Metal U Track

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Metal U Track is a galvanised steel section used in the construction of metal stud walls. It forms the horizontal framework of a partition wall, and is installed on both the floor and ceiling. Metal Track is a component of a complete drywall system, and is installed in conjunction with metal stud and plasterboard. It is a durable, lightweight solution that brings many benefits and is used extensively in both domestic and general commercial projects.

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What is Metal U Track?

Quicker to install than timber but no less durable, Metal U Track is a galvanised metal section used to create wall linings. It is manufactured by taking a roll of galvanised steel and shaping it into a "U" shape using a cold rolling machine. The tracks are then cut into 3m lengths.

Metal U Track is used as the horizontal framework of stud partitions, used in conjunction with vertical studs (C Studs).

It is part of the complete drywall range manufactured by plasterboard makers such as Knauf Drywall and Siniat, and should be installed with a performance plasterboard such as Soundshield Plus, and a sound insulation product such as Rockwool RWA45 Slab. This provides an acoustic stud wall that prevents noise passage between rooms.

What Are The Benefits Of Using Metal U Tracks? 

  • Quick and easy to install framing system
  • Creates a solid fix to accommodate Metal C Studs
  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • No bowing or warping
  • Fully compatible with all makes of plasterboard

Metal Track Range

Metal U Track comes in an extensive range of sections to suit all partition systems. This lightweight steel section is normally denoted by its width, depth and length. For instance, 72mm Metal Standard Track 3000mm is a 72mm wide Metal Track that comes in a 3m length. 

The "Standard" part refers to the depth of the track, which in this case is 25mm. These are also sometimes referred to as the "legs". A track with 50mm legs is referred to as Deep Track (different depths dependant upon partition height.)

There are five standard widths of track; 52mm, 62mm, 72mm, 94mm and 148mm, with 52mm and 72mm being the most popular. All track is sold in packs of 10.

Metal U Track Installation

One of the key features of U Track is that it is lightweight and therefore easy to handle and install. U Track must be installed on both the floor and ceiling where you are building the wall linings. It is common to use standard track on the ceiling and deep track on the floor - as such, these are sometimes referred to as top and bottom track.

  • Firstly, make sure the floor track and ceiling tracks are aligned with each other
  • You should mark the areas first with chalk to ensure that they are positioned correctly
  • Then, fix the steel tracks to the concrete using hex head concrete screws
  • The screw should go through the metal and into the concrete - use a hammer drill for this
  • Lengths of adjoining track can be installed together by overlapping the end of each length with the beginning of the next
  • Once the track is in place, you can install Metal C Stud by friction fit and then screws
  • Then you can fix your plasterboard and fill the space with acoustic insulation

For accessories used in this process, see our Metal Accessories section

Frequently Asked Metal U Track Questions

What Is The Difference Between A Metal Stud And Track?

Studs and tracks are the two most important components in steel framing. The track serves as both the top and bottom plates of the structure; creating a channel in which C Studs can be fixed. 

Is Steel Frame Cheaper Than Timber? 

Timber is generally more readily available, therefore it will be less expensive than steel. Also, the construction process of steel is much more labour intensive than that of timber, which adds to its final cost. 

Why Use Metal Tracks & Studs Over Timber Stud Framing? 

The advantages of metal stud and track systems over timber are numerous. Here are just a few examples to give you an idea: 

  • Strength - Metal is not as prone to warping or decaying as timber, nor is it susceptible to mould growth. While metal does rust, protecting the metal stud wall with a vapour barrier will ensure greater longevity.
  • Fire resistance - Metal is a fire-resistant material whilst wood is extremely flammable. Metal stud partition walls constructed alongside fire-resistant plasterboard will provide greater levels of fire protection than conventional timber.
  • Durability - Metal's strength does not deteriorate with time, unlike timber, allowing a structure to upkeep an efficient, long-term structural integrity.
  • Pest resistance – metal requires no treatment to ensure its protection from termites and other insects. 

Do Metal U-Tracks Require Maintenance?

Metal U-tracks, particularly those made from galvanised steel or stainless steel, are resistant to corrosion, which reduces the need for frequent maintenance. 

However, inspecting them periodically and addressing any issues promptly is recommended to ensure their longevity.

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