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How Wide Are Wall Studs Typically? (All You Need to Know)

Wall studs are not always the easiest to locate. But the job gets much easier once you have information on how wide are wall studs typically and how deep is a stud partition wall.

In this article, we will walk you through the different aspects associated with locating wall studs in your home. Read on to learn how wide are wall studs and how you can measure them.

How wide are wall studs typically?

Typically wall studs are four inches wide and two inches thick. The wall studs are generally located 16 or 24 inches away from each other. You can locate wall studs simply by tapping the wall with your bare hand or a hammer and listen for a shallow sound.

Studs are installed underneath walls as supporting frames. They are installed at certain intervals to keep the whole house standing. In most houses, wall studs are measured two by four, that is, they are about 4 inches wide and 2 inches thick.

In most cases, studs are spaced at 16 or 24 inches apart. That is to say, there is an interval of either 16 inches or 24 inches between two wall studs. However, if the house was built before World War 2, then the studs may be located at 12 or 18 inches apart.

Types of wall studs and their width:

Depending on the type of framing you’re using, studs vary in dimensions. There are various types of wall studs, ranging in width. Let’s take a look at some of the most common types of wall studs:

King studs:

King studs are located on either side of a door or a window. They are used to determine the size of rough openings. You’ll have to place a king stud vertically, from the bottom plate to the top.

The width of a king stud is the same as the common studs in the frame. Although king studs work as the terminating point of the frame, they will also be installed in the same manner as the common studs.


Headers are studs that are located horizontally. They are generally made of large woods, measuring about 2 by 10 to 12 inches.

If the opening measures between 4 to 5 feet, then the header should measure 2 inches in width and 8 inches in length. However, if the opening is any larger than that, then the header should measure 2 inches in width and 12 inches in length.

And you’re not sure, then the safest option would be to opt for a 2 by 12 inches header.

Trimmer studs:

Attached to the king studs, facing the opening, are trimmer studs. These studs are nailed to the king studs and designed to support the windows and door openings. It offers stability to the already established window or door frame.

The width of trimmer studs will be equal to the adjacent common studs. So its width largely depends on the width of king studs. Trimmer studs are also known as jack studs.

Cripple studs:

Cripple studs are installed between the top plate of the wall and the header studs. It should be placed at 16 inches between the said studs. They provide additional support to the structure, helping the house stand upright.

The width of the cripple studs should match the adjacent king and header studs.

How wide are metal wall studs?

Most metal wall studs are made of cold-formed steel. They generally measure 1 ⅝ inch wide.

A metal wall stud measuring 1 ⅝ inch by 4 inches can easily replace its 2 by 4 inches wood counterpart. And a metal wall stud that measures 1 ⅝ inch by 6 inches can replace a 2 by 6 inches wooden stud.

How wide are garage wall studs?

Garage wall studs should measure 2 by 4 inches. They are generally two inches wide and four inches deep.

How far should studs be apart?

Wall studs should either be 16 inches or 24 inches apart. This distance is measured from the center of a wall stud to another.

If a stud is not located at 16 inches distance from another, then it must be placed at 24 inches.

How deep is a stud partition wall?

The depth of a stud partition wall largely depends on the size of the space on which you’re building an establishment. But the general measurement is that the timber stud partition walls should have a thickness of about 5 inches.

To place a two-by-four wall stud, the general thickness should be 4 and a half inches.

How deep is a stud behind drywall?

Studs behind drywall generally measure two by four inches vertically. They are typically placed at 16 or 24 inches apart on the center.

Note that standard walls in your home, that measure about 8 feet in length have installed wall studs of about 92 inches underneath them. For walls measuring 9 feet, the wall studs are about 104 inches.

How many wall studs do I need?

The number of studs that you need mainly depends on the size of the room. The larger the room, the more studs you will need.

To calculate how many wall studs you need, multiply the length of the wall by 0.75.

Now you will have to add three wall studs for every 90-degree corner in the room. In addition, add four wall studs for every 45-degree corner in the room.

You can easily identify how many wall studs you need by following this simple calculation.

How do I know my wall stud size?

There are several ways you can know your wall stud size. Take a look at this step by step guide to learn how you can know your wall stud size easily without the use of any high-end equipment:

Start from the corner of the house:

Most studs are placed either 16 inches apart or 24 inches apart. Start from the corner of the room and measure 16 inches. If you’re unable to find a stud there, then you’re sure to find one at 24 inches. 

Search for electric outlets:

In most cases, the electric outlets and light switches are placed alongside wall studs. Sometimes they are placed on top of them.

So you should look for electric outlets and switches as a starting point for counting wall studs.

Use stud finder:

Once you have located the wall studs, you can now easily know your wall stud size. Use a stud finder for the purpose. It will help you mechanically measure the width and height of the studs underneath the walls of your house.

Stud finders cost something between $5 to $10. You can either opt for an electric stud finder or a magnetic stud finder.

How to find studs in a plaster wall without a stud finder?

Finding a stud underneath plaster walls can be quite challenging. In such a case, the magnetic stud finders cannot help you quite as you’d like. But you can still find studs in plastic walls without a stud finder by following these tips:

Use a magnet:

Studs are attached to the wall with nails. If you use a magnet, it will help you pick up the nails that are attached to the studs, and you can find the wall studs in turn.

Make sure that you have a strong enough magnet in your hand to get the job done. It will generate the best results if you can hang the magnet from a piece of string.

Move the magnet back and forth and pay attention to its movement. It will attract the nails underneath the wall and help you find studs in a plaster wall.

Knock test:

You can use a knock test to manually find studs in the plaster wall without a stud finder. Simply knock on the wall and pay attention to the difference in sound pitch that the wall is producing.

You will notice that the sound is deeper where there is no stud underneath. And where there is a wall stud in the plaster wall, it will produce sound with a higher pitch.

Final thoughts:

Wall studs are typically 2 inches thick and 4 inches wide. The general distance between two studs is either 16 inches or 24 inches. You can locate studs underneath a wall simply by tapping them with a hammer. You can also use a magnetic stud finder to get the job done.