vapour barrier them before closing it up. Also keep in mind the function and use of the room, will you need to hang anything on the walls, mount tvs etc, as 24" centers may not be optimal for this.
You will also tend to get more cracking on joints with moderate pressures, kids running around, bumping walls, bouncing things off them etc, and along the same lines as Rob stated, this can lead to more frequent nail pops, however, make sure you hang your drywall with screws instead of nails to minimize this and never break the paper when screwing your drywall.
I hope this helps.
There is no code regarding spacing when you are building a non load bearing wall. But do yourself a favour, stick with 16" on centers. Most insulations and sound deadening materials come in 16" on centers for walls.
You will have less movement with expansion and contraction over time. This means the potential for crack and plaster repair is far less. There are other structural reasons to stick with the 16" on center as well.
Down the road, if you have contractors in to work, or cable people for T.V. hook ups, Bell, anyone. They will all expect to work off a 16" center.
You will also find a lot of prefab mounting brackets for Flat screen TV's etc are set up for these measures.
I don't know what you are doing for the base plate on your wall frames, but even if you install a foam underlay and use blue board, the 16" center will also reduce the potential of cupping or warping in that base plate.
Hope this has helped.
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