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Unread 12-19-2014, 07:56 PM   #1
Tile in the house
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Why don't they sell 20 Gauge Steel Studs?

I am new to tiling and need your advice.

I had to demo an old shower down to the studs, which are rusty in some places, only 25 gauge, and spaced between 20" to 24" apart.

My research says I need heavier studs spaced closer together...20 gauge steel studs at 16" on-center...which I can understand because cement board weighs twice as much as regular drywall.

For some reason, my local Home Depot and Lowes only carry 25 gauge studs. They do not carry the heavier 20 gauge studs. (I live in a large city too). Red flag...are people not using the heavier studs?

What do I do?

1. Just install a lot more 25 gauge studs to compensate...maybe one every 8 inches.
2. Spend extra money to ship in 20 gauge studs from somewhere? Where?

To be complete, should I rip out the old 25 gauge top track and replace with 20 gauge track (if I can find it). The bottom track is very rusty and missing in some places, so I plan to replace it, but not sure about the top track since that involves removing some ceiling drywall too.

Thank you!!
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Unread 12-19-2014, 08:19 PM   #2
cx
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Welcome, Nicholas.

It's not the weight of the wallboard that is of concern, it's the deflection of the studs that requires the additional thickness and the deflectionof the CBU between studs that requires the maximum of 16" oc framing.

Yes, you need to replace all of it, presuming this is for a ceramic tile installation.

If you'll add a geographic location to your User Profile it's possible someone might be able to suggest a source for the studs you need.

In my area the best source is a building supply company catering to the drywall, plaster, and stucco trades. Maybe Google up something similar in your area.

My opinion; worth price charged.
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Last edited by cx; 12-20-2014 at 02:32 PM. Reason: Clarification
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Unread 12-19-2014, 08:20 PM   #3
jadnashua
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'Real' lumber yards that cater to commercial jobs are likely to have what you want...time for the phone book or the electronic equivalent and some phone calls.
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Unread 12-19-2014, 08:47 PM   #4
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Ever try to drive a drywall screw through a 20 gauge stud ?
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Unread 12-19-2014, 09:36 PM   #5
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Mmmmm, why would we do that, Paul?
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Unread 12-19-2014, 09:39 PM   #6
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Just sayin, it ain't easy. A Backer On screw would require a pilot hole for each screw
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Unread 12-19-2014, 09:49 PM   #7
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Well, then, probably best you don't use those screws, eh?

I'm not a CBU kinda guy, but I know there are self-tapping CBU screws out there. I know Durock has one. I think others do, too.
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Unread 12-19-2014, 09:51 PM   #8
Splinter
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Just about any lumberyard around here will have 20ga for me. Screwing with the standard tool used by just about anyone who ISNT a professional drywaller (a cordless impact or drill) will be difficult. A real hi speed drywall gun puts 'em in easier.

The usually sell the lighter gauge track with the heavy studs though... go figure.
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Unread 12-20-2014, 07:19 AM   #9
RJCarney
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Self tapping CBU screws

https://www.grabberman.com/Media/TechnicalData/514.pdf

Good Luck,
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Unread 12-20-2014, 11:35 AM   #10
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It's all about having the right tool for the job....
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Unread 12-20-2014, 12:49 PM   #11
Tile in the house
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Wow! This site is great. Lots of responses.

Good idea...I'll check with the lumber yards. This is similar to my plumbing needs...had to go to a plumbing supply store for a few items.

Deflection. Good point. Must be why I saw cracked grout between tiles, which led to water reaching the (green type drywall!), which led to mold and rusty steel studs.

Thank you everyone for your advice.
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Unread 12-20-2014, 03:28 PM   #12
jadnashua
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Drywall in wet areas never worked well, and has not been an approved material for a very long time. It does work if you cover it with a good membrane (Kerdi and Hydromat membranes, for example) have been tested and approved for this use, but in general, it is not viable when you use other materials. The moisture resistant drywall isn't if you have a cut edge or where you poke a hole in it to fasten it to the walls.
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