One of the bath rooms in our double-bath remodel project needed an alcove
built to hold the new bath tub. At this early stage in the project, the plaster
had been stripped from the walls, leaving the wood lath exposed.
|The new wall needed to be built a foot away from the door,
to form a U-shaped space about 60" long by at least 30" deep,
the size of a standard bath tub.
||The door is visible on the left, and the wall that divides
the two rooms is visible on the right. The tub will go up against the back
|We used a permanent marker to layout the wall's location on
the floor. Just to leave a little leeway, we put the partition
60-1/4" from the dividing wall. We didn't too tight of a fit when
installing the tub.
||We removed the wood lath on the old wall, where our new
partition would connect.
|We installed two pieces of blocking like this, to make a
solid structure for attaching the new partition to the old framing.
We used 3" premium deck screws to attach the blocking.
||We laid out the studs on the floor. This short wall,
32" long, required 4 studs. We doubled-up the studs at the end, to
improve stiffness and provide a nailing surface for the tub. (The inner
stud in the pair ended up being about 30" from the back wall... right
in line with the front edge of the tub.)
|We marked the stud positions on the top and bottom plates.
(We used a black marker so the lines show up in the photos... a pencil
will work just fine.)
||We drove 3" deck screws through the top plate and into
the ends of the studs. Screws hold much better than nails when installed
into end-grain like this.
We did the same thing at the bottom plate.
|This third plate, which might look like the second half of a
double-top-plate, is actually the corrective action for a mistake.
The studs we bought were too short, so we needed to install a spacer.
Somebody unwittingly bought 92-5/8" long studs instead of full 8 foot
(96") studs. This mistake ended up working in our favor, because the piece
on the ceiling made it very easy to align the assembled wall section.
||The wall was tipped up and set in place. We tapped it with a
hammer to align it with the layout marks.
|The same thing at the top.
Then 3 or 4 deck screws were used to secure the top and bottom. Each
screw had to be driven into something solid, like a joist. Attaching a
wall to the wood lath is not adequate.
But we're leaving out something:
It's hard to show in photographs, but laying out the top plate's position was
actually a bit painstaking. The top has to be aligned perfectly with the bottom.
We sometimes use a level, held against the wall section, to position a wall
before fastening it.
But in this case, we needed more precision. Nothing is more accurate than
gravity, so we used a plumb bob to transfer the corner marks from the
floor to the ceiling. Using a plumb bob can be an exercise in patience and
frustration, because it takes so long to stop swinging and jiggling, but for the
price it's accuracy can't be beat.
We laid out the top corners back at the beginning, when we made marks on the
floor. We wanted the new wall to be plumb, level, and square, even if the
existing room framing was not square. It's quite likely in an old house that a
partition such as this would have to be made tapered, if it attached to an old
wall that was leaning. We were lucky, the existing wall was exactly plumb, so
our new wall could be made rectangular.
||The new wall was screwed to the blocking.
Nailing blocks were installed behind the end stud, so the edge of the
drywall would be backed by something solid.
|The nailer blocks took only a few minutes to install.
||The completed wall. Later, we will install electrical boxes
for light switches. After the tub and the plumbing is installed, we will
cover the studs with drywall.
Back To Top Of Page
- Plumb Bob
- Tape Measure
- Quick-Grip Clamps
- Lumber, 2x4x8'
- Deck Screws
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