Wooden Studs v.s. Metal Studs Framing

Wooden and metal studs can both be found at the local hardware store. But commercial construction traditional wooden studs are seemingly falling out of fashion; it seems that many prefer metal studs today.

However, this issue is not as cut and dry as it seems. Both wooden and metal framing have assorted advantages and disadvantages. Instead of merely opting for whatever happens to be the most ubiquitous or popular at the time of purchase, it would be wise to think about the type of remodeling project you have in mind and take these various pros and cons into account.


Both wooden and steel studs last for quite a long time. However, wood studs can eventually warp or rot and can be subject to damage by moisture, humidity, termites, or fire. Metal stud framing is more fire resistant than wood framing. It is often used in commercial buildings or by home builders in areas which are prone to natural disasters, especially forest fires.

Despite this, wooden studs are still stronger than light gauge steel framing and are able to support more weight. They are also better at preventing heat loss and are more energy-efficient. Unlike metal studs, they are not prone to rusting. Many homeowners and business owners choose wood frames because they are more durable and cut energy costs.


Cutting both wood and metal studs typically require miter saws; however, light gauge metal studs can be crafted with tin snips and a utility knife. Installing wood studs requires different tools depending on the application, whereas metal studs usually require the same tools (i.e. a T-square, metal clamp, level, and impact driver) regardless of the application. Metal studs need slightly more time to install compared to wood studs. Metal stud installation is also more expensive than wooden stud installation, especially if you’re working with a non-load-bearing wall, basement wall, or other type of wall framing which is more fragile.


Light gauge metal studs are comparable in price to wood studs, but heavy gauge metal studs are more typically more expensive to install than wood studs and bring up the cost of a construction project. If engineers are required to inspect the construction, this also adds onto the cost. Many wooden and metal studs are now made with recycled materials, which is beneficial not only for the planet but also for your wallet. When it comes to exterior walls and door framing , it might make sense to good with more expensive, but fireproof and high quality metal-cuttings for your framing.

As you can see, using wooden studs or using metal studs can both be smart choices depending on the circumstances. There’s no right answer in frame construction and both can work in either commercial or residential construction projects. If both types of studs don’t suit your needs, you also may want to consider looking into alternatives such as ICF construction.

Many people want to DIY their framing, but this usually isn’t the best option. Because there is a learning curve to creating framing—and the process is different based on if you’re using traditional wood studs or metal studs or if you’re working with exterior, partition wall studs, doors, or other framing projects—it’s best to have a professional complete your framing. A professional contractor can also recommend what type of stud is best for you, ideal stud sizes. and can make sure the project is durable for years to come.

Carlton Building Services in Hampton Roads, Virginia

Carlton Building Services specializes in repairs, maintenance, renovations, remodelings and build-outs for a variety of clients in Hampton Roads, Virginia Beach, and Chesapeake areas. We have years of experience handling projects in the retail, office, and healthcare space and would love to work with you on your next project!

To learn more about our services, check out past project highlights or contact Carlton Building Services to see how we can help with your next project.

JP Carlton

J.P. Carlton

J.P. Carlton is the founder of Carlton Building Services, a Hampton Roads-based construction company.