It is often nec­es­sary to build inte­ri­or par­ti­tions when repair­ing typ­i­cal hous­ing, because some­times, by “mov­ing” a cur­tain wall by only 20–50 cm, you can sig­nif­i­cant­ly improve the ergonom­ics of an apart­ment.

Interior partitions and their features

By type of con­struc­tion

  • mason­ry
  • Frame
  • Slid­ing
  • With slid­ing door pock­et

By mate­r­i­al

  • brick
  • Con­crete
  • From tongue-and-groove gyp­sum boards
  • Porous ceram­ic
  • Plas­ter­board

Legal aspects of rede­vel­op­ment

How to avoid mis­takes

By type of construction


Mason­ry par­ti­tions are erect­ed from build­ing blocks and bricks. When choos­ing a mate­r­i­al, con­sid­er the allow­able load on inter­floor ceil­ings. For floors made of pre­cast con­crete slabs, which are used in most city hous­es, the allow­able loads are 400–800 kgf / m².

In the case of the use of hol­low, porous and oth­er light build­ing blocks, the mass does not reach the lim­it. But the pos­si­bil­i­ty of using brick­work will have to be clar­i­fied with the hous­ing inspec­tion author­i­ties. The fact is that brick walls are too heavy — about 550 kg per meter of length when laid in half a brick. Togeth­er with the floor screed, they can exert unac­cept­able loads on the floors.


The main con­di­tion for reli­a­bil­i­ty is the cor­rect rein­force­ment.

Every sec­ond row of foam con­crete blocks is rein­forced with bars with a diam­e­ter of 8 mm. They are laid in fines, and ver­ti­cal­ly the blocks are con­nect­ed with gal­va­nized steel plates, locat­ed in incre­ments of 100–120 cm.

Mason­ry from sol­id tongue-and-groove gyp­sum boards is rein­forced with plates and cor­ners, from hol­low ones — cor­ners and ver­ti­cal rein­forc­ing bars.

A porous block struc­ture may not be rein­forced, but builders usu­al­ly rein­force it with ver­ti­cal rods. The struc­ture must be attached to the adja­cent walls and the upper floor slab. To do this, use rein­forc­ing pins, plates or sta­ples made of steel with a thick­ness of at least 2 mm. The step of fas­ten­ing to the walls should not exceed 500 mm, to the ceil­ing — 1200 mm.


An impor­tant require­ment for a new wall is its sound­proof­ing abil­i­ty. The min­i­mum air­borne sound insu­la­tion index Rw is 43 dB. That is, because of them, calm speech should not be heard. The Rw index of a wall plas­tered on both sides with a thick­ness of half a brick is 47 dB, with a foam block thick­ness of 200 mm — 44 dB. But in prac­tice, they usu­al­ly tend to make it thin­ner. In this case, plas­ter­board sheath­ing along the crate will help, between the racks of which there are noise-absorb­ing mats that pro­vide addi­tion­al sound insu­la­tion up to 10 dB.

The design can trans­mit struc­tur­al noise from the ceil­ings into the room. To pre­vent this from hap­pen­ing, a thin-lay­er vibra­tion-damp­ing mate­r­i­al is placed under the base or bed seam. The space between the top row of bricks or blocks and the top slab should be filled with polyurethane foam. In addi­tion, the qual­i­ty of the mason­ry is of great impor­tance — cav­i­ties and even micro­c­racks in the seams and junc­tions can sig­nif­i­cant­ly reduce the air­borne sound insu­la­tion index.

Final­ly, in order to achieve good sound insu­la­tion, you need to choose and install the door cor­rect­ly:

  • a sash or tran­som with con­ven­tion­al sin­gle glass will wors­en this para­me­ter by 5–7 dB;
  • a gap under the can­vas of 20 mm — by about 8 dB;
  • slid­ing door with­out side and top brush seals — by more than 10 dB.
  • To the list of anti-trends: 4 models of interior partitions that will ruin the interior

    Doors and par­ti­tions

    To the list of anti-trends: 4 mod­els of inte­ri­or par­ti­tions that will ruin the inte­ri­or

masonry rules

The mason­ry must rest direct­ly on the floor slab. It should be erect­ed to the floor screed device, and lat­er, damp­ing pads should be installed at the junc­tion of the screed to the par­ti­tion. In extreme cas­es, it is allowed to install from cel­lu­lar blocks sup­port­ed by a com­plete­ly dried cement-sand or expand­ed clay con­crete screed. But only if there is no lay­er of noise-absorb­ing mats or poly­mer mem­branes under it.

Foundation preparation

The mason­ry par­ti­tion cre­ates a sig­nif­i­cant load on the ceil­ing — it may not with­stand the pres­sure and sag. To pre­vent this from hap­pen­ing, a mono­lith­ic rein­forced con­crete plinth with a height of at least 100 mm should be erect­ed on top of the floor slab along the con­struc­tion line. Lay­ing begins when it gains at least 70% strength — 2 weeks after pour­ing con­crete.


The plinth per­forms the func­tion of a stiff­en­er: it strength­ens the slab and shifts the load to the areas of its sup­port on load-bear­ing walls or columns. This ele­ment can be dis­pensed with only if the over­lap has a large mar­gin of safe­ty — then the lay­ing is car­ried out along the bed seam. Experts advise plac­ing a damper tape under the base­ment or the first row of mason­ry, which com­pen­sates for shrink­age defor­ma­tions and blocks the path of struc­tur­al noise.

masonry mortar

It is advis­able to pur­chase a ready-made adhe­sive mix­ture rec­om­mend­ed by the man­u­fac­tur­er of the select­ed blocks or slabs. The com­po­si­tion of such a mix­ture includes set­ting retarders and plas­ti­ciz­ers. Thanks to this, it is eas­i­er to lay the mason­ry, the rows are even, and the seams are sol­id, which has a pos­i­tive effect on strength and sound­proof­ing abil­i­ty.


Any par­ti­tion is attached to the main walls and ceil­ing with rein­forc­ing pins, depend­ing on the thick­ness and den­si­ty of the mate­r­i­al used. Tongue-and-groove gyp­sum boards are fas­tened with per­fo­rat­ed cor­ners ver­ti­cal­ly. Walls made of porous ceram­ic or expand­ed clay con­crete blocks are rein­forced with ver­ti­cal embed­ded bars.

The gap between the bot­tom sur­face of the ceil­ing and the top should not exceed 40 mm. This gap is often filled with polyurethane foam, but it is bet­ter to use cemen­ti­tious adhe­sive.


It is desir­able to make open­ings of stan­dard sizes so that there are no dif­fi­cul­ties with installing doors. The upper jumpers can be made of rein­forc­ing bars, angles or rein­forced blocks. With a thick­ness of less than 100 mm, ver­ti­cal rein­force­ment of the open­ings with rein­forc­ing bars, strips or cor­ners is required.


With frame tech­nol­o­gy, it is pos­si­ble to build inter­nal struc­tures of any shape. A met­al pro­file is most often used as a frame, and dry­wall is used as a sheath­ing. Inside such a wall, a sound­proof bar­ri­er made of min­er­al wool is placed. For hang­ing shelves or mir­rors in the frame, embed­ded parts are pro­vid­ed.

Nich­es are made using the same tech­nol­o­gy, but their min­i­mum dimen­sions are lim­it­ed by the pos­si­bil­i­ty of tight­en­ing self-tap­ping screws dur­ing instal­la­tion. The bases of wide shelves or nich­es are rein­forced with a guide pro­file, mak­ing jumpers from it. To improve the strength and air­borne noise insu­la­tion index, the frame is made dou­ble.

When erect­ing inter­nal struc­tures, it is worth giv­ing pref­er­ence to those mate­ri­als that do not require align­ment: gyp­sum boards or plas­ter­board. Plas­ter­ing sur­faces with align­ment for fin­ish­ing, espe­cial­ly for paint­ing, increas­es the cost of repairs and refers to dirty con­struc­tion process­es.

Soundproofing of a frame partition

To fill voids, use spe­cial sound-absorb­ing mate­ri­als. This will pro­vide an air­borne noise iso­la­tion index in the range of 44–46 dB.

Achiev­ing a high­er lev­el of sound insu­la­tion allows sheath­ing on each side with two lay­ers of dry­wall, between which a sheet of tech­ni­cal cork is laid. The par­ti­tion on a dou­ble spaced frame has the high­est per­for­mance, but its min­i­mum thick­ness is 135 mm.

Design options for interior partitions filled with sound-absorbing slabs

Design options for inte­ri­or par­ti­tions filled with sound-absorb­ing slabs

  • Soundproofing the floor under the screed: choose the materials and do it yourself


    Sound­proof­ing the floor under the screed: choose the mate­ri­als and do it your­self


Slid­ing room dividers are the eas­i­est option to install. Their instal­la­tion does not require rede­vel­op­ment and con­struc­tion work, instal­la­tion is quick. There are dis­ad­van­tages: they do not help to improve sound insu­la­tion, they are infe­ri­or in strength to oth­er options.

Types of sliding interior partitions:

  • with rail mech­a­nism on the floor and ceil­ing;
  • with­out thresh­old — fas­ten­ing only to the ceil­ing;
  • fold­ing — accor­dion door;
  • inclined slid­ing — they need to be tak­en away from you and then moved to the side.

The most com­mon mate­r­i­al for them is glass and wood. Glass ones do not visu­al­ly over­load the space, but require reg­u­lar clean­ing and are not suit­able for repair. Wood­en ones are more often used for dec­o­ra­tive pur­pos­es, for visu­al zon­ing of a room.

With sliding door pocket

If you need to make the design thin­ner, use a ready-made slid­ing door case as a base. The thick­ness of the struc­ture, tak­ing into account the plas­ter­board sheath­ing, does not exceed 125 mm. A par­ti­tion with a frame made of con­ven­tion­al U‑shaped pro­files will cost 1.5–2 times cheap­er, but it can­not be made thin­ner than 170 mm.

Hol­low frame walls do not iso­late sound well, there­fore, when arrang­ing a bed­room, it is bet­ter to use struc­tures con­sist­ing of a mason­ry par­ti­tion 80 mm thick and a frame pen­cil case super­im­posed on it.

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    We zone cor­rect­ly: 8 ide­al par­ti­tions for stu­dio apart­ments

By material


The pos­si­bil­i­ty of con­duct­ing brick­work will have to be clar­i­fied with the hous­ing inspec­tion author­i­ties. Brick options are too heavy — about 550 kg per meter of length when laid in half a brick. Togeth­er with the floor screed, they can exert unac­cept­able loads on the floors.

In houses with monolithic reinforced concrete floors, brick partitions can be built.

In hous­es with mono­lith­ic rein­forced con­crete floors, brick par­ti­tions can be built.

In addi­tion to sig­nif­i­cant loads on inter­floor floors, lay­ing brick walls is asso­ci­at­ed with seri­ous time costs and requires pro­fes­sion­al skills.

If you want to cre­ate a loft-style inte­ri­or, then you can cre­ate an imi­ta­tion of a brick niche by fin­ish­ing a block or frame struc­ture with brick-like tiles. Cor­ner ele­ments of arti­fi­cial stone will allow you to achieve a com­plete illu­sion of the thick­ness of brick­work or nat­ur­al stone.


Foam blocks with a den­si­ty of 600–800 kg / m³ and a thick­ness of 80–100 mm are suit­able for con­struc­tion. A small­er thick­ness is insuf­fi­cient in terms of sound insu­la­tion and resis­tance to can­tilever loads. How­ev­er, the walls of foam blocks require plas­ter­ing. For this rea­son, it will be dif­fi­cult to cre­ate a small dec­o­ra­tive niche, since you will have to cut the blocks to size, plas­ter the sur­faces. Expand­ed clay con­crete par­ti­tion blocks are mois­ture resis­tant and durable, but do not dif­fer in geo­met­ric dimen­sions. Such mason­ry is done only by pro­fes­sion­als, and in any case, the sur­faces will have to be lev­eled with rather thick plas­ter lay­ers.

From tongue-and-groove gypsum boards

Plas­ter­board tongue-and-groove slabs are larg­er than foam blocks, but you can cre­ate dec­o­ra­tive nich­es with them. Thanks to the tongue-and-groove con­nec­tion, the struc­tures are sta­ble. They do not require rein­force­ment, only anchor­ing to the walls and rein­forc­ing the cor­ners with plas­ter cor­ners made of gal­va­nized steel. The dis­ad­van­tage of the mate­r­i­al is that it is dif­fi­cult to saw. There­fore, when siz­ing, it is nec­es­sary to remove the grooves and ridges, and then rein­force the mason­ry with rein­forc­ing bars or plates. But the walls of foam blocks let steam through, that is, they breathe. More­over, gyp­sum con­tains water and acts as a humid­i­ty reg­u­la­tor in rooms with nor­mal humid­i­ty.

Tongue-and-groove gyp­sum boards weigh sig­nif­i­cant­ly more than con­crete blocks, so they are only suit­able for hous­es whose floors are designed for a dis­trib­uted load of more than 800 kg / m2.

Anoth­er dis­ad­van­tage is high elas­tic­i­ty. Because of it, a drum effect appears — a rel­a­tive­ly low lev­el of sound insu­la­tion at fre­quen­cies of 100–200 Hz.

Partitions with a pocket for a sliding door, as a rule, are made of drywall.  It can be based on a factory case made of profiles of a special section.  The design provides...

Par­ti­tions with a pock­et for a slid­ing door, as a rule, are made of dry­wall. It can be based on a fac­to­ry case made of pro­files of a spe­cial sec­tion. The design pro­vides the pos­si­bil­i­ty of adjust­ing the can­vas in height.

Porous ceramic

Porous ceram­ic blocks are 2–2.5 times lighter than bricks and at the same time hold fas­ten­ers well. If you use chem­i­cal anchors, then even sus­pend­ed plumb­ing can be mount­ed on a 130 mm thick wall.

The large for­mat of the blocks speeds up the lay­ing, the grooves and ridges on the side ends strength­en the par­ti­tion, and the ribbed sur­face ensures reli­able adhe­sion to the plas­ter lay­er.

The dis­ad­van­tages of porous blocks include a rel­a­tive­ly high water absorp­tion. This prob­lem can be solved with the help of a water-repel­lent primer and cement plas­ter.

Structures made of ceramic multi-hollow blocks are lighter, but lose in sound insulation.

Struc­tures made of ceram­ic mul­ti-hol­low blocks are lighter, but lose in sound insu­la­tion.


The plas­ter­board con­struc­tion prac­ti­cal­ly does not load the ceil­ing, does not require labo­ri­ous plas­ter­ing and allows you to lay wires and pipes hid­den with­out any prob­lems.

In recent years, when assem­bling frames of plas­ter­board struc­tures, instead of the usu­al fas­ten­ing with self-tap­ping screws, a notch is more often used: a hole with bent edges is made with a spe­cial tool resem­bling pli­ers in two con­tact­ing walls of the pro­files. Fix­ing with a cut­ter speeds up instal­la­tion, in addi­tion, there are no pro­trud­ing screw heads on the frame, and the dry­wall sheet lies per­fect­ly even­ly on it. How­ev­er, when fas­ten­ing with a cut­ter, it is more dif­fi­cult to cor­rect errors, and besides, it is less durable, so it is impor­tant to observe the required screw pitch — 250 mm.

Saint Gob­ain
  • How to make a drywall partition with your own hands: step by step instructions

    Doors and par­ti­tions

    How to make a dry­wall par­ti­tion with your own hands: step by step instruc­tions

Legal notice of redevelopment

The rede­vel­op­ment must first be agreed with the hous­ing inspec­tion author­i­ties. If the design cal­cu­la­tion shows an increase in the load on the floor, then it will be dif­fi­cult to obtain per­mis­sion, since a tech­ni­cal opin­ion from the house design­er will be required.

  1. Rede­vel­op­ment that affects load-bear­ing walls or unload­ing non-bear­ing par­ti­tions can only be start­ed after obtain­ing per­mis­sion from the hous­ing inspec­tion author­i­ties.
  2. When rede­vel­op­ment, it is impos­si­ble to increase the load on the floors in excess of the allow­able for the project (cal­cu­la­tion for bear­ing capac­i­ty, for defor­ma­tions).
  3. It is dif­fi­cult to agree on the replace­ment of the par­ti­tion with a heav­ier one.
  4. They will not allow rede­vel­op­ment, in which your bath­room will be above the kitchen or liv­ing room of the apart­ment below. This rule also works for the arrange­ment of apart­ments in mono­lith­ic new build­ings, where new walls of wet zones are erect­ed accord­ing to the floor plan.
  • Internal partitions in a wooden house: 3 types and construction tips

    Doors and par­ti­tions

    Inter­nal par­ti­tions in a wood­en house: 3 types and con­struc­tion tips

How to avoid installation errors

A com­mon mis­take when arrang­ing inte­ri­or par­ti­tions is their incor­rect loca­tion. The own­er of the apart­ment may incor­rect­ly assess the dimen­sions of the room (for exam­ple, a dress­ing room), the archi­tect may not under­stand the wish­es of the cus­tomer, the fore­man may read the plan incor­rect­ly, the work­ers may see the “wrong mark”. The wall has to be dis­man­tled and rebuilt, time wast­ed and costs increased. There­fore, it is high­ly desir­able for the own­er of the apart­ment, togeth­er with the archi­tect (design­er), armed with a plan and a tape mea­sure, to come to the site in order to con­trol the lay­ing of the first rows.

mason­ry mate­ri­als
Mate­r­i­al Sol­id red brick Slot­ted red brick Porous ceram­ic block Aer­at­ed con­crete block Hol­low clay­dite-con­crete block GWP hydropho­bized
The min­i­mum pos­si­ble thick­ness of the par­ti­tion, mm 65 (brick on edge) 120 80 fifty 90 80
Opti­mal thick­ness of the inte­ri­or par­ti­tion, mm 120 (in half a brick) 120 120 100 120 100
Mason­ry mor­tar Cement-sand grade not low­er than M200 Cement-sand grade not low­er than M200 From ready-mixed cement, e.g. Porotherm From the fin­ished cement mix­ture (KNAUF LM2, Block­star FIX, etc.) Cement-sand grade not low­er than M200 Fin­ished gyp­sum (KNAUF-Perl­fix, Vol­ma Mon­tazh, Ivsil-Plast, etc.)
Den­si­ty, kg/m3 1600–1900 1000–1400 750–900 400–600 950‑1000 1100–1250
Water absorp­tion, % 6–14 6–14 14–18 fifty ten 6–8

  • Source: Ideas for Your Home Magazine#228