A Guide to Partition Walls
You may be wondering, why bother with a guide to partition walls? Well, it’s a no-brainer that public settings can get noisy. Loud commotions, people having conversations, phones ringing, you name it. These noises can negatively impact productivity, more so, when collaboration is important.
Here’s where partition walls come into play. They are a great way of infusing separation and division, thus creating a conducive and more structured environment. Regardless of whether it’s a temporary or permanent solution, a partition wall is just what the doctor ordered to silence external noises and provide a private space that’s ideal for meetings, recharging, and much more.
And the doctor may have indeed ordered them; in 2020, clients are adding partition walls everywhere to be used as sneeze guards, to help prevent Covid-19 germs from being spread.
With that being said, if you’re interested in dividing your space, this ultimate guide to partition walls is designed to walk you through everything you need to know about partition walls, so it's easier to make an informed decision.
What is a Partition Wall?
It’s defined as a division or wall constructed from a sturdy material such as glass, bricks, or studding, whose sole purpose is to separate one room from another.
It’s also the go-to for properly sub-dividing a large space. A partition wall can be designed as a non-load-bearing or load-bearing wall.
- Non-Load-Bearing Wall: It’s typically located inside a property and doesn’t support a building’s structural weight. So, it doesn’t take on any additional weight of a property’s structure other than its own. Synonymous with ‘curtain walls,’ non-load-bearing walls are solely used to divide rooms and typically don’t serve any other purpose.
- You can easily spot them by keenly observing the rafters and joists in your basement or attic. If they run parallel to the wall, there’s a high likelihood they’re non-load-bearing walls. With this type of partition wall, the world is your oyster because they’re not responsible for a property’s gravitational support.
- Load-bearing Wall: Also referred to as a building’s internal wall, it is structural and does carry any weight. Contrary to the non-load-bearing counterparts, it’s erected to deliver structural support to a commercial or residential property. Slicing or removing one load-bearing wall is enough to bring down an entire structure.
- Therefore, ensure you grasp the difference between the two to avoid unintentionally jeopardizing the stability of your property’s structure. If the joists or rafters in your attic or basement run perpendicularly to the wall in question, then those are most likely load-bearing walls.
These walls could be fixed, foldable, or collapsible types. For aesthetic purposes and functionality, partition walls may be designed in different shapes such as heavy, light, thick, or thin. Their requirements revolve around the design of a building and the materials used for its construction.
Types of Partition Walls
Buildings have a boatload of rooms, courtesy of partition walls. For room service and privacy, a partition wall is the most ideal option and can be built to serve a wealth of purposes. It can be designed in various shapes and types. Based on the building requirements, design, and materials, partition walls come in different types, as discussed below.
These walls are renowned for their stretcher bond because they have to plaster on both sides. Raw materials are used to build brick partition walls, thus making them an economical option. They’re recyclable, sturdy, reusable, and usable, and are more eco-friendly as a result of the manufacturing process.
Designed solely from bricks, these partition walls fall into three categories; reinforced, hollow, and nogged. The plain brick partition of half brick rigidity doesn’t exceed a height of 2m. Just as the name suggests, reinforced brick walls fortify the form of steel bars, hoop iron, or wire mesh.
The nogged partition walls are made up of brickwork designed within a schema of wooden members. Brick partition walls are a go-to option for a myriad of people because they’re not only soundproof but also non-flammable, which makes them safe.
But remember, they’re time-consuming to build, tedious to clean, incompatible with seismic zones, and usher in fluorescence with non-exposure to the air.
As a result of the placement of reinforcements, reinforced partition walls provide enhanced durability. The reinforcements that sit at the front if iron bare or wire mesh strips are strategically positioned at each 3rd or 4th course.
The wall’s thickness is about 10cm, which is equivalent to half a brick. Reinforced walls use low-technology construction and don’t need concrete and shuttering. This type of partition wall comes in handy when a superior longitudinal bond is needed or to aid in a superimposed burden.
Hollow and Clay
These block partition walls are built for each unit of concrete. The clay blocks used are made from earthenware and clay, and they’re hollow or solids. The hollow counterparts of dimensions 0.3m X 0.2m have a thickness that falls anywhere between 0.5m and 0.15m.
The hollow clay blocks with grooves on the sides, prime, and bottom have vibrantly-colored glazed surfaces. Keep in mind that they don’t alter their volume and are lighter in weight. Not only are these different variants of partition walls durable and rigid, but they’re also affordable, fireplace-resistant, and lightweight.
Constituting reinforced or plain concrete slab, this type of partition wall receives lateral support from vertical members. Concrete partition walls could be cast or precast in situ that’s solid or formed unmoved. The unique concrete posts come in handy for developing built concrete partition walls that are solid in place walls with a thickness of up to 0.1m.
Their social control is made up of soft-cast steel bars positioned within the center of the wall thickness. The concrete combination is a ratio of 1:2:4. It aids in the significant resistance of horizontal loads such as earthquakes. Bear in mind that the horizontal and vertical stability and rigidity of concrete partition walls come at a steep price.
These are designed from hollow glass blocks or sheets. Glass sheet partition walls are constructed by inserting a sheet of glass into a wooden structure. The hollow glass partition wall is built from lightweight and translucent hollow glass blocks that vary in size, thickness, and shape.
Glass partition walls are easily accessible in construction, pocket-friendly, and deliver a decent level of privacy. Moreover, they offer a practical aesthetic that allows them to be lightweight.
A glass partition wall is impressively soundproof, damp, and has unmatched resistance to warmth. Cleaning and maintaining it is also a walk in the park. During the installation, glass sheets are fastened with a metal or wooden framework.
Useful with the regular transference of partitions, strawboard partition walls are built from compressed thick hardboard or paper layered with straw. The construction of these walls is not only a walk in the park, but they also have impressive resistance to heat-sound.
Built from plaster of Paris or burnt mineral, plaster slab partition walls are mixed with wood. The thick slabs (ranging from 0.05m to 0.1m) are available in timber or iron molds. You’ll find the relevant grooves within the plaster slabs that create sturdy intersections.
When this partition is in progress, screws, walls, and nails are usually driven into the slabs. While the framework isn’t plastered, the plaster slab’s surface of this partition wall can be left with a rough or smooth texture. But remember, the rough surface serves as a key for the plaster.
Not only are metal lath partition walls incombustible, but they’re also durable and sturdy. Nonetheless, their thin nature requires a timber or steel framework to securely hold them in position.
Lath is bound together by channels, iron wire, or soft-cast steel bars spaced by 0.15m to 0.3m. It’s plastered on both sides and provides better insulation against sound and heat. The plaster partition walls-cavity and metal lath on either side of the uniquely-formed steel channels are 30-45cm apart with a depth that falls anywhere between 3cm and 10cm.
G.I or A.C Sheet
These partition walls are lightweight, rigid, and economical, if well-designed. They’re fastened to the steel or wooden border. Every slab comprises a furrowed or core asbestos 5mm cement sheet. The plain asbestos sheet of 10mm is linked to either facet.
These are more lightweight and constructing them is a walk in the park. Wooden partition walls have impressive resistance to fire and sound. Nonetheless, they’re not suitable for humid regions as the wood becomes damp and begins to rot.
A wooden partition wall has edges that are tied down to the floor and linked to a sidewall. You can layer the divider with mortar or sheets on both sides to strengthen the partition. Here’s a breakdown of the two categories of wooden partition walls.
Common/Standard: These are made up of vertical members known as studs between the sill (lower horizontal) and head (upper horizontal) members.
Trussed: These are constructed on the truss principle. Trussed partition walls come in handy each time they’re attainable to be solely produced. Granted, they’re easy to build and pleasantly lightweight. However, on the flip side, they’re not fireproof and highly susceptible to insect infestation and rot.
These encompass the lumber framework that’s supported by sidewalls or on the ground underneath. The structure comprises a sturdy arrangement of timber members that can be lined or plastered with boarding from both sides. Timber partition walls are non-flammable.
It’s a lifesaver for acoustic insulation. During the construction of a double-glazed window, the air capacity between 2 panes is maintained at 50mm. The air trapped in the slim cavity is relatively ‘stiff’ and transfers low-frequency vibrations.
The precision of the joints gives this window its exquisite ‘frameless’ glazed appearance. You’ll typically find these windows in board rooms, offices, and private conference areas.
These partition walls or frames are commonly used in workspaces. Typically combined with glass, these aluminum dividers provide a viable solution for separation in your office. They come as modular partitions, foldable or solid structures that are convenient for growing businesses.
As is the case with wooden partitions, the aluminum counterparts deliver excellent sound insulation. So, you can count on them to keep out the noise and give you much-needed privacy. Many office managers gravitate towards this alternative because of the vast assortment of designs, styles, and overall eye-catching aesthetics.
These partition walls are built from many double or single panels that collectively form a durable and robust folding wall that deploys in an instant and is easy to use. For versatility and flexibility, concertina walls can be pulled out and pushed back in as deemed necessary.
They’re a great option for temporary privacy. They come in handy in different settings, such as home spaces, commercial spaces, and offices. They can also be customized to fit your aesthetics and needs.
Applications of Partition Walls
A partition wall is effective in dividing space and is applicable in different settings, as discussed below.
Partition walls are ideal for exhibition and conference centers. They allow a vast assortment of events and tradeshows to occur concurrently. They can reduce or expand the available space to create a suitable environment for courses, discussions, and meetings.
Confidentiality and privacy are paramount in hospitals and other high-traffic settings. Therefore, partition walls are the Holy Grail that permits medical personnel to divide the available space to give patients the dignity they deserve. Moreover, some walls are a breeze to clean, thus making them a sanitary option.
The function rooms in hotels are typically used for shindigs, corporate events, or receptions, all of which can be noisy and disturb residents and staff members. Partition walls allow hotels to comfortably host such gatherings while still operating normally without disrupting others.
If space is at a premium in your workspace, a movable and multipurpose partition wall will conveniently allow the reconfiguration of areas as deemed necessary. Furthermore, it’ll permit meetings to occur concurrently, deliver privacy, and keep noise at a minimum.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, the importance of social distancing in curbing the spread of COVID-19 cannot be emphasized enough, which includes working from home.
Therefore, if you want to get employees back in the office, it’s essential to prioritize their well-being and diminish the risk of spreading the virus by implementing the same social distancing; this can be achieved using partition walls.
Educational institutions typically use movable wall partitions to divide a classroom into various groups. Concertina walls are usually the go-to option. They’re not only impressively user-friendly but also affordable.
How to Choose the Best Partition Wall
To permit an informed decision, consider the following buying factors before you decide on a partition wall.
Visual appeal is one of the major concerns when selecting a partition wall. Aesthetics are part and parcel of business branding. An eye-catching and professional office leaves a memorable impression on customers.
So, paying attention to how every partition can enhance your workspace is essential. When it comes to aesthetics, the key questions to consider are: Do you prefer a more spacious and exposed workspace? Do you gravitate more towards chic or traditional aesthetics?
For compartmentalized and conventional workspaces, wood partition walls are more suitable. But glass and aluminum provide a more open and contemporary appeal.
Wood partitions deliver superior robustness compared to the glass or aluminum counterparts. The density of these dividers makes them more ideal for permanent solutions because they offer less mobility. Repositioning or relocating these walls to cater to organizational requirements can usher in a problem.
Aluminum or glass partition walls provide superior flexibility and can easily be disassembled to cater to changing needs and requirements. They can be dismantled for the development of new spaces and the creation of an area that’s geared towards increased productivity.
Partition walls are usually pocket-friendly. Their portability, practicality, and economical value make them ideal to restructure different environments. It’s their affordability and mobility that makes them perfect for space reconstruction.
Partition walls give rise to new spaces without shutting down for extended periods or demolishing existing walls. Instead, they can be put up in a few hours, thus lowering the financial effect on a business and saving time.
Before selecting a partition wall, factor in the visibility. In some settings such as hospitals and certain regions of an office, utmost privacy may be important. It’s for this reason that you should opt for walls that deliver increased concealment.
So, aluminum walls with integral blinds, frosted glass partitions, or solid wood walls are your best bet. But it all boils down to your preferences along with the level of privacy you want to achieve.
Wrapping Up Our Guide to Partition Walls
A partition wall delivers expediency as it yields an immediate outcome that responds to changing specifications of public settings. It enhances the aesthetic appeal and functionality of space, making it a worthwhile investment.
Now that you know the different types of walls available and the important buying factors to consider, the ball is in your court. But we're on your team too! Just drop us a line or give us a call if we can help walk you through the many choices in how to use Partition Walls in your office, store, or trade show.
Partition Wall FAQ
Still have questions about partition walls? Look through the answers we have to some of the more commonly asked questions.
What are the more notable features of glass partition walls?
Glass partition walls are well-known for their versatility of use and their essential architectural lines.
Can you soundproof glass partition walls?
You can soundproof glass partition walls if you choose a double-pane glass for soundproofing and noise insulation.
What is a drywall partition?
A drywall partition is commonly used in office settings as well as residential buildings because it is incredibly easy to install. It is a system made of durable galvanized steel and uses gypsum boards as a surface material. Compared to wood boards, gypsum is safer and more fire-resistive, which is good for a wall partition.
Can room dividers block sound?
Room dividers aren't that effective at blocking sound because of how they are constructed. The wall partition system doesn't typically cover the height of the room they are placed in, and they can't be installed in the same way that curtains can be installed. To block any sound, you will need to purchase curtains.
How thick is a partition wall?
The average partition wall thickness can vary but is typically between 6 and 15 centimeters. Hollow brick partition systems are constructed in almost the same manner as a structural load-bearing wall is constructed.
What is a partition stud?
A partition stud is an easy way to divide a room and is a temporary wall and portable structure that can be removed when used for a particular area changes.
Is a portable partition worth the investment?
While they can't block sound, a portable partition can still help lessen the noise, and since it is portable, it is easy to move and store when it is no longer needed. It is a great option if you are looking to divide up rooms or spaces in your home or office temporarily.
What is a frameless glass wall system, and how does it work?
Frameless means that the partition system's glass panels don't have a vertical frame and are made with a single sheet of glass that is mounted to the slimline top and horizontal bottom rails. They are ideal for an office space that begs for both form and function. A frameless glass wall system is a metal channel that is fastened to the floor and ceiling, and this is what holds the glass panels in place.