Metal Stud Sizes | Dimensions & When to Use Each | REthority (2023)

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Metal stud sizes aren’t common knowledge. After all, most homes use wood studs, not metal. But there are times when it’s good to know the average dimensions and distance between them. Read on to learn more.

Disclaimer:The information included in this post is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as legal, financial, or DIY advice. We highly suggest consulting a professional before attempting any DIY home improvements or repairs.

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Metal studs are used for building anything from a treehouse to a warehouse. There are many sizes of metal studs that you can use, as they are used for a wide variety of projects.They’re the preferred material to use when building the walls of a structure because they are light and durable.

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There are many different sizes of metal studs to choose from. We’ve broken down the numerical list into material thickness, flange width, and member depth. Using these measurements will help you find the right one for your project.

Standard Metal Stud Sizes

Metal stud sizes vary in width, thickness, and depth. It’s important to consider the thickness of the frame, the size of the webbing, and the size of the flange.Webbing in metal studs is the space in between the studs where plumbing and electrical wires are situated.

You also have to consider the flange size and lip size, which are both other measures of the metal stud that can affect their sizing. The flange is the area where you will apply drywall or another enclosing material to the stud. The lip is the part of the stud where they connect with a screw.

Steel Framing Thickness

You need to know how thick you need the metal studs to be for your project. In general, the thicker the metal, the more heavy-duty the project. This is because heavy-duty projects require a stronger foundation.

Here are some examples of metal stud sizes as it relates to the thickness:

  • 26 gauge (0.551 mils)
  • 24 gauge (0.701 mils)
  • 22 gauge (0.853 mils)
  • 20 gauge (1.006 mils)
  • 18 gauge (1.311 mils)
  • 16 gauge (1.613 mils)
  • 14 gauge (1.994 mils)

The higher the gauge number, the thinner the stud is. The thicker the stud, the stronger the structure will be.

Various Flange Sizes and Lip Sizes

Flange sizes are expressed in 1/100th of an inch, and the thickness is expressed in 1/1000th of an inch. This measurement is also known as “mils.”

Here are some typical flange sizes:

  • 1 1/4 inch (31.75 mm)
  • 1 3/8 inch
  • 1 5/8 inch (41.3 mm)
  • 2 inches (50.8 mm)
  • 2 1/2 inches
  • 3 inches
  • 3 1/2 inches

Lip sizes are also one of the most important things to know because they determine how the pieces of metal studs will fit together. Here are a couple of typical metal stud sizes as it relates to lip size.

  • 1/2 inches (12.7 mm)
  • 3/4 inches (19.1 mm)

Different Web Sizing

As with the thickness, the flange sizing, and the lip sizing, thewebbing size is crucial to the successful outcome of your project. Understanding which size webbing you need on your metal stud is one of the most important aspects.

The webbing determines how far apart your studs are. Below are a few standard webbing sizes:


  • 1 5/8 inch
  • 2 1/2 inches
  • 3 1/2 inches
  • 3 5/8 inches
  • 4 inches
  • 5 1/2 inches
  • 6 inches
  • 8 inches
  • 10 inches
  • 12 inches
  • 14 inches
  • 16 inches

As with any DIY project, it’s best to research as many sources of information you can find before you begin the project. Here are a few things to consider during this process:

  • After covering all the basics of the many types of metal stud sizes, consider the type of project you are doing to the right stud size.
  • For example, if you are building a small child’s playhouse in the backyard that needs to withstand a little weather, a stud with less thickness would be just fine.
  • If you build a full-sized house for a family of four, a metal stud with a wider web size and larger thickness would be necessary for stability.

An example on the scale is something like a commercial retail building with many floors. These buildings need the most durable metal stud with wide web sizes, thick studs, and bigger flange sizes.

Things to Consider

Metal Stud Sizes | Dimensions & When to Use Each | REthority (3)


Regardless of the size of your project, you must know everything you can about which type and size stud you need. You must be aware of anything that could turn your project upside down because you picked the wrong size.

Here are a few things that you should consider when taking on a project like this:

  • Price point – be sure if you are on a tight budget that you don’t sacrifice quality to get the job done
  • Research on the best brand to use for your project
  • Decide on the sizing based on this research
  • Be sure to get the correct size for your project, or it may not hold up
  • Consult another source if you need help with installing metal studs or deciding which studs to use
  • Be sure you know how to not only install the metal studs but also be sure you know how to enclose the walls after the studs are in place
  • Use a level to be sure it’s straight when working on a curved area

Frequently Asked Questions

Now that you know more about metal stud sizes, here are some frequently asked questions that may come up as you start working on your project.

How much do metal studs cost?

The price can vary from store to store, but generally, they will cost between 6 dollars and 20 dollars per stud. The price depends on not only the material but also the size of the stud as well.

Another general rule of thumb for metal stud pricing: A house will cost you around 8 to 13 dollars per square foot to build. Again, prices can vary based on many factors. For simple DIY projects, you can find metal studs of varying sizes at retailers likeHome DepotandLowe’s.

Metal studs at these retailers run between 6 dollars and 20 dollars per stud, so keep that in mind when you budget for your project. These retailers also offer a comparison option on their websites. You can use the tool to compare various sizes and their uses before purchasing.

How do you install metal studs?

Metal studs are installed using screws and brackets to form the structure. The retailers who sell metal studs like Home Depot and Lowe’s also sell the screws necessary to complete the project.You should use a ceiling and floor stud in every project with metal studs.

Be sure to do this step first and then put in the individual studs that make up the wall.Once you’ve installed them, you will use drywall or another wall-type material to close in the area.

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Why are metal studs better than wood studs?

There are many answers to this question, but the main reason is that metal studs are lighter and cheaper than wood studs.They are also more durable for the long term. Metal studs take less time to install and will save you time and energy on your project. Also, with lumber prices at record highs, metal offers a less expensive alternative.


Do metal studs rust?

If the material is galvanized metal, it won’t rust. Many retailers offer warranties for this type of wear and tear.You can find that information on a company site from which you’ve purchased your tools. Here is an example of Inno Metal Studs’warranty.

Do I need to cut the metal studs to fit my project?

Usually, you will need to cut your studs to fit your needs. You can do this by cutting them one at a time with aviation snips. The alternative is to cut them in bulk with a circular saw.

It’s also possible to bend metal studs to fit a project by cutting small incisions in the metal at equal intervals.Always use caution and the necessary safety precautions when cutting into metal.

What is the best way to install the studs?

The best way to install your metal studs is to install the floor and ceiling tracks first and then fill in the rest of the frame.Again, be sure to have the right size studs for your needs and the appropriate size screws and nails to put in the wall.

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What size studs are available?

The most common size studs available for a home are 2x6 and 2x4. In homes with 8 foot walls, studs are 92 inches apart. In homes with 9 foot walls, studs are 104.5 inches apart.

How wide do steel studs come?

Most big-box home improvement stores carry 3-5/8 inch wide studs (which is comparable to lumber 2x4 dimensions) in 25 gauge steel with 8 through 10 foot lengths.

What gauge do metal studs come in?

Metal studs typically come in 25-gauge steel with 1 1/4 inch flanges and are meant to be used for non-load bearing walls. You'll need to visit an industrial supply store for heavier-duty studs.

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How wide is a 6 inch metal stud?

A 6 inch metal stud measures 6 inches on its long face. This equated to 1 5/8 by 4 inches.

Are metal studs nominal dimensions?

No, metal studs are referenced by actual size, not in nominal terms (like you're used to with wooden lumber). For example, a 2x4 is actually 3-1/2 inches by 1-1/2 inches.

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Which Metal Stud Size is Right for Your Project?

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You’ve learned about the various sizes and uses for metal studs. Now it’s time to decide what is best for your project. Be sure to account for how much it will cost, how expansive the space is, and if you have all the specifications necessary to accurately buy the size of stud you need.

Take measurements with you to the retailer for expert help if you are not sure.Metal studs are a simplified method of building walls than wood studs. You’ll be able to knock out your renovation project in a timely fashion with lighter materials by using metal studs versus wood studs.

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What are the dimensions of metal studs? ›

Standard lengths are 10′, 12′ and 14′. Other lengths available upon request. Conventional metal studs are available in 25, 22, 20, 18, and 16 gauge steel for your convenience (1-5/8″ available in 20, 22 and 25 gauge only). Structural studs are also available.

What size steel studs should I use? ›

Most load-bearing walls require 16 or 18-gauge studs and interior walls are built using 20 or 25-gauge metal studs.

What are the dimensions of a stud? ›

In the United States and Canada, studs are traditionally made of wood, usually 2×4 or 2×6 by name; however, these historical dimensions have been reduced but still carry the name of "two by four" and "two by six".

How thick is a standard metal stud? ›

Thickness: 33 mils (20ga), 43 mils (18ga), 54 mils (16ga), 68 mils (14ga) and 97 mils (12ga).

How thick is a standard metal stud wall? ›

Metal Stud Sizes

The most common size stud is a 3 5/8" wide stud. Combined with a layer of 5/8" gypsum wall board on both sides will give a 4 7/8" thick wall.

How do you calculate metal stud framing? ›

Determine how far apart the steel studs will be located and divide the linear feet of the perimeter by that number. Steel studs are typically located 16 inches apart so divide the perimeter in inches by 16. If the perimeter is 60 feet, or 720 inches, then 45 steel studs will be needed.

Can I use 2x2 for stud walls? ›

A wall built from 2x2s is not strong enough to support any load-bearing weight but is perfect as a partition wall. To frame a 2x2 wall, connect a top and sole plate to the existing adjoining wall and add studs, spacers and fire blocking as you work from right to left.

What is standard stud spacing? ›

The general spacing for wall studs is 16 inches on center, but they can be 24 inches.

What is the width of a 3 5 8 metal stud? ›

Exterior Structural Track and Metal Stud Sizes
Member DepthFlange WidthMaterial Thickness (GA)
3-5/8" - 12"1-3/8, 1-5/8", 2" & 2-1/2" Leg14 ga 68 Mil
3-5/8" - 12"1-3/8, 1-5/8", 2" & 2-1/2" Leg12 ga 97 Mil
2-1/2" - 12"1-1/4" - 1-1/2", 2" & 2-1/2" Leg20 ga 33 Mil
2-1/2" - 12"1-1/4" - 1-1/2", 2" & 2-1/2" Leg18 ga 43 Mil
10 more rows

How do you read stud sizes? ›

The Steel Stud Manufacturer's Associates (SSMA) has adopted a sizing standard that moves away from 'gauges' and directly specifies the material thickness in mils (100ths of an inch). A 600S162-54 is a 6-inch (600) Stud (S) with a 1-5/8” flange (162) with a thickness of 0.054 in (54).

What do the numbers to metal studs mean? ›

It is a four digit identifier that translates to the width of the stud in inches. In the example provided, a stud with a 3-5/8" web is written as 0362. 03 refers to the 3", while 62 is the unrounded result of 5 divided by 8 (0. 625).

What are 20 gauge metal studs used for? ›

Structural Metal Framing - Studs are a general purpose framing component used in a number of applications including exterior curtain walls, load bearing walls, headers and floor and roof joists.

How much weight can metal studs hold? ›

The axial load, or load weight limit, for metal studs varies widely. An 8-foot, 3-1/2-inch metal stud, for instance, may support over 2,000 pounds, while a 16-foot stud of the same width will support as little as 400 pounds.

What is the spacing for metal studs? ›

Framing. Just like wood framing, metal studs should be spaced 16 or 24 inches apart. This allows for the installation of wallboard and other wall sheet products that come in standard sizes. After installing the floor and ceiling tracks, each metal stud is measured, and the length is cut to fit.

Are metal studs 16 on Center? ›

They're always spaced either 16 or 24 inches on center (measured from center to center) along the wall and run between the floor and ceiling. Drywall or lath (for plaster walls) attaches to the edge of the studs.

Can metal studs be used for load bearing walls? ›

Heavier gauge metal studs are used in load bearing walls and structural applications such as exterior walls. Lighter gauge metal studs are used in non-load bearing applications such as some interior walls, half-walls, and partitions.

Why are metal studs used? ›

Metal studs provide disaster-resistance and are not prone to termite or mold damage, like wood studs. Metal studs are also healthier than wood studs because metal does not emit VOCs. Wood has several advantages over metal studs. Wood studs are less expensive and more available than metal studs.

Can I frame a wall with 2x3? ›

Building an Interior Wall Frame. Most wall framing is done with 2x4 or 2x6 lumber but it may be possible to use 2x3's to build a new, non-load-bearing, interior wall. By code, 2x3's may be used for this purpose if the wall is no taller than 10 feet and the studs are spaced every 16 inches.

What's the thinnest wall you can build? ›

Things You'll Need

A narrow wall is 2 to 2 1/2 inches thick, but it is not suitable as a load-bearing wall and local building codes might not allow it between bedrooms.

What can you build with 2x2? ›

One of the most common uses for 2x2s is as a furniture base for small tables or benches — just look at all the different styles you can make with a simple 2×2! or a faux metal coffee table base — extra gorgeous when it's finished with reclaimed wood!

How thick is a 25 gauge steel stud? ›

Nominal Gauge2Minimum Thickness3 (Inches)Maximum Design Thickness4 (Inches)
6 more rows

What are the actual dimensions of a 2x4 metal stud? ›

A 2x4, for example, is really 3-1/2" x 1-1/2". Metal framing on the other hand, is referenced by actual size. As a result you will get exactly what you order. If you request a 3-5/8" steel stud, you will receive a full 3-5/8" width.

What is the actual size of a 2x6 metal stud? ›

A 600S metal stud measures 6 inches on its web, or long face. Thus a metal stud taking the place of a two-by-four measures 1 5/8 by 4 inches, and a two-by-six, 1 5/8 by 6 inches -- slightly fatter but the same depth as their wood equivalents.

What is the width of a 3 5 8 metal stud? ›

Exterior Structural Track and Metal Stud Sizes
Member DepthFlange WidthMaterial Thickness (GA)
3-5/8" - 12"1-3/8, 1-5/8", 2" & 2-1/2" Leg14 ga 68 Mil
3-5/8" - 12"1-3/8, 1-5/8", 2" & 2-1/2" Leg12 ga 97 Mil
2-1/2" - 12"1-1/4" - 1-1/2", 2" & 2-1/2" Leg20 ga 33 Mil
2-1/2" - 12"1-1/4" - 1-1/2", 2" & 2-1/2" Leg18 ga 43 Mil
10 more rows


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