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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Default Old plaster walls and new framing

    My house is a 1920's bungalow with some plaster walls. I'd like to build a closet in the corner of a downstairs bedroom - one wall plaster, one drywall, and a dropped drywall ceiling. I'm wondering about the best method for tying in the new framing into the plaster wall as well as the dropped drywall ceiling. I was thinking toggle bolts, and not worrying about hunting for studs, but will that provide the walls with enough stability? Do I need to find studs through my plaster walls to tie in the new framing? Do I need to consider removing the plaster altogether (i don't really want to)? Thanks for any guidance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    nova scotia, canada
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    Default Re: Old plaster walls and new framing

    i just use a framing gun and stitch nail the plates and end studs to the plaster, in combination of using construction adhesive to give some extra hold to the plaster
    fire up the saw and make some dust

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
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    1,588

    Default Re: Old plaster walls and new framing

    I agree with jkirk if you have a pneumatic nailer. Don't however, start pounding on those walls with a regular hammer. Old plaster walls are very hard and brittle and you risk breaking the plaster away from the lath or the skim coat away from the rough plaster..

    I would, short of using a nailer, use a series of long utility screws in conjunction with adhesive, as jkirk suggests. The ceiling, as it will have horizontal members anchored to the walls, should be able to be fastened to studs. I would reinforce the ceiling with a layer of plywood, should there be an exposed ledge above the closet. If there is a ledge there, someone down the line will try to store something up there or place weight upon it. The plywood would also make the structure super ridgid.

  4. #4
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    Nov 2011
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    Default Re: Old plaster walls and new framing

    Thanks for all of the suggestions - that helps a lot. I hadn't considered using construction adhesive. and the plywood at top sounds like a good way to make everything rigid - although there is no "ledge" above where the closet will sit, if I'm understanding that bit correctly. The dropped drywall ceiling is at one level throughout the bedroom, and the plan is to have the closet also share that same dropped ceiling.

    Oh - does "stitch nailing" mean anything more specific than just putting a bunch of nails in a row down the length of a stud in order to attach it to something else?

    thanks again!
    Last edited by jheretico; 11-30-2011 at 09:04 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
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    Fayette County, Ohio
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    Default Re: Old plaster walls and new framing

    I think he means driving them in at an angle. One one direction the next the opposite direction.

    Jack
    Be sure you live your life, because you are a long time dead.-Scottish Proverb

  6. #6
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    Nov 2011
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    Default Re: Old plaster walls and new framing

    Quote Originally Posted by JLMCDANIEL View Post
    I think he means driving them in at an angle. One one direction the next the opposite direction.

    Jack
    Gotcha. thanks -

  7. #7
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    Aug 2007
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    Default Re: Old plaster walls and new framing

    Quote Originally Posted by JLMCDANIEL View Post
    I think he means driving them in at an angle. One one direction the next the opposite direction.

    Jack
    I agree, and offer the warning to be extremely careful because plaster can be very hard, so hard that it will deflect nails, so keep your hands well away from the area of the gun and nail pathways. Basically, keep your hands back at least 6" from where you're nailing
    I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!

  8. #8
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    Mar 2008
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    nova scotia, canada
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    Default Re: Old plaster walls and new framing

    stitch nailing means to shoot them in pairs in alternating angles so the two nails will act similar to a staple.

    im currently hanging a buttload of crown molding in a new apartment building framed with steel stud.. we have to use this method to fasten to just the drywall
    fire up the saw and make some dust

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