Not many of us understand what our interior walls are really made of, and with the countless cladding and wall-finish options available today, it’s almost impossible for the layman to make any guesses.
Perhaps the only time we've caught a glimpse inside our walls is while watching a home renovation show on HGTV, when the Property Brothers tear down walls with their magic sledgehammer to find unexpected hidden features and problems lurking inside them. For many of us, it's a moment of realization that our walls could even be hollow and that there's a whole world of surprises hiding behind them just waiting to be discovered!
What are partition walls?
The interior partition walls that divide our spaces are permanent structures that usually come as a part of the original construction of a building and are attached to the floor, ceiling, and adjacent walls. Their primary function is to divide spaces into permanent rooms as per the layout.
Partition walls are not load-bearing, meaning they have no structural significance. Yes, this is why they can be hollow and usually made of a simple framework of wood or metal clad with a board of some sort and finished with different materials and techniques as per the desired wall characteristics. Within the interior walls, there could be electrical ducts, heating/cooling ducts, and plumbing. Partition walls can also be made of several other materials like glass, metal, FRP, acoustic panels, etc.
If you’re wondering what’s inside your partition wall, here are some common materials it could be made of.
What are partition walls made of?
These are solid partition walls made of brick, blocks, or concrete. They’re incredibly durable and can help reduce noise transmission and increase temperature regulation. However, they’re tedious to build and are time, material, and labor-intensive, which is why it’s uncommon that you’ll find masonry partitions in any recent construction. These walls could either be finished as exposed masonry (where you can actually see the bricks) or, more commonly, coated with plaster made of lime, sand and water, and then finished with paint or wallpaper.
2. Lathe and Plaster
These partition walls, commonly known as ‘plaster walls,’ used to be the most common construction practice till the 1950s, when they were taken over by drywall or plasterboard partitions. Plaster walls consist of a framework of wooden wall studs - 2x4s or 2x6s - onto which wooden or metal lathes are nailed horizontally. These lathes are coated with several coats of plaster, then sanded and painted or wallpapered.
Drywall or plasterboard partitions are the most common type of partitions you might find in recently constructed buildings. They’re like plaster walls, but they eliminate the lengthy and labor-intensive practice of plastering by using plasterboards instead. Plasterboards are made of gypsum plaster sandwiched between two layers of heavy paper or fiberglass. They’re nailed directly onto the wooden wall studs, and the joints are sealed with a compound. The walls are then finished with paint or wallpaper, just like plaster walls.
Drywall partitions are inexpensive and relatively quick to install. Plus, they provide a decent amount of sound insulation and fire resistance. However, constructing a drywall partition to divide an open-plan still requires expertise and isn’t well-suited for spaces requiring flexible division.
Glass partition walls are common elements in modern interiors, popular for maintaining that open feel with the flow of light through the divided spaces. They’re also thin and light, taking up minimal space, which can be crucial in areas with high real-estate value. Glass partitions are made of sheets of glass held in place with a wood or metal framework.
5. Insulated panels
Partition walls can also be made of panels made of foam sandwiched between sheets of metal or plastic. These panels provide acoustic and thermal insulation and are ideal in commercial and industrial applications where insulation is essential for providing soundproofing and energy efficiency.
Insulated panels are costly and usually less aesthetically appealing than traditional partition walls. You won’t find them in many residential homes, except perhaps in energy-efficient and passive house designs.
What are temporary partition walls? How are they different from permanent partition walls?
Temporary walls essentially serve the same function as partition walls – to divide spaces within a larger area. However, they’re not permanent and are not a part of the original building construction. They’re temporary and movable and designed to be easily moved and removed to give you flexible space configurations according to your changing needs.
Temporary walls have become popular over the years as standard construction slowly shifts to open-floor planning. Here, the building structure is constructed as a shell, while interiors can be planned and divided by occupants as per usage. Open floor plans are becoming standard not only in commercial buildings like offices and retail spaces, but also in residential homes.
While they may not be able to provide the same levels of privacy and sound insulation as permanent partition walls, you just cannot ignore how easy it is to assemble and remove temporary walls. When it comes to making quick and customized spaces, temporary walls are practically indispensable!
Temporary partition walls for homes and offices
There used to be a time when you’d see temporary walls used only in exhibit areas, events, construction sites, and maybe some schools and offices, but that’s because they looked ‘temporary’ and unappealing. Installing temporary walls to use them like ‘real’ partitions in well-designed and furnished homes and offices was practically unthinkable! For that, you’d have to resort to drywall partitions which means hiring expertise, disrupting your space for weeks, and compromising flexibility in space configuration.
Not today. Today, it’s possible to build temporary partition walls – by yourself – within a couple of hours, and make them look just as clean and finished as ‘real’ walls. You can also remove them in a jiffy and reassemble them elsewhere to change your space layout quickly! This is possible today with modular, DIY partition walls.
Modular, DIY partition walls
Modular partitions are temporary partition walls made of FRP or fiber-reinforced plastic that has a clean, smooth finish, and is also durable to impact, corrosion and moisture. FRP is also light-weight, which makes it an easy DIY material.
A ready-to-install temporary wall kit like this L-Shaped Partition Wall Kit is designed such that you can assemble it with nothing but a drill and screwdriver, hassle-free and within an hour. It also comes with an accordion door that allows you to create a room, like an office cabin, guest room, or study room with privacy. The modular FRP panels can be put together with lug connectors to make a temporary wall that looks just like drywall or any other traditional partition wall.
Customize your spaces with DIY temporary partition walls
In a constantly-changing world, flexibility and adaptability are characteristics we desire in almost everything, so why should our partition walls be excluded! After all, we do need our spaces to evolve as our needs change, don’t we?
The recent COVID-19 home quarantine is good evidence for this. In a span of a few weeks, we went from working out of offices to working from home. It’s impossible to expect our traditional walls to quickly and easily accommodate those changed space needs. Most of us had to suffer from privacy and productivity issues because our spaces just weren’t flexible.
Temporary partition walls not only solve the space-flexibility problem but also help you customize your spaces as per your specific needs.
Want to create that spare guest room within your living room only during the holiday season? Want to make a discreet meeting room in your office at will? Want to build a boss’ cabin within your growing business space? Wish to split a room into two to get privacy from your roommate?
Temporary partition walls will help you achieve all these and a lot more!
Are you looking to divide your space, but without the cumbersome process and hassle of building a traditional partition wall? We can help! Reach out to us – our temporary partition wall kits and dividers are exactly what you need.