A stud is a vertical framing member which forms part of a wall or partition. Also known as wall studs, they are a fundamental component of frame building and are typically made of timber. However, steel studs are increasingly popular, particularly for non load-bearing walls and firewalls.
As part of a wall, studs may carry vertical structural loads, or as part of a partition wall, may be non load-bearing. They are sandwiched between top and bottom plates and must be equally spaced. The spacings will be governed by the size and spanning ability of the facing or cladding material.
In addition to helping maintain the shape of a building element, studs hold in place the windows, doors, insulation, interior finish, utilities, and so on. In order to form interior and exterior corners, intersecting walls, headers, jambs and sills, studs can be bundled together in a variety of ways to best suit the application.
Traditionally, studs were fastened to the plates by hammer and nail, and then by nail gun. Modern techniques such as screw fasteners, clips and ties can be used to enhance resistance to wind and seismic activity.
Care must be taken to ensure that the (timber) studs are completely dry when installed, otherwise they may be prone to shrinking and twisting as they dry out. Therefore, they should be stored carefully on site before usage.
Timber studs are easy to use, lightweight, adaptable, and can be clad and infilled with various materials to give different finishes and properties. They should be of prepared or planed material to ensure that the wall is of constant thickness with parallel faces.
There are different names for studs that are used to frame around window and door openings. These include:
- King stud: On either side of a window or door, and runs from the bottom to top plate.
- Trimmer or jack: On either side of a window or door, and runs from the bottom plate to the underside of a lintel or header.
- Cripple stud: Either above or below a framed opening.
- Post or column: Group of studs fastened side-by-side.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
CEOs and high-level executives explain who they expect to be the most successful players in the future of construction.
What are package contracts and how are they broken down? Find out in our introductory article.
Identifying sustainable shoreline protection solutions in the face of rising sea levels and storms in the US.
Budget documents state modern methods of construction will be favoured for public infrastructure schemes from 2019.
A walk-through exhibition of an emergency humanitarian shelter is officially opened at BRE's Innovation Park.
How to work safely on a construction site during winter.
Housing is the big winner in Chancellor Philip Hammond's Autumn Budget.
The winner of our BSRIA competition, Tomorrow's challenges in today's buildings, is.... Bob Hendrikx. A big thank you to everyone that took part.
Committee of MPs accuses government of dealing billpayers a 'bad hand' over the guaranteed power price.
In 1992, the Joint Fire Code was first published. What influence does it still have on construction sites today?
"Companies will have to adapt or go out of business" - how are virtual reality and big data disrupting digital construction?
International Well Building Institute and BRE collaborate on multiple levels to advance human health through better buildings.
"The industry has tried moving away from prescriptivism to focus on performance, but maybe that’s no longer working".