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Parts of a Wall (3 Diagrams of Framed Wall and Layers)

Anatomy of a Wall and Timber Frame Wall

My first peek into the interior parts of a wall was when my brother and I were goofing around and I ended up crashing through the drywall of a bedroom wall.

The good news is I didn’t hit a stud and hurt myself. The bad news is I didn’t hit a stud which ended up putting a sizeable hole in the wall.

Walls aren’t as simple as they seem. Each wall has the following two main components:

  1. Outer layers (what you see), and
  2. The innards (studs, insulation, wiring, etc.)

Our Parts of a Wall Diagram Explained

Our anatomy of a wall illustration below is split into 3 sections. Those sections, from top to bottom, are:

  1. Wall exterior;
  2. Wall interior (i.e. the stud or framed wall); and
  3. Typical wall layers (exterior wall).

Diagram: Anatomy of a Wall

Diagram illustrating the parts of a Wall including framed wall, wall surface and the wall layers for exterior wall (3 illustrations)

Wall Surface

The uppermost section of the wall diagram above illustrates the different parts of the surface of an interior wall which is mostly decorative trim, stiles and rails.

Stud Wall with Window (aka Framed Wall)

The middle section above illustrations a framed or stud wall. It’s what you get when you peel off the outer surface, be it drywall or otherwise.

This is the wall structure. While fairly easy to construct, it must adhere to certain design aspects in order for it to be strong.

I say fairly easy to construct for people who know what they’re doing. They can slam up the framing fast (astonishingly fast).

Wall Layers

Layers of a timer-framed wall

The last section in the above illustration showcases the various layers in an exterior wall. There’s a lot going on in order to be structurally sound, provide venting, water proofing, drainage, insulation, etc. It’s not simply slamming up plywood on a stud wall.

An exterior wall must be properly layered to ensure longevity and remain structurally sound while keeping moisture out and heat in.