While steel buildings are considered a growing trend, these buildings have been used in the housing market since the early 1930s. Even today the fluctuating price of steel is sometimes a concern, but there is no denying that higher material costs are offset by faster construction, lower labor costs, and lower maintenance costs. Steel studs have many advantages over wood such as:
- They are recyclable
- They are stronger
- Steel studs won’t warp or shrink
- They are resistant to mold
- There will be no insect damage
The Challenges of Using Steel Studs
While steel studs are generally seen as superior to wood, it is important to understand that decorating choices and installations will be impacted. Many homeowners can install their own cabinets or shelves, but it is not so simple with steel framing. In fact, it is sometimes considered unwise to drill through them. This requires the right type of equipment, and safeguards may be necessary to prevent fires from the resulting sparks.
The challenges of working with steel studs make decorating more time-consuming in many cases, but it is still the more viable option. With drywall, it is sometimes possible to hang items or carry out simple installations without even doing any drilling at all. Buying drywall anchors can help with putting up lighter items. It is important to note that even these anchors can start to pull out of the wall over time. There are anchors made for specific weights, so get this information before making a purchase. This does not mean that heavy items will not pull anchors out after a while, as the interior material in drywall is relatively soft.
Drilling Through Steel Studs
Despite the challenges, steel studs offer long term strength and support for even the heaviest installations. The best bits for making holes in these studs are either cobalt or titanium. A toggle bolt will be able to bear the weight of heavy installations. You will not have to worry that these attachments will come loose over time. Another option worth considering is securing wood between the steel studs and then anchoring items to the wood. Some people do not choose this method because it means having to make cuts in the drywall to access the studs.
There is nothing like the strength and durability of steel, so it pays off in many ways. With it being used in more residential projects currently, you should at least discuss this as one of your options with a contractor.