Suppose you moved into a new home but noticed its walls were thinner than expected. Now you’re wondering what you should do to fix them. We researched possible solutions for this predicament, and here’s what we found.
One way to thicken walls that are too thin is to add wooden furring strips. To do this:
- Remove drywall and its fasteners from the walls.
- Shut off the house’s main power from the main breaker panel.
- Cut a 2x2 wooden strip to size.
- Position the newly cut wood over the first existing vertical 2x4 strip in the wall’s frame.
- Drill pilot holes that should pass through the 2x2 and 2x4 strips.
- Install wood screws into the cavities to secure the wooden assemblies.
- Repeat steps 3 to 6 as many times as necessary.
- Install drywall to cover the new setup.
This might seem like a relatively straightforward task. But it's essential to understand the details of this renovation project to avoid costly mistakes. Continue reading as we talk about these steps in greater detail. We'll also tackle other solutions to help you deal with thin walls.
What Are The Risks Of Having Thin Walls?
Thin walls can bring risks that range from mild to serious. Minor issues may include reduced soundproofing and less insulation for the house.
However, homes with thin walls may also be hazardous and cause fatalities if natural disasters like earthquakes and hurricanes occur.
How Thin Are Walls In A House?
Interior walls should be at least 2 inches thick. Also, the assembly generally requires ½-inch drywall, studs, a floor plate, and ceiling plates. The result should be an interior wall at least 4-1/2 inches thick.
On the other hand, exterior walls need to be thicker than their interior counterparts.
Outside walls typically require a 5.5-inch thickness, which includes a 5/8-inch sheathing. This assembly also generally demands at least 2-inch studs to enhance the thickness and foundation of the house.
You might also be curious to know how thick garage walls should be. If so, read our post on that topic to learn the answer.
Why Should You Have Thicker Walls?
Structures, regardless of residential or commercial purpose, should have thick walls to create solidness and peace of mind. Dense walls can also enhance each space’s protection from different weather and supply optimal soundproofing.
Watch the video below to gain additional insight into the benefits of having thick walls:
How Can I Thicken The Walls In My House?
It’s important to note that increasing the thickness of your home’s walls often depends on certain factors. For instance, you need to consider the enclosures' materials and measurements.
Also, this home renovation project might be more significant than expected, particularly if you need to deal with multiple walls. If so, you may need professional assistance as the operation might be larger than what you can handle using DIY techniques.
Nonetheless, here are the steps to thicken exterior walls by adding furring to them:
What You’ll Need
- Circular or hand saw
- Tape measure
- Hand drill
- 2x2 wooden strips
- Wood screws
- Remove drywall from the walls you want to thicken.
- Take out unnecessary nails and staples.
- Turn off the power from the home’s electrical service panel. Then, remove light fixtures and electrical assemblies from the wall.
- Use a circular or hand saw to cut a 2x2 wood to size. Ensure that its length matches the first vertical 2x4 in the wall.
- Place the 2x2 strip on the 2x4 vertical wood's face.
- Drill pilot holes into the 2x2 strip. Take note that the cavities must also go through the piece of 2x4 timber.
- Install wood screws into the pilot holes to secure the wooden assembly.
- Repeat steps 4 to 7 for the rest of the wall’s internal wooden frame.
- Reinstall the lighting fixtures and electrical assemblies into the new wooden structure.
- Install new drywall to cover the setup.
Aside from creating wooden furring from scratch, you may also purchase commercially-prepared furring from trustworthy sources.
You can also watch the video below if you need help with drywall removal:
Also, the following video will help you install drywall onto the thickened wall:
While thickening the walls in your home, you might notice some gaps in them. Check out our post on what could be the cause of tiny holes in walls to find out more about this concern.
What Can I Do For My Thin Walls Without Renovating?
Perhaps you don’t have permission to do extensive remodeling because you live in a rented space.
So you might have some issues with thin walls, particularly with their soundproofing. If so, here are some ways to improve the soundproofing of your thin walls.
Use Thick Furniture
Note that sound dampening generally follows principles like mass, isolation, and absorption. Thick furniture often supplies mass and absorption, promoting improved soundwave blocking.
Some examples of thick furniture you can use to help dampen sound going through thin walls are bookcases and sofas. Also, placing these pieces of furniture is vital to ensure your walls can block as much noise as possible.
So if you place a large sofa away from the thin wall, that furniture won’t provide efficient soundproofing. On the other hand, putting the sofa right next to the wall may give you the results you want.
Install Acoustic Foam Panels
Also called soundproofing foam, installing panels made with this material can help improve a wall’s thickness without needing extensive remodeling.
Acoustic foam panels often range from 1 to 3 inches in their thickness, and the densest models might be the best options for improving a wall’s thickness and providing optimal sound absorption.
Watch the video below to know the steps to install acoustic foam panels on your walls:
Hang Mass-Loaded Vinyl
Like acoustic foam panels, mass-loaded vinyl installation may not require a large-scale home renovation operation to complete. These materials also have different thicknesses ranging from 1/16 to ¼ inches.
Remember that mass-load vinyl typically demands proper installation procedures for it to be effective. Some particulars you need to follow during the setup process are:
- Directly hang it over studs for optimal stability.
- Use fasteners like staples to secure the material onto the wall.
- It’s ideal to use EVA-based vinyl as this material often has better moisture and temperature resistance than the standard variant.
This video will help you with the installation of mass-loaded vinyl in your space:
Can A Wall Be Too Thick?
Aside from a wall being too thin, it’s also possible for the barrier to be too dense. Although it may provide enhanced security, some drawbacks exist if you have walls that are thicker than needed.
Some of these shortcomings are:
- Reduce natural light. The thickness of your walls may prevent natural light from entering your home, leading to skyrocketing energy bills.
- Additional building costs. Thicker-than-usual walls require more materials and more expenses to build.
- Reduces indoor space. If the walls are too thick, you’ll have less room for interior furniture and décor.
- Moisture problems. Insulation might be at risk of capturing more moisture than intended, leading to problems like mold growth.
How Much Does It Cost To Have A Wall Built?
Building a wall from scratch typically has different price ranges based on various factors. For instance, construction and remodeling costs can differ based on your location.
Here are some examples of cities and their average expenses to build walls are:
- Chicago, IL: $1,700
- Los Angeles, CA: $2,000
- Tampa, FL: $1,540
- Dallas, TX: $1,730
- Salt Lake City, UT: $2,250
Another factor that can affect the overall costs of building walls is the material. Here are some examples:
- Drywall: $1 to $3 per square foot
- Concrete: $5 to $12 per square foot
- Wood: $10 to $40 per square foot
- Brick: $5 to $45 per square foot
You also need to secure building permits from your local government. Home renovations without these certified documents might make you pay expensive fines.
Note that these permits require you to spend about $100 to $300.
Our Final Words
A home renovation project is usually the solution to fix a wall that's too thin. If you can't remodel your living space, some options still exist to help thicken walls and improve their soundproofing.
Make sure to take your time thinking about your choices to avoid unwanted expenses. Good luck!