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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    5

    Default Can I build a 2x3 plumbing wall?

    I am remodeling/expanding my downstairs bathroom to add a tub/shower. It's a small space, so I plan to install a 4.5' tub. I will need to build the plumbing wall for the tub; however, because of space constraints, I would like to build a 2x3 wall. Can I fit the necessary plumbing for the tub/shower in a 2x3 wall? Or is 2x4 - or even 2x6 - the minimum?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Default Re: Can I build a 2x3 plumbing wall?

    I'm assuming you mean the wall that has the valve and showerhead. They should fit in a 2x3 wall (2-1/2" deep), providing there is enough depth for the valve body.

    If you are running a vent pipe in that wall, you should be able to install up to a 2" nominal ABS or PVC pipe. Only run the vent pipe vertically through the sill and top plates; running it horizontally through the studs will make them too weak.

    Of course, your local codes may have something to say about the thickness of the wall as well. I'm just telling you what will fit.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    238

    Default Re: Can I build a 2x3 plumbing wall?

    I guess it depends on what kind of pipes you are trying to fit into the wall. My existing bathroom uses 2x3 on the wet wall of the shower. Very cramped. The shutoff valves point to the side, the mixing valve has enough room, just depends on how you are running your drain and where the vent/p-trap is i guess.

    Metal nail plates should be added to any studs where any pipes pass through the studs to prevent screws/nails from penetrating.
    Last edited by dcalabro; 06-12-2012 at 04:25 PM.
    My advice and opinions come from hands on knowledge...and This Old House Hidden Content

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    SoCal
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    Default Re: Can I build a 2x3 plumbing wall?

    If you crowd pipes in a 2x3 wall, mark the locations of the pipes, install metal protective plates and don't drive any nails/screws in the areas of the pipes. If you drywall, use shorter screws (7/8" to 1") - you don't want any screws piercing your pipes.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    nova scotia, canada
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    1,522

    Default Re: Can I build a 2x3 plumbing wall?

    NO!!! all pipes and wires must be kept back 1 1/2" from the edge of studs and joists minium,, with a 2x3 stud you only have 2 1/2" of meat so it wont work from either edge, also the maximum allowable notch or hole drilled in a stud is no more than 1/3 the dimension of the stud, so by the time you drill a 1" hole into a 2x3 theres not enough meat left in the stud to keep any kind of strength so dont even try drilling for a vent line

    not to mention 2x3 studs have very little strength or stability to begin with which makes them more susceptible to twisting which will show up in hte drywall finish
    fire up the saw and make some dust

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,791

    Default Re: Can I build a 2x3 plumbing wall?

    I have seen a double 2x3 wet wall, had a house with this, but I've never seen a single 2x3 wet wall. This may not meet code. but if all the lateral runs for the hot and cold supply are under the floor so that they only come straight up and not cut through any studs and the vent also is in a straight line up, you might be able to do it.

    If you need to go lateral, say from a side wall, you could run those sections along the floor on the tub side of the studs and not go through the studs themselves. The pipes would be in the cavity at the front of the tub. It will be tight getting around the overflow tube, but you might find just enough space above the overflow tube to run a lateral.

    You will need to check with your local code enforcement for this, and you will probably need to get a permit and have inspections done as well.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    5

    Default Re: Can I build a 2x3 plumbing wall?

    Thank you all for your replies. Before I do anything, I will discuss with the plumber to determine what is best and what will meet codes here in MA. I anticipate I will be figuring out a way to make room for a 2x4 wet wall...

    Thanks again.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    SoCal
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    Default Re: Can I build a 2x3 plumbing wall?

    All plumbing walls that I've seen have been 2x4 or 2x6. I've never seen a 2x3 wall. If you run 1/2" hot/cold copper, there will be space, but there won't be any space for a vent. Not such a good idea. I have a thin Moen body (#62320) in my truck, that will fit. a 2x3 wall, but it will be too tight, and I won't advise to do it.

    My advice is to make space for a 2x4 wall.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    Default Re: Can I build a 2x3 plumbing wall?

    I'm not saying it's a good idea to use 2x3 walls but both Delta and Moen will fit in 2x3 walls.

    John

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Houston Texas
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    Default Re: Can I build a 2x3 plumbing wall?

    John, You're not helping.

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