A curved wall can be a simple sweeping arc or an undulating wave that moves back and forth. Either way, a curved wall will add interest and drama to any room.
When building one yourself, there are a few things to keep in mind. A flexible metal track speeds and simplifies the construction of the wall whether you utilize metal or wood studs. The track shown is also available in a model that accommodates 2x6 studs. Making your own curved track from standard channel is a bit tedious but not especially difficult. Making plates from solid wood or laminated plywood is another option, but it can consume significant amounts of both materials and time. One other key design consideration is the radius of the curve. The radius you choose determines the spacing of the studs. Spacing the studs closely can give a smoother look to your finished wall.
Before you begin framing, make sure you know how to measure, use a plumb bob, and drive fasteners. Expect to spend about 20 minutes per linear foot of wall on this project.
Draw the curve on the floor with a permanent marker. To get a smooth curve, make a giant compass from a strip of hardboard or plywood. Tap a nail through the hardboard into the floor for the pivot point. Drill a hole at the other end at the desired radius for the curve; put the marker tip through the hole and draw.
Bend the track to shape, and hold the curve while you drive screws through the tabs into the metal strip. For best results, use No. 8X1/2-inch self-drilling screws. Driving a screw through every tab on both sides gives the strongest results.
Run masking tape along the outside (convex) edge of the track to hold the curve while you drive screws into the inside (concave) edge. When you're ready to drive screws into the outside edge, you can pull the tape off or leave it in place and drill through it.
After you've completed the first track, turn it over to use as a template to shape the top track. The top track is a mirror image of the bottom. Attach the second track to the first with locking-grip pliers at one end, shape the curve, then secure the other end with another pair of locking-grip pliers. Drive the screws.
Attach the bottom track to the floor, and use a plumb bob to position the ceiling track. Temporarily place a few studs into the tracks to support the upper track. Check the alignment of the tracks at both ends and at the middle.
Twist the studs into the tracks, and plumb them before driving screws through the track to secure them. You can use either wood or metal studs. For the smoothest wall surface, space the studs closely together, never exceeding the spacing recommended.
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